Monthly Archives: January 2019
On Jan. 30, 1951, the morning low temperature in Madison fell to minus 37. Nearly 12 years later, on Jan. 15, 1963, the mercury dropped to precisely minus 30.
These two days remain the only dates in Madison’s recorded history with temperatures as cold as minus 30. On those record-setting days a number of characteristic meteorological conditions were in play to drive the temperature to such extremes. Continue reading
Though we have enjoyed a remarkably warm December and first half of January in Madison this year, we are now entering deep winter.
The period from Dec. 1 through Jan. 17 has averaged 7.4 degrees above normal this year and has contributed to our breaking or approaching several obscure, but nonetheless, interesting records of prolonged warmth — provided courtesy of Jordan Gerth at the Space Science and Engineering Center at UW-Madison. Continue reading
Most of Antarctica is covered by ice.
The ice sheet is over 2 miles thick in places and in some places the ice sheet bottom is almost a mile below sea level. This massive ice covers mountain ranges, and volcanoes exist underneath the sheets. Continue reading
Thus far the winter has been relatively mild around the Northern Hemisphere. This December was the 14th-warmest December, and the period from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 was the eighth-warmest since 1948.
Such a prolonged delay to the onset of winter makes one wonder if it will ever arrive this year. Though there is no clear way to be sure about the answer to that question, one potential phenomenon that can encourage a winter-like cold air outbreak is a sudden warming of the lower stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere between 6 and 20 miles above the surface. Continue reading
The year began with frigid temperatures across Wisconsin. The average temperatures for the first seven days of January were well below normal across southern Wisconsin with most areas at least 15 degrees below normal.
The end of 2018 saw temperatures several degrees warmer than normal, including a record high temperature of 50 F on Dec. 27, tying a record high for the date, last set in 2003, and previously set in 1936 and 1946. Continue reading