November 5-9, 2012 is Wisconsin Winter Awareness Week

Are you ready for winter?   Are you even thinking about winter?

We can't stop the approach of winter, so let's review information about winter in order to minimize the loss of life and property during the next 5 to 6 months when snow and ice are possible across Wisconsin.

For starters, please take a look at the following images:

Winter Weather Pictures  WI average snowfall  Averge number of Winter Storms in Wisconsin

(Click on images above for larger versions)


The five NWS offices servicing Wisconsin have worked with Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) and ReadyWisconsin folks to generate a variety of winter-realted information that will help you prepare for the hazards associated with winters in Wisconsin.  Information can be found on-line, on varioius computer circuits, and broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.

Milwaukee/Sullivan NWS Forecast Office

Green Bay NWS NWS Forecast Office

La Crosse NWS Forecast Office

Minneapolis/Chanhassen NWS Forecast Office

Duluth NWS Forecast Office

Wisconsin Emergency Managment - Information on all kinds of emergencies.

ReadyWisconsin .  Detailed winter information, a media kit and a video clip of a Public Service Announcment.


Governor's Proclamation:

WAW12 Governor's Proclamation

(Click on image above for larger version)


Basics of Winter Awareness Week campaign:

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the planned events and become more aware of the dangers of winter weather in Wisconsin.

Winter hazards include the following events...
     -light snows that create slippery road surfaces
     -heavy snows with or without strong winds
     -ice storms
     -sleet storms
     -ground blizzards
     -extreme cold and low wind chills
     -widespread high winds
     -glazings of freezing drizzle or freezing rain
     -dense fog

Other indirectly-related winter hazards include...
     -carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty space heaters or stoves used in homes...garages...hunting/fishing shelters.

     -carbon monoxide poisoning from clogged vehicle exhaust. If your vehicle becomes stuck in deep snow make sure the exhaust pipe is free from snow.

     -swallowing of vehicle anti-freeze solutions which can lead to illness and fatalities in both humans and pets.

Don/t forget about those vehicle accidents...
According to the Wisconsin Department of average of about 20,000 vehicle accidents occur in the state each winter when roads are covered with slush.  This results in an average of about 60 deaths and 6,000 injuries each winter season.  Many of these accidents can be avoided.

History suggests it takes at least one or two snowfall events for motorists to relearn how to drive on snow-covered or icy roads.  Consequently, a disproportionate number of vehicle accidents occur during the first and second snowfall events.  On a related matter, auto-body businesses see an increase in work during the first couple snow events.

Planned Winter Awareness Week activities include...
     - winter weather safety tips and other bits of information which will be broadcast on noaa weather radios that have coverage in Wisconsin.

     - periodic public information statements containing winter storm terminology and safety tips sent on the NOAA Weather Wire and NOAA Weather Radio All-hazards.

     - broadcast and print media messages and reports.

We encourage the assistance of members of the broadcast and print media to promote winter weather safety.  Please contact your local National weather service office or Emergency Manager if you need additional information or would like to conduct an interview.

Winter Oulook:

U.S. 2012-2013 Winter Outlook

Dates for Trace, Measurable and One Inch Snow Accumulations - First/Average/Last:

Earliest trace...Sep 20 1954
Earliest measurable...Oct 6 1889  /0.1 inch/
Earliest one inch accum...Oct 17 1896  /1.0 inch/

Average date for first trace...Oct 28th
Average date for first measurable...Nov 14th
Average date for first one inch...Dec 2nd

Latest trace...Dec 5 1999
Latest measurable...Dec 26 1888  /0.1 inch/
Latest one inch accum...Jan 20 1889  /1.0 inch/

Earliest trace...Sep 23 1928
Earliest measurable...Oct 6 1964  /0.5 inch/
Earliest one inch accum...Oct 10 1990  /3.0 inches/

Average date for first trace...Oct 25th
Average date for first measurable...Nov 5th
Average date for first one inch...Nov 18th

Latest trace...Nov 28 1994
Latest measurable...Dec 15 1999  /0.9 inch/
Latest one inch accum...Dec 23 2001  /1.1 inch/

Examples of Major-impact Winter Storms in Wisconsin:

1)  February 1-2, 2011 Groundhog Blizzard  

2)  February 5-6, 2008 Southern Wisconsin Winter Storm

3)  March 2-4, 1881 Southern Wisconsin Winter Storm/Blizzard

4)  Listing of major winter storms in Wisconsin

5)  Memorable Snowstorm in Milwaukee

Dates for First Winter Storm in Wisconsin (6-inch snow accumulation in at least one county):

Date of First Winter Storm in Wisconsin










Nov 4-5


Oct 10


Oct 6-7


Nov 13


Nov 23


Oct 31


Oct 25-26


Nov 9


Dec 1-2


Nov 1-2


Oct 20-21




Nov 8-9


Nov 4-5


Nov 22-24




Feb 5


Nov 27-28


Nov 27-28




Dec 14-15


Nov 23


Nov 15-16




Nov 5-6


Nov 9-11


Oct 11-13




Oct 19-20


Dec 4-5


Nov 5-6






Nov 15-16


Nov 6-7






Nov 23-24


Dec 8-9



 Seasonal Snowfall and Average Winter Temperature* Since 2000

SEASON       SNOW      TEMP           SEASON      SNOW     TEMP
2011-12         29.6      30.9                 2011-12          31.4     28.6
2010-11         61.9      23.5                 2010-11          73.1     19.5
2009-10         51.6      20.7                 2009-10          38.3     25.4
2008-09         76.0      21.8                 2008-09          72.0     17.1
2007-08         99.1      23.6                 2007-08        101.4     18.5
2006-07         58.1      25.7                 2006-07          52.5     22.8
2005-06         37.9      27.6                 2005-06          47.6     24.6
2004-05         48.6      26.5                 2004-05          43.7     24.9
2003-04         39.2      25.0                 2003-04          26.7     22.2
2002-03         34.7      23.9                 2002-03          28.8     21.2
2001-02         36.5      31.7                 2001-02          31.8     29.7
2000-01         59.6      21.6                 2000-01          52.2     17.5

* Average Winter Temperature = average temperature for the months of December-January-February


ReadyWisconsin - Detailed information about Winter Awarness Week, a media kit and a video clip of a Public Service Announcment.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

WisDOT Travel Information

Preparedness Page

NOAA-NWS 2012-2013 Winter Outlook

Climate Prediction Center - outlooks for 6-10 Day, 8-14 Day, Monthly, Seasons

Wisconsin State Climatology Office

Midwest Regional Climate Center

Wisconsin Summer/Winter Severe Weather Climatology Page

Local Winter Awarness Page.  A variety of winter graphics, public information statements, safety tips, and other useful stuff.

Severe Weather Summary Page - watches, warnings, and advisories for south-central and southeast Wisconsin,

Wisconsin Weather Information - good 1-stop shop.

Local Winter Weather Summary-Briefing Page

HPC Winter Weather Forecasts - national basis, rain and snow amounts.

U.S. Weather Extremes

Storm Data - publication summarizing summer/winter severe weather events in U.S., 1959 - present.

Kapela, WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan

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