Weather Update: The Onset Of Cold Temperatures

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
Snowy trees near Olbrich Park
Jonny Hunter (CC-BY)

Cold temperatures seem to have made themselves at home in Wisconsin. Join Larry and his guests, The Weather Guys, as they explore the onset of cold temperatures, the outlook for January and the rest of winter, and more.

Featured in this Show

  • February Temperatures Expected To Be Above Normal, Experts Say

    Looking ahead to February, temperatures are expected to be above normal in Wisconsin, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison meteorologist.

    That prediction is in agreement with when a strong El Niño occurs, said Steve Ackerman, who directs the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the UW-Madison. Precipitation is also predicted to be below normal, “although the confidence in that isn’t that strong as the confidence in above-average temperatures,” he said.

    The month of December saw above average temperatures in Wisconsin. For example, it was the warmest December on record in Milwaukee and the second warmest for Madison, according to the National Weather Service in Sullivan. The state was at or above 10 degrees above seasonal averages. Indeed, some locations saw average monthly temperatures that were 13 to 14 degrees above normal, the weather service reported.

    “December was so warm that I’ve been thinking January’s got to be below normal in terms of temperature,” Ackerman said. “It’s (January) certainly below normal in terms of precipitation, but in terms of temperature, we’re actually at about normal. Doesn’t seem that way, but, I think it’s because December was so warm.”

    Ackerman noted that December saw slightly above average precipitation.

    While the strong El Niño set the stage for winter, Ackerman said there probably won’t be an impact on the upcoming spring and summer.

    “The forecast for the El Niño, looking into the springtime and the summertime, is weakening,” he said. “It’s usually, you know, for us has led to less snowfall, particularly in upstate Wisconsin and certainly we’re seeing that, we’re below normal, in general, so, but in the springtime, summertime, we’re seeing that it’s weakening back to normal conditions.”

    Most models show the strong El Niño will weaken during the late spring or early summer, although the exact timing of transition to an ENSO-neutral period is difficult to predict, according to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. ENSO-neutral refers to periods when La Niña and El Niño aren’t present.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Breann Schossow Producer
  • Steve Ackerman Guest
  • Jon Martin Guest