This report describes the historical weather record at the Dane County Regional Airport (Madison, Wisconsin, United States) during the last 12 months. 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 the last 12 months. There were two time changes during the last 12 months:
2013 is not a leap year, so it has 365 days and no February 29th. The first leap year before 2013 was 2012 and the first after will be 2016.
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 2013 they occurred on:
|Spring Equinox||Wednesday, 20 March 2013.|
|Summer Solstice||Friday, 21 June 2013.|
|Fall Equinox||Sunday, 22 September 2013.|
|Winter Solstice||Saturday, 21 December 2013.|
The hottest day of the last 12 months was July 5, with a high temperature of 103°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 82°F and the high temperature exceeds 90°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of the last 12 months was July with an average daily high temperature of 91°F.
Relative to the average, the hottest day was December 3. The high temperature that day was 64°F, compared to the average of 35°F, a difference of 29°F. In relative terms the warmest month was July, with an average high temperature of 91°F, compared to an typical value of 82°F.
The longest warm spell was from June 26 to July 19, constituting 24 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures. The month of July had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 87% days with higher than average high temperatures.
The coldest day of the last 12 months was January 22, with a low temperature of -7°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 11°F and the low temperature drops below -7°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of the last 12 months was January with an average daily low temperature of 14°F.
Relative to the average, the coldest day was March 3. The low temperature that day was -1°F, compared to the average of 20°F, a difference of 21°F. In relative terms the coldest month was March, with an average low temperature of 20°F, compared to an typical value of 25°F.
The longest cold spell was from October 26 to November 7, constituting 13 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. The month of March had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 68% days with lower than average low temperatures.
The longest freezing spell was from December 21 to December 31, constituting 11 consecutive days with temperatures strictly below freezing.
The clearest month of the last 12 months was June, with 83% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from June 22 to July 10, constituting 19 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.
The cloudiest month of the last 12 months was February, with 64% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from April 6 to April 16, constituting 11 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 January 29. That day saw 1.783" of liquid (or liquid equivalent) precipitation, compared to a median value of 0.059". The month with the most precipitation was April, with 5.887", compared to a median value of 3.199".
As determined by quantitative measurements, the longest dry spell was from June 22 to July 13, constituting 22 consecutive days with no measured precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of dry days was June, with 90% of days reporting no measured precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some measured precipitation was February, with 50% 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 the last 12 months with the most precipitation observations was January 30. There were 24 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 January, with 159 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.
As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from June 24 to July 13, constituting 20 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of days without observed precipitation was June, with 83% of days reporting no observed precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was February, with 79% 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 the last 12 months with the largest number of those reports was April, with a total of 107 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was April 11, with a total of 20 reports.
This station reports both when snow is observed to be falling and the measured depth of the snow on the ground. Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the latter is significantly less reliable. Please bear this in mind when reading this section.
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 the last 12 months was on November 3; the last was on April 19. The month of the last 12 months with the largest number of those reports was February, with a total of 132 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was December 20, with a total of 22 reports.
Snow depth on the ground is an optional and inconsistently reported part of standard weather reports. It is rarely reported more often than every six hours, it is often skipped, it is often reported erroneously, and a snow depth of zero is normally not distinguished from a missing report. These issues (particularly the last one) make it hard to collect statistics on snow depth with any confidence. To overcome this issue, we base our statistics on only those reports with present non-zero measurements of snow depth. Reports that fail to mention snow that is present, and reports that do not report snow depth because there is no snow on the ground are excluded because they cannot be distinguished from one another.
The first reported accumulation in the last 12 months was on December 9. The last day of the snow season with snow reported on the ground was March 31. The day with the deepest snow depth was December 29, with an average snow depth of 11.0" over the course of the day. The longest stretch of time during which there was always snow on the ground was from December 18 to April 1 (105 consecutive days).
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 the last 12 months was June with an average daily low humidity of 34%, and the most humid month was December with an average daily low humidity of 67%.
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 the last 12 months, June had 3 dry days, 21 comfortable days, and 6 humid days; September had 12 dry days, 16 comfortable days, and 2 humid days; December had 28 dry days, 3 comfortable days, and no humid days; and March had 31 dry days, no comfortable days, and no humid days.
The highest sustained wind speed was 33 mph, occurring on May 24; the highest daily mean wind speed was 21 mph (December 20); and the highest wind gust speed was 57 mph (September 4).
The windiest month was April, with an average wind speed of 9 mph. The least windy month was August, with an average wind speed of 5 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 the last 12 months with the lowest average visibility was December 20, with an average visibility of 1.4 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was December, with an average visibility of 7.7 mi. With an average visibility of 10.0 mi, the month of June had the highest average visibility.
The cloud ceiling is the altitude of the lowest layer of clouds that are at categorized as broken (mostly cloudy) or overcast (cloudy). If no such cloud layer exists then the ceiling is unlimited and no value is reported.
The day of the last 12 months with the lowest average cloud ceiling was March 8, with an average cloud ceiling of 98'. The month with the lowest average cloud ceiling was December, with an average cloud ceiling of 2811'. The month of May has the highest average cloud ceiling, with an average cloud ceiling of 7887'.