Tag Archives: Temperature

Was March colder than normal?

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

Category: Climate
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How cold has this winter been, historically?

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

Category: Climate
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How did we set an all-time high temperature record under cloudy skies?

On Dec. 3 the high temperature of 65 degrees F was the all-time highest December temperature ever recorded in Madison. Among the interesting aspects of this record high was the fact that the entire day was cloudy so local sunshine had no role in achieving this record. This prompts an interesting question — what processes can contribute to changing the temperature at a location? Continue reading

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What are cooling degree days?

A degree day is a measure of heating or cooling. A degree day is defined as a departure of the mean daily temperature from a given standard: one degree day for each degree of departure above (or below) the base temperature during one day. The degree day is related to the outside temperature and is not related to time. Continue reading

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Did we hit record for 90-degree days?

Though it isn’t unprecedented to get another day above 90 degrees this late in the year (the all-time latest such day in Madison’s history is Oct. 14, 1975), it is very likely our run at the record of 90-degree days in a season will end at 39 — agonizingly one day shy of the record 40 set in 1955. Continue reading

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