Climate and monthly weather forecast
Wisconsin, USA

Flag of Wisconsin, USA
Flag of Wisconsin, USA

The climate of Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a humid continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold winters; While most of the state is of subtype warm-summer (Köppen climate classification Dfb), the southern part falls under the hot-summer subtype (Köppen Dfa).
Wisconsin shares borders with Iowa in the south, Illinois in the southwest, Minnesota in the west, Lake Superior in the north, Michigan in the northeast, and Lake Michigan in the east. The proximity to the Great Lakes influences the climate of Wisconsin to a large extent.

Wisconsin, the Badger state, has a diverse geography that consists of Lake Superior lowlands, western uplands, northern highlands, central plains, and eastern lowlands near Lake Michigan. The topographical features include mixed hardwood and coniferous forests, farmlands, hills, glacial lakes, and rivers. Marshy areas and fertile river valleys with temperate weather enhance the agriculture produce while rolling hills and clear lakes provide some of the best recreational activities. The state has vast shorelines with the Great Lakes and rivers such as the Mississippi, Saint Croix, Montreal, and Menominee.

The best time to visit Wisconsin

The best time to visit Wisconsin is from May to October that envelops the warm days of spring, summer, and autumn seasons.
Early spring is cold and rainy, while late fall feels chilly. Summer tends to be hot and humid in the south but rarely crosses 90°F (32.2°C), while it is warm in the proximity of the Great Lake regions. The Great Lakes have their microclimates that feel cooler than the rest of Wisconsin and tend to bring pleasant temperatures during the summer. Late spring and early fall are mild with comfortable temperatures. Mid-autumn is attractive due to the beautiful fall foliage, the dispersal of the summer crowds, and amicable temperatures.

The worst time to visit Wisconsin

Wisconsin has severely cold winters, while the summers tend to be hot and range from warm in the north to hot in the southern regions. The worst time to visit Wisconsin is the harsh winter season from December to February, particularly in the northern highlands and areas near Lake Superior, which see a large amount of snow that often crosses 100" (2540mm). Blizzards are common during the winter and affect day-to-day life and weather conditions. Additionally, the days are short in the cold months, the sunshine limits to a few hours daily, while the sun is on vacation for days together.

Spring weather in Wisconsin

Spring in Wisconsin starts off cold and rainy but gradually warms up as the season progresses. April and May are the rainiest months, making them prone to flooding. Despite this, the freeze-free period starts to expand, particularly in eastern and southern regions influenced by Lake Michigan. This makes late spring a time when outdoor activities can be increasingly enjoyed, albeit with appropriate waterproof gear.

Summer weather in Wisconsin

Summer is comfortable for the most part, with temperatures primarily staying below 90°F (32.2°C). However, southern regions see an average of 14 days when temperatures exceed this threshold. The proximity to the Great Lakes means that some areas have cooler microclimates, making for pleasant summer temperatures. Thunderstorms and tornadoes are also more frequent during the late spring and early summer months, so it's advisable to stay alert to weather forecasts.

Autumn weather in Wisconsin

Autumn is a season of vivid color change in the foliage, particularly in mid-autumn. Temperatures during this time are agreeable for outdoor activities. This period also sees a dispersal of the summer crowds, making it an ideal time for those looking to avoid high tourist traffic. Though late autumn starts to feel chilly, the discomfort is relatively mild compared to the winter months that follow.

Winter weather in Wisconsin

Winter is severe, especially in northern counties where temperatures around -30°F (-34.4°C) are not uncommon. January is the coldest month, with temperatures at times reaching -40°F (-40°C). Snowfall varies across the state; while the northern highlands and western uplands may receive up to 160" (4064mm) of snow, the rest of the state sees an average of 40" (1016mm). Snow cover lasts nearly 140 days near Lake Superior but only about 65 days in the south. Snowstorms are frequent, and fog often envelops many regions during the early morning hours.

Weather in January

January stands out as the coldest month in Wisconsin, with temperatures often plummeting to extreme lows. In the northern counties, it is not unusual for the mercury to drop to -30°F (-34.4°C), and on occasion, temperatures can even reach a frigid -40°F (-40°C). Weather in January »

Weather in February

February continues the winter season in Wisconsin but usually with slightly milder temperatures compared to January. In the northern counties, temperatures can range from -20°F (-28.9°C) to 20°F (-6.7°C). In the southern parts, the typical temperature range is from 13°F (-10.6°C) to 35°F (1.7°C). Weather in February »

Weather in March

March heralds the arrival of late winter and early spring in Wisconsin. While the month can still experience some harsh winter conditions, especially in the northern regions, it also brings the promise of milder temperatures. In the north, the typical temperature range for March is from 10°F (-12.2°C) to 35°F (1.7°C). Weather in March »

Weather in April

April marks a distinct shift toward spring in Wisconsin, offering residents and visitors a break from the frigid winter months. In the northern counties, temperatures often range from 25°F (-3.9°C) to 50°F (10°C), while the southern regions see a milder spectrum from 35°F (1.7°C) to 60°F (15.6°C). Weather in April »

Weather in May

May serves as a robust introduction to the warm seasons in Wisconsin, as the state fully embraces spring. Northern regions experience temperatures ranging from 40°F (4.4°C) to 65°F (18.3°C), while in the southern areas, the mercury typically reads from 50°F (10°C) to 75°F (23.9°C). Weather in May »

Weather in June

June ushers in the official start of summer in Wisconsin, featuring a more consistent pattern of warm weather. In northern regions of the state, temperatures usually range from 50°F (10°C) to 75°F (23.9°C), while southern areas enjoy a spectrum from 60°F (15.6°C) to 85°F (29.4°C). Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is the apex of summer in Wisconsin, presenting the year's warmest conditions. Northern areas experience temperatures typically from 55°F (12.8°C) to 80°F (26.7°C), while the southern part of the state sees a range from 65°F (18.3°C) to 90°F (32.2°C). Weather in July »

Weather in August

August in Wisconsin serves as the summer's closing act, maintaining warmth but signaling a transition to the cooler days of autumn. The temperature in the northern regions generally spans from 55°F (12.8°C) to 75°F (23.9°C), while the southern areas can expect readings from 60°F (15.6°C) to 85°F (29.4°C). Weather in August »

Weather in September

September in Wisconsin marks the beginning of autumn, a season heralded by milder temperatures and a kaleidoscope of changing foliage. In the northern part of the state, temperatures range from 45°F (7.2°C) to 70°F (21.1°C), whereas the southern regions experience a milder spectrum from 55°F (12.8°C) to 75°F (23.9°C). Weather in September »

Weather in October

October in Wisconsin is a month of vibrant fall foliage, harvest festivals, and increasingly crisp air. Northern regions generally experience temperatures from 35°F (1.7°C) to 55°F (12.8°C), a notable drop from September. Southern areas maintain a bit more warmth, with temperatures ranging from 40°F (4.4°C) to 60°F (15.6°C). Weather in October »

Weather in November

November marks the onset of late autumn in Wisconsin, a time characterized by dropping temperatures and the transition to winter. In the north, temperatures usually fluctuate between 25°F (-3.9°C) and 40°F (4.4°C), whereas in the southern regions, they range from 30°F (-1.1°C) to 50°F (10°C). Weather in November »

Weather in December

December in Wisconsin is unequivocally a winter month, introducing frigid temperatures and snow-covered landscapes. In the northern counties, expect temperatures to hover between 10°F (-12.2°C) and 25°F (-3.9°C). The southern parts are slightly milder, with temperatures ranging from 20°F (-6.7°C) to 35°F (1.7°C). Weather in December »

Wisconsin, USA

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