Mirror Lake SP (c) Copyright, 2003. E.J. Hopkins,    

Wisconsin
State Climatology Office
Prof. John Young, Director

Cb Clouds, Fitchburg, WI (c) Copyright, 1998 E. J. Hopkins  

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Climatology of the 4th of July in Wisconsin

Edward J. Hopkins, Ph.D., Assistant State Climatologist
University of Wisconsin

  • Our nation's birthday, the 4th of July is often considered to be the midpoint of summer, with warm and sometimes muggy conditions.  On occasion, rain can dampen the parades and the fireworks.

  • Afternoon high temperatures on the 4th typically reach the mid 80s  across the southern and western parts of the state, away from the moderating influences of Lakes Michigan and Superior.   As indicated by the accompanying tables, some of Wisconsin's major cities also reach the 90s at least once and as many as 8 times during the 30 year period from 1971 to 2000.  Record high temperatures are also provided, with only La Crosse in west central Wisconsin reaching the "century mark" (100 degrees) on the 4th.  On the other hand, some holidays have been cool, notably in 1967 when the temperature struggled to reach highs of 60 degrees across the Badger State . 
  • Station

    Ave Highs*

    Record Daily Highs  (deg F)

    Year

    Record Daily Low Highs  (deg F)

    Year

    Eau Claire

    83

    97

    1999

    60

    1967

    Green Bay

    81

    96

    1921

    59

    1967

    La Crosse

    85

    100

    1911

    62

    1967

    Madison

    83

    98

    1949, 1955

    60

    1967

    Milwaukee

    80

    98

    1990

    59

    1972

    Wausau

    80

    95

    1999

    60

    1967

    Rhinelander

    79

    95

    1935

    57

    1967

  • * Averages for 1971-2000

  • Station

    Number of Days with 90 degrees or above (1971-2000)

    Number of Days with 80 degrees or above (1971-2000)

    Eau Claire

    4 (13%)

    22 (73%)

    Green Bay

    4 (13%)

    19 (63%)

    La Crosse

    8 (27%)

    24 (80%)

    Madison

    6 (20%)

    24 (80%)

    Milwaukee

    4 (13%)

    16 (53%)

    Wausau

    3 (10%)

    16 (53%)

    Rhinelander

    1 (3%)

    15 (50%)

  • While morning temperatures typically start in the upper 50s and low 60s, low temperatures have fallen to the low 40s and upper 30s across the state.

  •  

    Station

    Ave Lows*

    Record Daily Lows  (deg F)

    Year

    Record Daily High Lows  (deg F)

    Year

    Eau Claire

    60

    42

    1972

    79

    1999

    Green Bay

    58

    43

    1972

    79

    1897

    La Crosse

    64

    44

    1967

    80

    1999

    Madison

    61

    44

    1967, 1972

    77

    1999

    Milwaukee

    62

    45

    1963

    79

    1999

    Wausau

    59

    40

    1972

    78

    1999

    Rhinelander

    56

    37

    1917, 1972

    74

    1999

     

  • The chance of receiving measurable precipitation (0.01 inches or greater) on Independence Day is one day in every three years.  However,  amounts over one inch are relatively rare.
  • Station

    Ave Daily Precipitation*

    (in)

    Number of days with measurable precipitation
    (1971-2000)

    Number of days with 0.1 inch or greater
    (1971-2000)

    Maximum Daily Precipitation

    Record (in)

    Year

    Eau Claire

    0.07

    7 (23%)

    5 (17%)

    2.18

    1900

    Green Bay

    0.16

    10 (33%)

    5 (17%)

    2.52

    1994

    La Crosse

    0.06

    7 (23%)

    5 (17%)

    1.39

    1913

    Madison

    0.15

    9 (30%)

    4 (13%)

    1.39

    1994

    Milwaukee

    0.07

    9 (30%)

    5 (17%)

    1.08

    1904

    Wausau

    0.06

    9 (30%)

    5 (17%)

    2.01

    1958

    Rhinelander

    0.12

    10 (33%)

    6 (20%)

    2.71

    1949

     * Averages for 1971-2000

  • The 4th of July celebration can be not only hot, but muggy.  The dewpoint, which indicates the temperature to which the air could cool and form a fog or dew,  can also be used to assess human comfort.  When dewpoints reach the 60s, many people become  uncomfortable, and at a 70-degree dewpoint, nearly all  feel the humidity. Usually, the air across Wisconsin would have dewpoints in the low 60s, but during the last 50 years, the dewpoint has reached the upper 70s or low 80s on at least one occassion:
  • Station

    Ave Daily Dewpoint*

    (deg F)

    Maximum Dewpoint (deg F)

    Year

    Eau Claire

    60

    78

    1986

    Green Bay

    59

    79

    1999

    La Crosse

    62

    83

    1977

    Madison

    61

    79

    1990

    Milwaukee

    60

    82

    1977

     

  • Have a safe and enjoyable 4th! Many related graphs and links may be on the Summer Climate Page, the Climate Watch Page and the Wisconsin Climate History Page.


         



Latest revision: 29 June 2004

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