This report describes the historical weather record at the Dane County Regional Airport (Madison, Wisconsin, United States) during 1968. This station has records back to January 1948.
Madison, Wisconsin has a humid continental climate with hot summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by grasslands (49%), croplands (45%), and lakes and rivers (3%)
Daylight saving time (DST) was observed at Madison, Wisconsin during 1968. There were two time changes during 1968:
1968 was a leap year and thus has 366 days rather than the normal 365. Leap years occur every fourth year and the extra day is always February 29th. In 1968 February 29th falls on a Thursday.
The summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes mark the passing of the seasons. They fall on nearly the same day each year, with differences of a day or two depending on the year. In 1968 they occurred on:
|Spring Equinox||Wednesday, 20 March 1968.|
|Summer Solstice||Friday, 21 June 1968.|
|Fall Equinox||Sunday, 22 September 1968.|
|Winter Solstice||Saturday, 21 December 1968.|
The hottest day of 1968 was August 6, with a high temperature of 93°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 81°F and the high temperature exceeds 89°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of 1968 was August with an average daily high temperature of 80°F.
Relative to the average, the hottest day was October 15. The high temperature that day was 84°F, compared to the average of 59°F, a difference of 25°F. In relative terms the warmest month was March, with an average high temperature of 51°F, compared to an typical value of 43°F.
The longest warm spell was from January 11 to January 24, constituting 14 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures. The month of March had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 74% days with higher than average high temperatures.
The coldest day of 1968 was January 7, with a low temperature of -16°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 12°F and the low temperature drops below -6°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of 1968 was February with an average daily low temperature of 10°F.
Relative to the average, the coldest day was January 7. The low temperature that day was -16°F, compared to the average of 12°F, a difference of 28°F. In relative terms the coldest month was February, with an average low temperature of 10°F, compared to an typical value of 15°F.
The longest cold spell was from February 9 to February 26, constituting 18 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. The month of February had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 66% days with lower than average low temperatures.
The longest freezing spell was from January 1 to January 17, constituting 17 consecutive days with temperatures strictly below freezing.
The clearest month of 1968 was February, with 55% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from June 1 to June 9, constituting 9 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.
The cloudiest month of 1968 was January, with 58% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from March 17 to March 24, constituting 8 consecutive days that were cloudier than they were clear.
This station reports both the quantity of liquid precipitation and categorical observations of precipitation (e.g., moderate rain, or heavy snow). Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the former is particularly prone to false reports, especially ones indicating an excessive quantity of precipitation. Please bear this in mind when reading the extrema reported in this section.
The day with the largest quantity of precipitation was June 21. That day saw 0.972" of liquid (or liquid equivalent) precipitation, compared to a median value of 0.153". The month with the most precipitation was June, with 2.744", compared to a median value of 3.732".
As determined by quantitative measurements, the longest dry spell was from February 8 to February 26, constituting 19 consecutive days with no measured precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of dry days was August, with 87% of days reporting no measured precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some measured precipitation was June, with 40% of days reporting some measured precipitation.
This station reports when significant weather events (including precipitation) are visually observed at or near the station. Such events do not always correspond to measured quantities of liquid equivalent precipitation, such as when the event is near by not at the station, or in the case of solid precipitation that does not melt in the collection basin.
The day in 1968 with the most precipitation observations was November 6. There were 8 hourly weather reports that day (out of a maximum of 24) in which some form of precipitation was observated at or near the station. The month with the most precipitation observations was December, with 67 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.
As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from February 8 to February 19, constituting 12 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of days without observed precipitation was August, with 77% of days reporting no observed precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was December, with 68% of days reporting some observed precipitation.
In this section we consider only those weather reports that indicate liquid precipitation. For the purposes of this analysis, we include thunderstorms even though some thunderstorms are not accompanied by liquid precipitation.
The month of 1968 with the largest number of those reports was June, with a total of 38 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was November 6, with a total of 8 reports.
This station reports when snow is observed falling but does not report the quantity of snow that has fallen or the depth of snow on the ground.
In this section we consider hourly weather reports that contain an observation of falling snow. These reports do not necessarily correspond to accumulation.
The first reported snow fall in 1968 was on November 7; the last was on April 24. The month of 1968 with the largest number of those reports was December, with a total of 50 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was December 28, with a total of 7 reports.
Humidity is an important factor in determining how weather conditions feel to a person experiencing them. Hot and humid days feel even hotter than hot and dry days because the high level of water content in humid air discourages the evaporation of sweat from a person's skin.
When reading the graph below, keep in mind that the hottest part of the day tends to be the least humid, so the daily low (brown) traces are more relevant for understanding daytime comfort than the daily high (blue) traces, which typically occur during the night. Applying that observation, the least humid month of 1968 was March with an average daily low humidity of 40%, and the most humid month was December with an average daily low humidity of 66%.
But it is important to keep in mind that humidity does not tell the whole picture and the dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find a given set of weather conditions. Please see the next section for continued discussion of this point.
Dew point is the temperature below which water vapor will condense into liquid water. It is therefore also related to the rate of evaporation of liquid water. Since the evaporation of sweat is an important cooling mechanism for the human body, the dew point is an important measurement for understanding how dry, comfortable, or humid a given set of weather conditions will feel.
Generally speaking, dew points below 50°F will feel a bit dry to some people, but comfortable to people accustomed to dry conditions; dew points from 50°F to 68°F are fairly comfortable to most people, and dew points above 68°F are increasingly uncomfortable, becoming oppressive around 77°F.
To take some examples, and basing our categorization on the daily high dew point in 1968, January had 31 dry days, no comfortable days, and no humid days; April had 23 dry days, 7 comfortable days, and no humid days; July had no dry days, 21 comfortable days, and 10 humid days; and October had 20 dry days, 11 comfortable days, and no humid days.
The highest sustained wind speed was 32 mph, occurring on April 14; the highest daily mean wind speed was 20 mph (December 5);
The windiest month was April, with an average wind speed of 12 mph. The least windy month was August, with an average wind speed of 8 mph.
Visibility is the maximum distance at which a given reference object or light can be clearly discerned. In the United States, visibilities that are greater than or equal to 10 miles are typically reported as 10 miles.
The day of 1968 with the lowest average visibility was February 1, with an average visibility of 0.6 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was January, with an average visibility of 10.5 mi. With an average visibility of 13.0 mi, the month of March had the highest average visibility.
This station did not reliably report the cloud ceiling during 1968.