NewsState

Actions

From balmy to brrr: Wisconsin cities see a nearly 60-degree temperature swing in under 24 hours

Wisconsin Weather
Wisconsin Weather
Posted at 2:54 PM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 15:57:12-05

Wisconsin cities recorded nearly 60-degree swings in temperatures within 24 hours from Tuesday's balmy weather and Wednesday's chilly return to winter, tying a record for at least one city and potentially setting a record elsewhere.

That's according to a National Weather Service review of historic temperature data following the wild winter weather that swept through the middle of the U.S. this week.

Wisconsin Weather
This combination of photos shows the 50 degree change in temperature in Milwaukee over a 24 hour period. The top photo shows people enoying unseasonably mild temperatures above 70 degrees At Lake Park golf course on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Below shows the course covered in snow on Wednesday, Feb 28. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

"It's just crazy," said Aidan Kuroski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Milwaukee. Kuroski reviewed data for Milwaukee and for the state capital in Madison located about 80 miles (128.75 kilometers) to the west.

In Madison, Tuesday's 70 degrees (21.11 degrees Celsius) high plunged to 11 degrees (-11.67 degrees Celsius) by Wednesday morning.

The temperature swing of 59 degrees (15 degrees Celsius) within 24 hours tied the previous record set in 1911.

Kuroski said Tuesday's recorded high broke previous records for the same date, for all of February and for any winter season date — which the weather service considers the months of December, January and February.

Wisconsin Weather
This combination of photos shows the 50 degree change in temperature in Milwaukee over a 24 hour period. The top photo shows people enjoying unseasonably mild temperatures above 70 degrees near Lake Michigan on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Below shows a runner braving cold weather near 20 degrees at the same location on Wednesday, Feb 28. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

On Tuesday, Milwaukee recorded a high of 74 degrees (23.33 degrees Celsius) followed by a low of 16 degrees (-8.89 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday morning — a 58-degree change. As a bonus, parts of the city reported snowfall overnight.

Meteorologists think the 24-hour change may have broken or come close to previous record-setting events for Milwaukee in 1911 and 1934. But historic hourly temperature data for Milwaukee is incomplete, making it impossible to definitively decide that's the case.

Tuesday's high did break records for the date, for all of February and for any winter date.