Independence Day Climate Statistics & Weather History

Below are some Independence Day weather statistics for La Crosse, WI and Rochester, MN.

La Crosse, WI:

The following statistics comprises 141 years of data. From 1873 through 1950, the data came from various locations in downtown La Crosse. Since 1950, the data has been gathered at La Crosse Regional Airport.

Independence Day in La Crosse, WI
(Period of Record 1873-2013)

1981-2010 
Normals
(July 4th)
Records
Maximum Temperature
85 F
Warmest High Temperature
103 F
July 4, 2012
Coldest High Temperature
62 F
July 4, 1967
Minimum Temperature
62 F
 
Warmest Low Temperature
81 F
July 4, 2012
Coldest Low Temperature
44 F
July 4, 1967
Average Temperature
73.5 F
 
Warmest Average Temperature
92.0 F
July 4, 2012
Coldest Average Temperature
53.0 F
July 4, 1967
Precipitation
0.14"
Wettest
1.39 "
July 4, 1913

The odds of having any precipitation on Independence Day are 48.9% (69 out of 141).  There has been measurable precipitation (0.01" or greater) on 57 Independence Days and trace amounts (less than 0.01") on 12 Independence Days. 

During last year's Independence Day, the high temperature was 86 degrees, the low temperature was 61 degrees, and 0.14 inches of precipitation fell. 

Rochester, MN:

The following statistics comprises 128 years of data. From 1916 through 1931, the data came from several cooperative observers in the Rochester area. Since 1932, the data has been gathered at Rochester International Airport. No data was taken on Independence Day from 1889 to 1891 and from 1921 to 1928.

Independence Day in Rochester, MN
(Period of Record 1886-2013)

1981-2010
Normals
(July 4th)
Records
Maximum Temperature
82 F
Warmest High Temperature
98 F
July 4, 1949
Coldest High Temperature
60 F
July 4, 1967
Minimum Temperature
61 F
Warmest Low Temperature
75 F

July 4, 2012

Coldest Low Temperature
43 F
 July 4, 1972
July 4, 1967
Average Temperature
71.5 F
 
Warmest Average Temperature
86.0 F
July 4, 1949
July 4, 1911
Coldest Average Temperature
51.5 F
July 4, 1967
Precipitation
0.14"
Wettest
1.40"
July 4, 1913

The odds of having any precipitation on Independence Day are 46.1% (47 out of 102).  There has been measurable precipitation (0.01" or greater) on 35 Independence Days and trace amounts (less than 0.01") on 12 Independence Days. 

During last year's Independence Day, the high temperature was 86 degrees, the low temperature was 61 degrees, and no precipitation fell. 

Animated Fireworks
Independence Day
Weather History
Animated Fireworks

The following weather events affected southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and western Wisconsin on Independence Day:

  • In 1901 - between two and four inches of rain fell from southeast Minnesota northeast into northern Lower Michigan and Upper Michigan. Some of the heaviest totals included: Neillsville, WI (3.80"), St. Charles, MN (3.43"), and.Caledonia, MN (3.10").
  • In 1907 - Neillsville, WI received 3.50 inches of rain.
  • In 1911 - much of the Upper Mississippi River Valley was in the midst of a heat wave that began on July 1st and continued into July 5th. Osage, IA reached 103 F on Independence Day. This was their hottest temperature ever recorded. Other locations that reached 100 degrees on July 4th included:

    • In Western Wisconsin: La Crosse (100 F), Lancaster (100 F), Muscoda (101 F), and Viroqua (102 F)
    • In Southeast Minnesota: Grand Meadow (102 F)
    • In Northeast Iowa: Charles City (104 F), Decorah (104 F), Elkader (104 F), Elma (102 F), Fayette (103 F), Mason City (104 F), and New Hampton (104 F).
  • In 1912 - Hatfield, WI received 3.50" inches of rain.
  • In 1967 - Decorah, IA (41), Elkader, IA (46), and Genoa, WI (46) recorded their coldest July temperature.
  • In 1972 - Blair, WI (36) and Jump River, WI (27) had their coldest July temperature. Also, Jump River has the coldest temperature ever recorded in July for Wisconsin.
  • In 1994 - a series of squall lines with severe thunderstorms produced five tornadoes and violent wind gusts to 77 mph. A tornado set down in Dickeyville (Grant County) and traveled three miles damaging five homes, two sheds, and two farms. Damage was about $200,000. A small tornado caused $100,000 damage to a house, two outbuildings and nine cars just southeast of Woodford (Lafayette County). A tornado skipped along an eight mile path starting two miles northwest of Prairie du Sac (Sauk County), moving northeast along Highway 78, crossing the Wisconsin River into Columbia County along Highway 188, then crossed back into Sauk County at Highway 113 and entered Merrimac. Damage was estimated at $760,000 to 60 homes in Merrimac, and to a fertilizer plant and Dairy Forage Center in Prairie du Sac. Tornadoes briefly touched down but caused no damage four miles west of Fremont (Waupaca County) and 1.5 miles north of Oregon (Dane County). The intense winds knocked down numerous trees and power lines and caused other property damage mainly to sheds and outbuildings.
  • In 2012 - much of the Upper Mississippi River Valley was in the midst of a heat wave that began on July 2nd and continued into July 6th.  Many locations (38 record highs) had their warmest Independence Day ever recorded.  The following locations topped the century mark:  Northeast Iowa:  Guttenberg (100) and Oelwein (102F) and Western Wisconsin:  Boscobel (103F), Genoa Dam (101F), La Crosse (103F), Sparta (102F),  

    When the high humidity was factored in, afternoon and early evening heat indices ranged 100 to 115.  Heat Advisories were in effect July 2nd for portions of the region, with Excessive Heat Warnings covering much of the Upper Mississippi River Valley from July 3rd through July 6th.

    July 2-7, 2012 Temperatures
    Temperatures

    July 2-7, 2012 Temperatures
    Dew Points

    July 2-7, 2012 Heat Indices
    Heat Indices

    Tragically, the extreme heat also was deadly as several people lost their lives from heat related factors. Five people perished from July 4th through July 10th across western and central Wisconsin, mainly from lack of air conditioning in their residences.

     Factors that led to the prolonged, oppressive heat wave:

    • Drier than normal conditions
    • Strong, persistent ridge of high pressure
    • Little to no rain


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