Arctic Airmass Over The Region (Updated 9:00 AM 1/21)


The cold snap that is hitting the area is unquestionably tough on those that have to be outside, or for those who's furnace struggles to keep up.  The details on the current arctic blast are immediately below.  But, for some historical perspective, know that it has been much worse.  Who remembers late January through early February 1996?  Madison had a 10 day streak with lows falling below zero and for 4 days the highs never climbed above zero. It dropped to -29 the morning of Feb 3, 1996. The high temperature on Feb 2 only reached -14!  Milwaukee wasn't as cold, but it was still a tough stretch. Milwaukee had 8 days in a row with lows below zero and for two days the highs never climbed above zero. The lowest was -26 on Feb 3. The high temperature on Feb 2 was only -8.

Now, the details of our current arctic blast:  Cold air will linger over south central and southeast Wisconsin through Wednesday.  This stretch of weather will be the coldest so far this winter, with wind chills falling as low as -20 to -30 tonight and Tuesday morning.  A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for south central Wisconsin, and Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Counties.  The Wind Chill Advisory goes into effect for the rest of the area beginning at 6 PM this evening.  The Wind Chill Advisory will be in effect until noon Tuesday.

Below is a map of the Wind Chill Advisory area:

Below is the forecast for the next few days:





Lows this Morning

Tuesday Morning Lows

Wednesday Morning Lows

Click on any of the above images for a larger image.

The last time Milwaukee had a high temperature below zero was February 4, 2007, the high was -1 degrees.  On average, Milwaukee has 0.8 days a year with sub-zero high temperatures.  The last time Madison had a high temperature below zero was January 15, 2009, the high was -2 degrees.  On average, Madison has 1.4 days a year with sub-zero high temperatures.

The last time Milwaukee experienced minimum temperatures below zero was on January 20, 2012, when it dropped to -1F.  On the previous day, January 19th, Milwaukee dropped to zero for a minimum.  The last time Madison experienced a minimum temperature below zero was on January 1, 2013, when the low dropped to -7F.

Check out the normal and record temperatures for this time of year in Madison and Milwaukee here.  The middle of January is the coldest period of the year.

Learn more about wind chill here.

Also, ReadyWisconsin sent out a press release containing information concerning the bitter cold temperatures.

National Weather Service - Milwaukee/Sullivan, WI

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