December 2012 opened with four very warm days -- in which high temperatures reached the 50s or even into the 60s. The average temperatures for each day ranged from 13 to 27 degrees above normal - on par with the departures we experienced back in March, 2012.
Below is Milwaukee's maximum, minimum, daily average and departure from normal for the first four days:
DY MAX MIN AVG DEP1 58 40 49 +172 59 39 49 +183 65 44 55 +244 56 30 43 +13
Below is Madison's maximum, minimum, daily average and departure from normal for the first four days:
DY MAX MIN AVG DEP1 54 36 45 +172 56 39 48 +203 65 42 54 +274 54 27 41 +14Record Warmth On December 2nd:
Milwaukee set a record high of 65 degrees on Monday, December 2nd. This broke the previous record high of 64, set in 1998.
This also set the 2nd warmest high temperature recorded in Milwaukee during the month of December. The all-time record high was 68 degrees, set on December 5th, 2001.
Madison set a record high of 65 degrees on Monday, December 2nd. This broke the previous record high of 61, set in 1998.
In addition, this set the all-time record high temperature for the month of December at Madison! The previous all-time record high temperature for the month of December was 64 degrees, set on December 5, 2001.
Some people asked how warm it would have been, assuming full sunhine on December 2nd. As you remember, it was mostly cloudy. High temperatures would have reached 71 to 73 if we had full sunshine on the 2nd.
Number of Days in December >= 50 degrees F:
One then may ask, how often on average does it get into the 50s in December in Milwaukee and Madison? For Milwaukee its 1.6 days per December and it’s 1.2 days for Madison. These averages encompass a data set that spans from 1869 to 2012, and 1871 to 2012, for Madison and Milwaukee, respectively. Below are two graphs showing the number of days in December with maximum temperatures 50 °F or higher for the two cities. Notice the variation from year to year. A simple linear trend line is overlaid (red line).
Number of Days in December, 2012 Above 50 Degrees F:
Through December 4th, both Milwaukee and Madison have had 4 days with high temperatures above 50 F, which is above average. Will we have more similar days during the remainder of December, 2012? We'll have to wait and see!