Madison’s NEW 30-year climate normals

Madison new climate normals are warmer, wetter and snowier
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 3:51 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Every 10 years, NOAA releases new 30-year climate normals, and that time has come again.

These 30-year averages, which now span from 1991-2020, represent the new normals of the changing climate. The normals are the bases for determining how daily, monthly and annual weather conditions compare to what’s normal for a specific location in the current climate.

The U.S. 30-year climate normals are calculated using observations collected at weather stations across the country.

Why use 30 years? Close to a century ago, the World Metrological Organization asked its member nations to calculate climate normals using 30-year periods. The first climate normal was from 1901-1930. A general rule in statistics says that you need at least 30 numbers to get a reliable estimate of their average.

The new normal for the United States is warmer. The yearly normal temperature for the United States is now 53.3 degrees, which is nearly a half a degree warmer than a decade ago and 1.7 degrees warmer than the first climate normal.

The new climate normal for the United States is not just warmer. It is wetter in the eastern and central parts of the nation and drier in the west compare to the previous climate normal.

Madison has new 30-year climate normals too. The new climate normals for Madison are warmer, wetter and snowier.

Madison's New Climate Normals
Madison's New Climate Normals(WMTV NBC15)

The annual precipitation increased almost 3″ and the annual snowfall increased almost an inch.

The average annual temperature went from 46.5 degrees to 47.0 degrees.

Each season is warmer and wetter too.

New Climate Normals - Madison's seasons
New Climate Normals - Madison's seasons(WMTV NBC15)

Copyright 2021 WMTV. All rights reserved.