In under 24 hours, Wisconsin cities see a nearly 60-degree change in temperatures

Wisconsin cities recorded temperature swings of nearly 60 degrees within 24 hours of Tuesday’s balmy weather and Wednesday’s chilly return to winter, tying a record for at least one city and possibly setting a record elsewhere.

That’s according to a National Weather Service review of historical temperature data following the wild winter weather that swept through the central US this week.

“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, Madison, about 80 miles (128.75 kilometers) to the west.

In Madison, the temperature dropped from Tuesday (21.11 degrees Celsius) to 11 degrees (-11.67 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday morning.

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

Kuroski said Tuesday’s record high broke previous records for the same date, for all of February and for every winter season date — which the weather service considers to be the months of December, January and February.

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 change of 58 degrees. As a bonus, parts of the city reported snowfall overnight.

Meteorologists believe the 24-hour change may have broken or come close to breaking previous record-breaking events for Milwaukee in 1911 and 1934. But historical hourly temperature data for Milwaukee is incomplete, making it impossible to definitively conclude that this is the case.

Tuesday’s high broke records for the date, for all of February and for any winter date.