Category Archives: Climate

When can it get really hot in southern Wisconsin?

Our cold early April seems to have finally given way to a surging spring. Now that we have seemingly emerged from winter, with reasonable confidence that we will not go back, it is interesting to consider when truly summerlike weather might first appear in southern Wisconsin.

One measure of summer here is a daytime high temperature at or above 90 degrees. In Madison, there have been only three April days when the high temperature was that warm. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

Comments Off on When can it get really hot in southern Wisconsin?

Did we have a normal winter this year?

As far as our winter time mean temperature, southern Wisconsin was above normal by about 5 degrees.

Being warmer than normal is typical during an El Nino year, and that is what we experienced this winter. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

Comments Off on Did we have a normal winter this year?

What is Groundhog Day and do the forecasts work?

Long before computers, the Weather Channel and the Internet, humans needed weather forecasts. Farmers and sailors particularly needed to know if storms were approaching.

Over time, various folklore forecasts, often in the form of short rhymes, were devised and passed down through the generations. Although memorable, the folklore forecasts are of uneven quality—some good, others bad. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

Comments Off on What is Groundhog Day and do the forecasts work?

What is a 100-year flood?

A flood occurs when water flows into a region faster than it can be stored in a lake or reservoir, absorbed into the soil, or removed by runoff into a drainage basin.

There are several conditions that can result in flooding: a long-lasting rainfall over a watershed, intense thunderstorms, or rainfall that causes rapid snow melt. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Severe Weather

Comments Off on What is a 100-year flood?

When does the first freeze occur in fall?

The cooldown that we enjoyed over the weekend, after the prolonged warm and humid spell that began September, got us thinking about the inevitable first morning with a temperature below 32 degrees.

We are less than two weeks away from the autumnal equinox, the last day until late March on which the day is at least as long as the night. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons

Comments Off on When does the first freeze occur in fall?