What is the Climate of Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is known for its natural beauty and its cheese, and its climate reflects that. It features beautiful hot summers that are not too hot to go outside, and snowy winters that are a delight for winter sports enthusiasts. It truly boasts the best of all worlds when it comes to climate. Here are some other facts that might interest you.

Overall Climate

Wisconsin features a continental climate, that varies a little by the shores of Lakes Superior and Michigan. As mentioned, it has hot summers and cold winters. Most of the precipitation comes during the period when the most growing can take place without freezing, so it is healthy for vegetation. The climate is perfect for dairy farming because it favors grains, hay, vegetables, and corn. This is why dairy is such a big part of Wisconsin’s reputation.


Wisconsin has an average temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year in the northern regions, and 48 degrees in the south. Temperatures will often get down as low as -40 in the winters, especially in the north. In the summer, it can get up to 90 for two to four days, but there can also be cool breaks throughout. The freeze free period when most of the precipitation falls lasts for about 100 days in the north, but can be up to 180 days in other parts of the state.


In the Western Uplands and Northern Highlands of Wisconsin, precipitation can range from 30-34 inches. Most of the rest of the state expects about 28 inches a year. The higher the elevation, the more rain has been recorded. In the summer, thunderstorms can be quite common. Usually about 30 days of the year experience some kind of thunder. In the south, it can be as much as 40 days out of the year. During the winter, snowfall can reach as high as 160 inches in the north country, but just 30 inches at Beloit.

Relationship to the Economy

The climate in Wisconsin is ideal for dairy farming, which remains a major part of Wisconsin’s economy. 45 percent of the land in the state is farmland, with primary crops of oats, corn, hay, and soybeans. The largest source of farm income is milk, which is more than all the other farm products combined.


CLIMATE OF WISCONSIN, www.aos.wisc.edu/~sco/clim-history/state/stateclimate.html. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

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