11 Consecutive Months With Above Normal Temps for Much of Wisconsin (Updated 9/1)

Much of Wisconsin has experienced 11 consecutive months with above normal average monthly temperatures - from October, 2011 through August, 2012.  This is a remarkable streak, but not the longest!

The records for consecutive months above normal for Madison and Milwaukee is 20 months during the period from December 1997 to July 1999.  

August, 2012 was a different story for a while.  For roughly the first 20 days of the month, the average temperatures were below normal over the entire state.  Since August 20th, temperatures have been above normal, which has erased the temperature deficit over parts of the state.

Roughly the west-central and north-central parts of the state averaged below normal in the temperature department for August.  All other areas of the state were above normal for the month. The map below shows the departure from normal average temperature for the month of August across the Midwest. Other maps similar to this one can be found at the Midwest Regional Climate website.

August Temperature Departure From Normal

Below is table showing temperature departures from normal, for selected cities for the month of August.  Granted, three cities are outside of Wisconsin, however they were included since they are fairly close to the Badger State. 


Departure from Normal (F)





Green Bay


La Crosse


Dubuque, IA


Eau Claire






Duluth, MN


Minneapolis, MN


The reason for the temperature turn-around after August, 20th?  The upper-level wind flow (jet stream level) favored a northwest to southeast pattern over the Great Lakes region in early August, which allowed cooler air masses to come down out of Canada into the Midwest.  Meanwhile, the blocking high pressure aloft over the nation's mid-section in June and July moved west and weakened a bit.  After August 20th, the upper-level winds became more zonal (west to east), a pattern that keeps cooler Canadian air bottled north of the border.

Potentially, more months may be added since there is an elevated chance of above normal temperatures across Wisconsin this fall (September-November) and winter (December-February). The graphic on the left below shows the fall temperature outlook. It depicts a 40 to 50% chance of above normal temperatures in southern Wisconsin. The graphic on the right below shows the winter temperature outlook. It depicts a 40 % chance of above normal temperatures across all of Wisconsin. Click on each image for a larger version.

Fall Temperature Outlook Winter Temperature Outlook

Additional temperature and precipitation outlooks for the up coming months and seasons can be viewed here.

Click here to see a map of the 6-10 Day temperature outlook.

Click here to see a map of the 6-10 Day precipitation outlook.

For information on how warm and dry the summer (June-August) was, how warm and dry the year has been, and how many days have been greater than or equal to 90 or 100 degrees see here.

Kapela/Gehring/ET/Brooks WFO MIlwaukee

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