New Year's Day Climatology

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

La Crosse, WI:

The following statistics comprises 140 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.

New Years Day in La Crosse, WI
(Period of Record 1873-2011)

Means
Records
Maximum Temperature
26 F
Warmest High Temperature
57 F
January 1, 1897
Coldest High Temperature
-2 F
January 1, 1974
Minimum Temperature
10 F
 
Warmest Low Temperature
37 F
January 1, 1950
Coldest Low Temperature
-21 F
January 1, 1974
Average Temperature
18 F
 
Warmest Average Temperature
46.5 F
January 1, 1897
Coldest Average Temperature
-11.5 F
January 1, 1974
Precipitation
0.03"
Wettest
0.92"
January 1, 1876
Snowfall
0.3"
Snowiest
5.5"
January 1, 1942
Snow Depth
at 7 AM
4"
Most Snow of Ground
at 7 AM
20"
January 1, 1969

The odds of having any precipitation at all on New Years Day is 53.4% (75 out of 140).  There has been measurable (0.01" or greater) precipitation on 46 New Years Days and trace amounts (less than 0.01") of precipitation on 29 New Years Days. It has snowed on 54 out of 110 (49.1%) New Years Days. Measurable snow (0.1" or greater) has fallen on 26 New Years Days. Since 1893, residents have woken up with measurable snow (half inch or greater) on the ground 85 times and trace amounts (less than a half inch) on 15 times.

In 2012, the high temperature was 35 degrees and the low temperature was 20 degrees. There was 0.11 inches of precipitation and a trace of snow. There snow was on the ground that morning.

Rochester, MN:

The following statistics comprises 111 years of data. From 1887 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 New Years Day from 1890, 1891, 1908, 1909, from 1921 to 1928.

New Years Day in Rochester, MN
(Period of Record 1887-2012)

Means
Records
Maximum Temperature
24 F
Warmest High Temperature
42 F
January 1, 1998
Coldest High Temperature
-13 F
January 1, 1974
Minimum Temperature
9 F
 
Warmest Low Temperature
30 F
January 1, 1965
Coldest Low Temperature
-29 F
January 1, 1974
Average Temperature
16 F
 
Warmest Average Temperature
37.5 F
January 1, 1950
January 1, 1913
Coldest Average Temperature
-21.0 F
January 1, 1974
Precipitation
0.03"
Wettest
0.67"
January 1, 1941
Snowfall
0.3"
Snowiest
1.4"
January 1, 1999
Snow Depth
at 7 AM
5"
Most Snow of Ground
at 7 AM
19"
January 1, 2001
January 1, 1969

The odds of having any precipitation at all on New Years Day is 56.1% (55 out of 98).  There has been measurable (0.01" or greater) precipitation on 29 New Years Days and trace amounts (less than 0.01") of precipitation on 26 New Years Days. Since 1929, it has snowed on 45 out of 80 (54.2%) New Years Days. Measurable snow (0.1" or greater) has fallen on 22 New Years Days. Since 1939, residents have woken up with measurable snow (half inch or greater) on the ground 55 times and trace amounts (less than a half inch) on 11 times.

In 2012, the high temperature was 34 degrees and the low temperature was 18 degrees. There was 0.01 inches of precipitation and a tenth of an inch of snow. Only a trace of snow was on the ground that morning.


The following weather events happened on New Years Day:

  • In 1897, record warmth was felt across northeast Iowa, southwest and central Wisconsin. The following cities recorded their warmest January temperatures: In IA: Elkader (64), Cresco (54). In WI: Prairie du Chien (66), Lancaster (60), La Crosse (57, tied with 1/25/1981), Viroqua (55), Medford (52). The temperature at Prairie du Chien also set a state record for the warmest January temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin.
  • In 1919, snow began on New Year's Eve and continued into the afternoon on New Year's Day. Some snow totals included: Viroqua, WI (8"), La Crosse, WI (7.6"), New Hampton, IA (7.5"), Fayette, IA (7"). The snow caused train delays.
  • In 1942, heavy snow fell across northeast Iowa.  Some snowfall totals included:  Fayette, IA (13"), New Hampton, IA (8").
  • In 1949, seven inches of snow fell at La Crescent, MN.
  • In 1961, Harmony MN received 16 inches of snow.  This was their greatest one-day snowfall.
  • In 1978, a snow storm brought significant snows to the region.  Some snowfall totals included:  In IA: Elkader (10"), Decorah (9"), Charles City (8"), Fayette (8"), Lansing (8"), Waucoma (8"), New Hampton (7"), Osage (7"), Oelwein (6") . In MN: Grand Meadow (8"), Caledonia (7"), Lanesboro (6.4"), Genoa (6"), Wabasha (6"). In WI: Prairie du Chien (12"), Mauston (9"), Readstown (9"), Galesville (8"), Lancaster (8"), Muscoda (8"), Platteville (6.2"), Cashton (6"), Lynxville (6"), Richland Center (6"), Trempealeau (6"), Viroqua (6").
  • In 1979, Lynxville, WI received 6.5 inches of snow.
  • In 1985, heavy snow fell across northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.  Some snowfall totals included:  Platteville, WI (7.5") and Elkader, IA (6").
  • In 1999, heavy snow fell across northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.  Some snowfall totals included:  La Farge, WI (8") and Osage, IA (6").
  • In 2002, La Crosse, WI had only 1" of snow for the season to date. This broke the old record 1.5" of snow set back during the winter of 1965-66. However, La Crosse would still go on to record 32.9" for the 2001-02 snow season.
  • In 2005, a cold front moved through the region Friday, December 31 and eventually become stationary south of the area on January 1st. Cold air settled in behind the front with temperatures falling from the 40s and 50s into the 20s and 30s. An upper level disturbance moved across the upper Midwest on January 1st and 2nd. As this disturbance moved through, air temperatures above the surface warmed above freezing, while surface temperatures remain below freezing. Freezing rain developed across southern Minnesota, northern Iowa into central and southern Wisconsin during the morning and afternoon of the 1st and continued into the early morning hours of the 2nd before shifting east of the area. Ice accumulations from the freezing rain ranged from little or none up to a half inch across portions of southeast Minnesota and western and north central Wisconsin.
  • In 2012, a low pressure system moved east across Iowa on New Year's Eve and northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin on New Year's morning. At the same time, a cold front moved east across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Temperatures ahead of this low pressure system and cold front were in the 30s and 40s. A band of rain developed along the cold front. Temperatures were cool enough along and north of the Interstate 90 corridor for the rain to change over to snow. The heaviest snow (2 to 5 inches) in our area fell across Taylor County in north central Wisconsin during the evening of New Year's Eve through the early morning hours of New Year's Day. Further west, there were even some reports of thunder snow across east central Minnesota. One of these thunderstorms near Fairmont produced sustained winds of 40 mph and wind gusts to 78 mph. (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/arx/?n=jan0112)


Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.