NOAA releases new 30-year climate averages for Northeast Wisconsin, entire country

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – This week NOAA released the updated 30-year climate averages. Every decade, temperature and precipitation statistics are calculated in order to provide a more accurate comparison of today’s weather to our more recent climate history.  

Comparing the new 1991-2020 climate normals to the old 1981-2010 climate normals, some changes are evident. How did parts of Northeast Wisconsin fair in this climate update? 

With the updated 30-year climatology, Green Bay got warmer and more wet. Our average temperatures went up around 1.5 degrees. Yearly precipitation went up over 2 inches. Even the snowfall average in the winter months of December through February increased over 3 inches.

Looking at Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh next to each other, precipitation was around 30 inches in each city with average temperatures in the mid 40s with the old climate averages.  

Precipitation increased over two inches in Green Bay and Appleton with the new averages. Temperatures went up in Green Bay, and barely went up in Oshkosh. In Appleton, average temperature went slightly down.

The month of May in Green Bay saw the largest increase in rainfall. December, which is typically one of our cooler months, actually saw the biggest temperature increase of any month , up over 3 degrees from the old averages.

Across the United States, an upward shift in temperatures is notable. The new climate normals period of 1991-2020 is the warmest on record for the entire country in terms of average temperatures.

However, there were a few spots that went against the widespread warming trend. A few areas cooled in the northern plains, despite the rest of the country seeing increased warmth. 

Precipitation across the country generally increased, except for the drier southwest ​area.

The next update to the 30-year climatology will come in 2031.

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