The Climate of Wisconsin

By | August 27, 2022

Wisconsin (WI) is one of the northernmost states of the United States of America. On the north side, Wisconsin borders Michigan and Lake Superior (Dutch: Bovenmeer), which forms the natural border with Canada. Wisconsin is also located on the east side of a large lake: Lake Michigan. Wisconsin is a fairly flat state, with the hilly landscape having a highest point of 595 meters above sea level. In the northern highlands is the huge Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, with a total area of ​​​​more than six thousand square kilometers.

Wisconsin lies on the border of the warm continental climate (type Dfa according to the Köppen climate classification ) and the temperate continental climate (type Dfb), which prevails mainly in the northern part. Wisconsin’s climate can be described as very unpredictable and erratic. The average climate figures are only a guideline, with extreme weather conditions being possible within every season. For example, it can get freezing cold in the winter months and tropical heat is also common in the hottest months (June, July and August), especially in the more temperate areas in the south of the state. Record temperatures have been recorded in Couderay (minus 48 degrees Celsius in February 1996) and in the Wisconsin Dells (plus 46 degrees Celsius in July 1936).

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

maximum temperature minimum temperature hours of sunshine per day days of rainfall per month
January -4℃ -14℃ 5 11
February -1℃ -12℃ 6 8
March 5℃ -5℃ 6 11
April 14℃ 1℃ 7 12
May 21℃ 7℃ 9 12
June 26℃ 12℃ 10 11
July 28℃ 15℃ 10 10
August 27℃ 14℃ 9 10
September 22℃ 9℃ 7 10
October 16℃ 3℃ 6 9
November 7℃ -3℃ 4 10
December -2℃ -11℃ 4 11

The climate of Appleton

Appleton is a city in eastern Wisconsin, on the Fox River. The city is located in the counties of Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago. The city was founded in the mid-19th century and played an important role in the paper industry at that time. Today, banking is the city’s main source of income. Appleton has always been a progressive city. It was one of the first cities to have electric street lighting and the first city in Wisconsin to have telephones.

Appleton has a temperate continental climate, with long periods of frost during the winter months. Winter lasts a long time here and temperatures well below freezing are the rule rather than the exception. During these months the precipitation will mainly come down as (wet) snow. The summer months are warm and pleasant and most summer days have many hours of sunshine.

The climate of Eau Claire

Eau Claire is a city in the western central part of Wisconsin. The city is located on the Chippewa River. The town also owes its name to a tributary of the Chippewa (Eau Claire means clear water). In the city you will find the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, the Chippewa Valley Technical College and several branches of other universities.

Eau Claire has a moderate continental climate, with cold winters and pleasantly warm summers. Winters are not only cold, but also long. During a period of three months, the mercury hardly rises above the freezing point. Summers, on the other hand, are warm and temperatures can reach tropical heights during the hottest years. As a result, the average humidity in those months is on the high side.

The climate of Green Bay

Green Bay is a large city in the northeast of the US state of Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan. It is the third largest city in this state in terms of size. It is home to the Green Bay Packers American football team. The Green Bay Packers have won the superbowl and the NFL championship several times. The Green Bay Chill plays in the Lingerie Football League. In the city you will also find the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay and the National Railroad Museum.

Green Bay has a moderate continental climate, which is slightly influenced by Lake Michigan. The water temperature of Lake Michigan is high enough for swimming only during the late summer months. The winter months are particularly cold, but due to the influence of the lake less cold than in the more westerly places in Wisconsin. Precipitation will mainly consist of (wet) snow during the winter months.

The climate of La Crosse

La Crosse is a small city in western Wisconsin, on the Mississippi. La Crosse is a typical college town: the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University and Western Technical College are located here. The town was founded in the mid-19th century, but signs of earlier occupation have also been found. The first people who came to live here were mainly Germans. Today, the composition of the city is very diverse. The shopping malls attract visitors from the nearby area to the city.

La Crosse has a moderate continental climate, with cold winters and pleasantly warm summer months. Summers are short, but pleasantly warm and it can even get tropical hot. Most precipitation falls during the late summer months, which means that the average humidity can rise considerably. The winter months are icy cold. During that time, the mercury rarely rises above freezing.

The climate of Madison

Madison is the capital of the US state of Wisconsin. Although Milwaukee is clearly bigger, Madison has been given the role of the political heart of Wisconsin. Madison is located in the south of the state and is nicknamed “The City of Four Lakes”. The city owes this to the four lakes that are located in and near Madison: Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa and Lake Kegonsa.

Madison has a warm maritime climate, which tends to a moderate maritime climate. Because the weather in Madison is influenced by both the cool north and the warmer south, there are wide variations in temperature within each season. The winters are on the cool side, with mainly winter weather (frost and snow) in December, January and February. In the spring, snowfall is still possible on the one hand, while it can also be downright spring-like to even summery. In total, there is almost nine hundred millimeters of precipitation on an annual basis, with the summers being on average twice as wet as the winter months.

The climate of Milwaukee

Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin. The city is located in the southeast of the state, on Lake Michigan. Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, of which it is also the capital. The city was founded in the mid-19th century, during this period mainly Germans came to this region. Today it is a large city, with more than one million inhabitants; almost 2 million people live in the metropolitan area of ​​the city. Located on Lake Michigan, the city attracts many tourists every year who come for surfing, water skiing and sailing. Several festivals are also organized every year. The Miller Brewing Company (since 1855) is located in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee has a moderate continental climate, which is slightly influenced by Lake Michigan. Due to the influence of this lake, temperatures during the winter months are slightly higher than you would expect in this part of Wisconsin. This does not alter the fact that winters are still very cold and temperatures can dip far below zero. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year and peaks during the late summer months. During the winter months, the precipitation will mainly come down as (wet) snow.

The climate of Wausau

Wausau is a city in the central part of the state of Wisconsin, in Marathon County. Wausau is bisected by the Wisconsin River. The city was founded by the French in the middle of the 19th century. Yet in the beginning it was mainly Germans who came to live here. Today it is a small town, living mainly from paper production, banking and to a lesser extent from tourism.

Wausau has a moderate continental climate, with four distinct seasons. Long periods of frost can occur here during the winter. There are months when the mercury does not rise above zero. The summer months are pleasantly warm, with many hours of sunshine. Most precipitation falls in the late summer months, the rest of the year the precipitation is fairly distributed. During the winter period, precipitation will mainly consist of snow or wet snow.

Wausau Wisconsin