Precipitation Ping-Pong

The State Climatology Office helps Wisconsinites understand recent weather and climate.

The Wisconsin State Climatology Office has launched monthly summaries of weather and climate in Wisconsin to provide local conditions and insight on the state’s climate outlook. The November 2023 summary by Steve Vavrus, Wisconsin state climatologist and WICCI codirector, described the month as very dry, with more than a third of Wisconsin remaining in at least a moderate drought and a sixth of the state continuing in severe or extreme drought.

He framed the 2023 climate as a “precipitation ping-pong”— after a record wet start from January to April, May to August were the fourth driest, followed by an exceptionally wet October, and then the eighth driest November.

Read more monthly climate summaries and sign up to receive the reports by email.

The State Climatology Office is part of UW–Madison’s Rural Partnerships Institute (RPI), an initiative to support Wisconsin’s rural and tribal communities. With $9.3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, UW–Madison’s RPI represents a combined effort among the Nelson Institute’s Center for Climatic Research, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), and the Division of Extension.

In addition to the State Climatology Office, the RPI includes the Wisconsin Environmental Mesonet and community projects in support of rural communities and tribal nations of Wisconsin.

For an expanded perspective on climate in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) 2021 Assessment Report describes how Wisconsin’s climate continues to change, the issues and impacts of our warming climate, and scientific progress made toward solutions. Since publishing the 2021 report, WICCI is continuing to evaluate climate impacts and solutions with a new assessment report anticipated in 2026.

WICCI is a statewide collaboration of scientists and stakeholders formed as a partnership between UW–Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.