The combination of strong southwesterly winds, little to no snow pack, and a surging warm air mass brought the first real taste of spring to the area Tuesday. Although temperatures were shy of breaking records, it was well above normal and made for a pleasant day. A cold front will slide across the area today, bringing clouds and light rain, but highs will still be above normal - in the 50s to near 60.
|La Crosse, WI
|Record||74 (2000)||67 (2000)|
|Average first 60 degree day||March 23||March 29|
|2011's first 60 degree day||April 6||April 3|
|Earliest first 60 degree day||Feb 11 (1882)||Feb 17 (1981)|
|Last 60 degree day in 2011||Nov 6 (62)||Nov 24 (60)|
For a listing of maximum temperatures across west central Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota, and northeast Iowa Tuesday, click here
Below is an example of how snow pack (or not) can influence surface temperatures. The image shows lines of constant temperature (called isotherms) overlaid onto a visible satellite image taken at 1 pm Tuesday. Areas across central and northern Minnesota, the northern half of Wisconsin, and even parts of southeast Wisconsin (including Madison and Milwaukee) had snow cover. A tight gradient exists between temperatures in the 60s and 70s (no snow cover) to 40s (snow cover).