Will Madison reach 70° again this winter? Chris Reece reveals his thoughts

Last week, News 3 Now Meteorologist Chris Reece asked viewers in a poll if they thought Madison would reach 70° again before heading into winter.

On average, the latest 70° day in Madison falls on October 20th. Temperatures made it to 72° that afternoon, but have not climbed that high since.

On Monday morning, Chris Reece revealed the results of the poll, then gave his own answer to the big question.

Vote Poll Results


Most viewers believe we will see 70s again, but Reece says maybe not this year. His reasoning boils down to the below normal temperatures that are expected headed into the month of November.

8 14t Us


This is likely brought about by a pattern that will send several shots of cooler air out of Northwestern Canada and into parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States. There’s a reason for this expected cooler pattern, and Chris says it connects to cooler than normal waters in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean known as La Niña.

La Nina Explainer


Reece says that La Niña often relocates warmer water towards the Northern Pacific Ocean, which creates a western ridge in the jet stream.

La Nina Explainer2


This western ridging causes the jet stream to take a dip over the northern United States, ultimately allowing more shots of cooler air into the picture.

La Nina Explainer3


With a cooler weather pattern setting up shop into the middle of November, Reece says reaching 70° will be tough, as average temperatures by then are in the 40s and 20s. To get that warm, he says you’ll need a sustained stretch of temperatures 20°-30° above normal, which is hard to do this time of the year.

Bottom Line


Reece also says this is a “double dip” La Niña, meaning that last winter also observed La Niña, but even though the waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean began to warm over the summer, they cooled back off to the below normal temperature water temperatures that are expected into this winter. This is rare, and the only other winters that featured “double dip” La Niña were the winters of 1974-1975, 1983-1984, and 2008-2009.

Bottom Line2


Reece says all of those winters featured cold and snowy beginnings, and he’s suspicious that this year will do the same. That led him to make a bold prediction that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year would all feature snow either falling, or on the ground, this winter.

Bold Statement


Reece acknowledges that such a statement from this far away means the odds of it being accurate are certainly low, but that’s exactly what makes it bold. He says it’s a bit of a shot in the dark, but the trending weather patterns, and history, seem to be on his side. Either way, if there’s one thing he’s certain on, it’s that winter will do what winter will do.