‘I’ve never seen weather like this’: Warmer temperatures hint at mild winter for Wisconsin

‘I’ve never seen weather like this’: Warmer temperatures hint at mild winter for Wisconsin

Seeing virtually no snow on the ground or an iced-over lake in Wisconsin in the dead of winter is unusual.

“It’s crazy. I’ve never seen weather like this. Definitely not normal for Wisconsin,” said Madison resident Theodore Braman.

We should be driving on snow at this time of the year, but instead, we are driving in puddles.

“I think it’s absolutely crazy. Global warming, maybe?” said Madison resident Jock Hyland.

Meteorologist Gary Cannalte said perhaps that’s the case, in addition to other factors.

“The easy answer is it is probably influenced somewhat, but to what extent, we don’t know. We know there have been periods where there have been warm winters and cold winters, but warm winters are becoming more common. From that aspect of it, we are probably seeing some effect of climate change and global warming. But we are definitely in an El Nino weather pattern.”

Even with the milder temperatures, during the weeks so far this winter where the lake has been iced over, many ice anglers have been bold enough to brave the conditions with a thin layer of ice on the lake.

“In weather like this where the temperatures are warm, and we’ve been getting some rain on top of it, that makes the ice very unsafe,” Cannalte said. “They have to really be careful that they know how thick the ice is and they might end up falling in if they get to a weak spot.”

While ice anglers may be disappointed by the warmer temperatures, some say the hinting of a milder winter is something to look forward to.

“I think it will be a short winter. It’s a good thing!” said Madison resident Randy Lowenberg.

At this time of the year, we are supposed to have an average of 20 inches of snowfall totals. Right now, we are at less than 10 inches.

The record high for this day is 50 degrees, which was set in 2008. On that day, there were three EF-3 tornadoes in Northern Illinois and far southeastern Wisconsin in the middle of a very snowy winter.

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— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) January 7, 2019

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