The climate of 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.
Summer has comfortable temperatures in Wisconsin, with the mercury column rarely touching 90°F (32.2°C). Even during the peak of July
, only 2 to 4 days cross 90°F (32.2°C) in the north, while they average 14 days in the south.
Winters are cold, snowy, and temperatures around -30°F (-34.4°C) are common in the northern counties - in fact, during the coldest month of January
the mercury may plummet to -40°F (-40°C). Clouds cover the skies for a significant part of the year in many places. The north, west, and central Wisconsin regions have a short growing season on account of a small freeze-free period compared to the eastern and southern regions that have the warm impact of Lake Michigan.
The northern highlands and western uplands receive snowfall up to 160" (4064mm), while the rest of the state averages 40" (1016mm). Snow stays on the ground for nearly 140 days during the year near Lake Superior, while the cover lasts for 65 days in the south. Rainfall averages 35" (889mm) in the state with the northwest significantly wetter than the south and east.
Wisconsin experiences thunderstorms, tornadoes and is prone to flooding during late spring and early summer. April
during the spring and June
during the summer are usually the rainiest months in the state. Snowstorms are frequent, and fog is prevalent in many places during the early morning during the winter.
Wisconsin Dells recorded the highest ever temperature of 114°F (45.6°C) on July 13, 1936, in Wisconsin, while Couderay recorded the coldest temperature of -55°F (-48.3°C) on February
The best time to visit Wisconsin
The best time to visit Wisconsin
is from May
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
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
, 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.
is vulnerable to intense thunderstorms, tornadoes, and serious flooding in late spring and early summer. The storms push strong winds usually from west to east or more, particularly from southwest to northeast. The spring temperatures contribute to the melting of snow and along with occasional heavy rains cause severe flooding in April
. Thunderstorms also contribute to excessive rainfall in a short period that is sufficient to cause flash floods in river tributaries, small streams, and creeks. Snowstorms are common during the winter and accumulate a vast amount of snow deposits, especially in the Lake Superior snow belt.
Weather in January
is the coldest month of the year in Wisconsin
, as it becomes exceedingly difficult to stay outdoors even for a few minutes. The temperatures are deathly cold, often dropping below -10°F (-23.3°C) and even plummeting to -30°F (-34.4°C) in the northern highlands. Weather in January »
Weather in February
is a winter month in Wisconsin
that is severely cold with heavy snowfall. The average high temperatures in the state are in the 26°F (-3.3°C) to 35°F (1.7°C) range, while the average low temperatures lie in the cold 3°F (-16.1°C) to 19°F (-7.2°C) zone. Weather in February »
Weather in March
starts the spring season in Wisconsin
with warm days and cold nights with a bit of rain. Drizzles are common during the day but rarely last long or gather strength. The majority of the state sees rainfall to the tune of 1" (25mm) to 2" (51mm). Weather in March »
Weather in April
lies in the heart of the spring season as warm temperatures and wet conditions rule the roost. The average high temperatures are warm in the range of 47°F (8.3°C) to 60°F (15.6°C), and the average low temperatures are between 27°F (-2.8°C) to 38°F (3.3°C). Weather in April »
Weather in May
is the golden period of spring in Wisconsin
with warm days and comfortable nights. The average daily temperatures are in the pleasant 60°F (15.6°C) to 70°F (21.1°C) range, while the nights are in the 38°F (3.3°C) to 48°F (8.9°C) zone. Rain picks up in intensity with 3" (76mm) to 4" (102mm) almost everywhere, but at the same time, the snow starts to melt away. Weather in May »
Weather in June
is warm, humid, and wet as the sun gains strength with the beginning of the Wisconsin
summer. The sunshine breaks the cloud cover for at least 18 days during the month. June is one of the rainiest months of the year with an average of 4" (102mm) to 5" (127mm) of rain. Weather in June »
Weather in July
is usually the hottest month of the year month in Wisconsin
as the summer attains peak temperatures. An average of 21 days during the month experience daily sunshine for 9 hours during the month. The average daily temperatures are in the 75°F (23.9°C) to 85°F (29.4°C) range statewide, while nights are comfortably warm in the 55°F (12.8°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) zone; temperatures may rise to 95°F (35°C) for a few days, but 100°F (37.8°C) is rare. The humidity in the range of 70% to 75% and pleasant water temperatures make swimming and water activities enjoyable. Weather in July »
Weather in August
is a hot summer month with plenty of rain in Wisconsin
. The average temperatures in the state are in the range of 52°F (11.1°C) to 82°F (27.8°C) as the cloudy skies bring humidity to the overall weather conditions. Rainfall is to the tune of 3" (76mm) to 4" (102mm) as the heat lingers on during the long summer days. Weather in August »
Weather in September
is one of the best times to visit Wisconsin
with beautiful weather conditions. The average high temperatures hover in the 60°F (15.6°C) to 74°F (23.3°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the warm 55°F (12.8°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) range. Weather in September »
Weather in October
is the heart of the autumn of Wisconsin
with brilliant colors and mild weather. Average high temperatures tend to be comfortable in the day in the 57°F (13.9°C) to 62°F (16.7°C), while the nights are cold with average low temperatures in the 32°F (0°C) to 45°F (7.2°C) range. October has an average of 16 bright days, with the intensity of sun rays at nearly 60% of the peak. Weather in October »
Weather in November
brings the autumn season to an end as the cold takes over, signaling the onset of the winter. The fall foliage is past its peak by mid-November as the weather rapidly cools down. The average high temperatures are in the cold 37°F (2.8°C) to 46°F (7.8°C) range, while nights drop below freezing and register in the 21°F (-6.1°C) to 30°F (-1.1°C) range. Though the rainfall hardly crosses 2" (51mm), November sees the first snow in many regions, and averages 5" (127mm) - Drummond in northern Wisconsin
registers 12.5" (318mm), while Bayfield near Lake Superior records 14.3" (363mm). Weather in November »
Weather in December
begins the winter season in Wisconsin
with dreary cold and lack of sunlight. The days are short, with the sun missing for days altogether from the skies. The average high temperatures are in the 23°F (-5°C) to 34°F (1.1°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the cold 6°F (-14.4°C) to 21°F (-6.1°C) range across the state. Weather in December »