Any Winter Storm Warnings Issued for SC and SE Wisconsin This Winter? (updated 445 pm 2/21)

It's no secret south-central and southeast Wisconsin have avoided most of the snow storms to affect the Midwest during the current 2011-2012 winter season.

We received a question in our Facebook account - when was the last time there were no winter storm warnings issued for south-central and southeast Wisconsin? (see answer at bottom of this story)

So, we dusted off our notebook containing snow plots for winter storms that deposited 6 inches or more of snow somewhere in Wisconsin.  We have plots going back to 1972.  We're assuming, for the most part, that a winter storm warning was issued for the snow events that had 6 inches or more.   This may not be true 100% of the time, but to make our search simple, let's assume that was the case.  On the flip side, there were instances in which we issued winter storm  warnings, but no winter storm materialized.

Here's what our seach came up with:

1976-1977 Winter Season

There were 3 winter storms in Wisconsin with 6 inches or more of snow, but none of them affected the Madison metro area.  On the other hand, the Milwaukee metro area experienced one of them.

1979-1980 Winter Season

There were only 2 winter storms in Wisconsin....both in the northern part of the state...with more than 6 inches.  The Madison-Milwaukee area didn't have a storm with 6 inches or more....implying that a winter storm warning wasn't issued for this winter for south-central and/or southeast Wisconsin.  We don't have specific information about the issuance of winter storm warnings for this winter season.

1980-1981 Winter Season

There was only 1 winter storm in Wisconsin with 6 inches or more of snow....and it was in south-central and southeast Wisconsin on Feb 9-10th.   Accumulations ranged from 6 to 11.5 inches with Milwaukee Mitchell Field measuring 9.1 inches.  The Madison metro area didn't experience a "storm,"   since they picked up only 4 to 5 inches in the Feb 9-10th system.

1983-1984 Winter Season

There were 7 winter storms in Wisconsin with 6 inches or more of snow, but none of them affected the Milwaukee metro area.  On the other hand, the Madison area experienced one of them.

 1991-1992 Winter Season

There were 7 winter storms in Wisconsin with 6 inches or more of snow, but none of them affected the Madison metro area (Madison came close in two storms with 5 inches).  On the other hand, the Milwaukee metro area experienced a couple of them.

2002-2003 Winter Season

There were 10 winter storms in Wisconsin with 6 inches or more of snow, but none of them affected the Madison metro area.  On the other hand, the Milwaukee metro area experienced a couple of them.

2011-2012 Winter Season

There have been five "winter storms" to affect Wisconsin in this winter season:  Nov 9th, Nov 19th, Jan 12-13th, Jan 20-21st, and Jan 23-24th.  Parts of south-central and southeast Wisconsin experienced the effects of two of these "storms" - Nov 9th and Jan 12-13th.  However, since these snow events occurred during a time when there was minimal impact to society, the NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan office chose not to issue winter storm warnings for these two systems.  In other words, they were "low-end" warning events, barely having more than 6 inches of snow.  The Madison area hasn't had a 6 inch or greater snowfall event this winter, but the Milwaukee area has.

Final Conclusinon

The 1979-1980 winter season didn't have a winter storm consisting of 6 inches or more of snow that affected south-central and/or southeast Wisconsin.  Most  likely the NWS Milwaukee weather office didn't issue a winter storm warning, but we don't have documentation to prove it.  This was probably the quietiest winter in recent memory for all of southern Wisconsin - at least in terms of winter storms.

Specifically the Madison metro area didn't experience a "storm" with 6 inches or more of snow in the following winter seasons: 1976-1977, 1979-1980, 1980-1981, and 1991-1992.  So far, 2011-2012 may join this club.

Specifically, the Milwaukee metro area didn't experience a "storm" with 6 inches or more of snow in the following winter seasons: 1979-1980, 1983-1984.  So far, 2011-2012 may join this club.



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