Category Archives: Climate
Permafrost is ground that is frozen for at least two years. It remains frozen all year and contains plant material that has not yet completely decomposed.
Permafrost is mostly located in polar regions, though it also occurs in some high mountain tops where it is called alpine permafrost. There is no permafrost in Madison, though our ground does freeze in most winters. Continue reading
Last year we experienced a persistently cold winter (December-January-February) that ended up being the coldest since 1979.
This year has been different. The Midwest Regional Climate Center is experimenting with what they are calling the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI), which incorporates temperature, snowfall and snow depth to rate the severity of winter. Continue reading
First, let’s consider air temperature.
The Wisconsin Initiative for Climate Change Impacts, or WICCI, analyzed data from 1950 to 2006, a 57-year period. Wisconsin has warmed during this period.
The observed warming since 1950 has been greatest in winter, with an average increase of 2.5 degrees across Wisconsin. Winter temperatures in northwestern Wisconsin have increased by 3.5 to 4.5 degrees. Continue reading
It doesn’t take an exceptional attention span to realize that this year’s cold season (starting in November) has been very changeable.
November was 6.1 degrees colder than normal, then December was surprisingly mild (5.8 degrees above normal). As of Thursday — mid-month — January has been 8.5 degrees below normal. Continue reading
For the first time in about 25 years, the water level of the all the Great Lakes is above normal. Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron are about 5 inches above the long term average.
This ends a 15-year period where lake levels have been below historic averages. Continue reading