2012-2013 Winter Season Thus Far - Milwaukee & Madison (Updated 1/18)

It's been an interesting winter season in Southern Wisconsin - sort of a roller-coastal ride!

Although November is not considered a core-winter month, many people consider it part of winter since the month can be cold and snow can start falling. Overall, southern Wisconsin has been warmer than normal during the 2012-13 winter season of November 1st through January 15, 2013.  Precipitation-wise southern Wisconsin has been slightly below normal.

Temperature & Precipitation Summary

1.  November 2012's temperatures were near normal to slightly below normal while precipitation was well below normal.

2.  December 2012's  temperatures were above normal and precipitation was above normal.  We had record warmth during the period of December 1-4 in which maximum temperatures ranged from the mid 50s to a record breaking 65 degrees in Milwaukee and Madison.

3.  Through January 17th, January 2013's temperatures were 3 to 5 degrees above normal while precipitation was below normal except southeast of Interstate-43 where it was near normal.

Snowfall Summary

1.  November 2012's snowfall was generally less than an inch and some locations had only a trace, so below normal.

2.  December' 2012's snowfall was centered around the big winter storm/blizzard on December 19-20 which dumped 12 to 20 inches from Lafayette County northeast to Fond du Lac County.  This was the first major winter storm of the season for southern Wisconsin.  Additionally, there were three other systems that deposited 1 to 6 inches over parts of southern Wisconsin in December, 2012.

3. Through January 17th, January 2013's snowfall was well below normal.  Only two weather systems generated snows - and amounts were less than an inch in both.  

Milwaukee & Madison Temperature Bargraphs

Below are graphics of the daily high and low temperatures in Milwaukee and Madison through January 15th. Click on image for larger version.  To view updated bar graphs for both cities, click here.

 Temperature Bar Graph

Nov-Dec-Jan Temperature & Precipiation Departures and Snowfall in Midwest

Below are two graphics containing various images.  The graphic on the left is for November and December of 2012.  The top row contains information for the month of November, 2012 - temperature departures from normal, precipitation departures from normal, and snowfall totals for the last week of the month (the only week in November, 2012 with decent snow).  The bottom row provides similar information for the month of December, 2012, except the snowfall is for the entire month.  The graphic on the right contains similar information for the month of January, 2013, through the 15th of the month.  Click on images for larger version

Nov-Dec Graphics  Jan 2013 data

Individual images in above graphics courtesy of Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC).  Additional climate information can be found at the Wisconsin State Climatology Office.

2012-2013 Winter Season Snowfall Through January 17, 2013

Below is a table showing monthly snowfall amounts in Milwaukee and Madison, the total through January 17th and the winter season departure from normal.  Overall, most locations have had near normal snowfall for the current winter season, plus or minus a couple-three inches.  However, the southeast corner is obviously well below normal in the snowfall department.












-14.5 inches








Comparison of December 2012 Temperatures With December 2011

Comparing December 2011 with December 2012 for Madison, we found that December 2012's temperatures were slightly colder than in 2011, but still above average.  The December 2012 average temperature in Milwaukee was actually a half-degree warmer than for December 2011.

Below is a December 2011 versus December 2012 temperature comparison for Milwaukee and Madison.  

 Temperature Comparison Table:

Madison December 2012 Normal December 2011
Average High 36.8 30.2 38.6
Average Low 22.9 15.9 23.1
Mean 29.9 23.0 30.8

 Temperature Comparison Table:

Milwaukee  December 2012 Normal December 2011
Average High 39.7  32.8  39.7 
Average Low 27.9  20.1  26.9 
Mean 33.8  26.5  33.3 

  Dec 2011 versus Dec 2012 Precipitation - Madison

In the precipitation department, both Decembers were wetter than normal, but December 2012 was wetter than in 2011.

The big winter storm/blizzard on December 19-20th provided the lion's share of monthly precipitation for Madison in December 2012. 



  Dec 2011 versus Dec 2012 Precipitation - Milwaukee

In the precipitation department, both Decembers were wetter than normal, but December 2012 was wetter than in 2011.




NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan WI


The big winter storm/blizzard on December 19-20th provied the lion's share of monthly precipitation for Milwaukee in December 2012.  Most of the precipitation with this storm was in the form of rain. 

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