Category Archives: Climate
Nearly everyone is happy to see March 2013 end, as it was an unusually persistent cold month. In fact, Madison ended up 7.4 degrees below normal for March 2013 making it the 18th coldest March in the city’s history. Madison had only four days when the average temperature was at or above normal. Of course, March 2013 followed on the heels of the warmest March ever in March 2012 when the daily average temperature was 16.1 degrees above normal. Continue reading
The drought that began in the spring of 2012 is actually an extension of the 2010 drought. The recent February storms have lessened the current drought, which covered 80 percent of the lower 48 states of the United States with at least abnormally dry conditions. The economic impact on the Midwest has been estimated to be more than $35 billion. Continue reading
Last week was one of the coldest of the season in the southeast United States. Though not as bad as prior cold air outbreaks in late January or early February, such events have been known to present a substantial threat to the citrus industry in Florida. The problem is that when the temperature gets below freezing, the fruit itself can freeze rendering it substantially less valuable to the market. Continue reading
There are a few ways to classify climates. The plant hardiness zones often published with seed packages are one way to group climates. That approach is based on minimum wintertime temperatures but is limited in its usefulness because a good climate map should include reference to more than one weather variable. Continue reading
Wednesday is the 62nd anniversary of the coldest day ever in Madison — Jan. 30, 1951 — when the temperature dropped to minus 37 F.
As we described in a column a couple of years ago, to get the air that desperately cold in Madison a healthy snow cover is necessary. This January, we had a warm spell near mid-month that effectively melted most of the snow remaining from our December snowstorm. Thus, even though last week’s cold was the worst of the season thus far, it was a lot less cold than it might have been had it occurred while we had a deep, fresh snow cover. Continue reading