National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Potential Winter Storm Friday - Significant Impacts To Travel Possible

A winter storm will bear down on the region for Friday, bring snow with several inches of accumulation possible. Storm track could still shift, resulting in a subsequent shift in where the heaviest snows fall. In addition, blowing and drifting could occur along with a smaller threat for freezing precipitation. There will be impacts to travel - plan accordingly. Read More >

Below are some New Year's Day weather statistics for La Crosse, WI, and Rochester, MN.

La Crosse, WI:

The following statistics comprise 149 years of data. From 1873 through 1950, the data came from various locations in downtown La Crosse. Since 1950, the data has been gathered at La Crosse Regional Airport.  No temperature data was taken in 1986.

New Year's Day in La Crosse, WI
(Period of Record 1873-2021)
1991-2020 Normals
Records
Maximum Temperature
28°F
Warmest High Temperature
57°F
January 1, 1897
Coldest High Temperature
-2°F
January 1, 1974
Minimum Temperature
13°F
 
Warmest Low Temperature
37°F
January 1, 1950
Coldest Low Temperature
-21°F
January 1, 1974
Average Temperature
21°F
 
Warmest Average Temperature
40.5°F
January 1, 1950
Coldest Average Temperature
-11.5°F
January 1, 1974
Precipitation
0.04"
Wettest
0.92"
January 1, 1876
Snowfall
0.3"
Snowiest
5.5"
January 1, 1942
Snow Depth at 6 AM
4"
Most Snow of Ground at 6 AM
20"
January 1, 1969


The odds of having any precipitation at all on New Year's Day is 52.3% (78 out of 149).  There has been measurable (0.01" or greater) precipitation on 46 New Year's Day's (30.9%) and trace amounts (less than 0.01") of precipitation on 32 New Year's Days (21.5%).  There has not been measurable precipitation on New Year's Day since 2012 when 0.11" of precipitation fell.

It has snowed on 59 out of 123 (48%) New Years Days.  Measurable snow (0.1" or greater) has fallen on 27 New Year's Days (22%) and trace amounts fell on another 32 New Year's Day (26%).  There has not been measurable snow on New Year's Day since 2011 when 0.1" of snow fell.

Since 1893, residents have woken up with measurable snow (1/2" or greater) on the ground 93 times (72.7%), no snow 20 times (15.6%), and trace amounts (less than a 1/2") on 15 times (11.7%).

In 2021, the high temperature was 24 and the low temperature was 13°F. There was no precipitation. There was 5" of snow was on the ground at 6 AM and the average wind speed was 6.3 mph.

Rochester, MN:

The following statistics comprise 110 years of data. From 1887 through 1931, the data came from several cooperative observers in the Rochester area. Since 1932, the data has been gathered at Rochester International Airport. No data was taken on New Years Day from 1890, 1891, 1908, 1909, from 1921 to 1928.

New Year's Day in Rochester, MN
(Period of Record 1887-2021)
1991-2020 Normals
Records
Maximum Temperature
24°F
Warmest High Temperature
44°F
January 1, 1894
Coldest High Temperature
-13°F
January 1, 1974
Minimum Temperature
9°F
 
Warmest Low Temperature
33°F
January 1, 1913
Coldest Low Temperature
-29°F
January 1, 1974
Average Temperature
16°F
 
Warmest Average Temperature
37.5°F
January 1, 1950
January 1, 1913
Coldest Average Temperature
-21.0°F
January 1, 1974
Precipitation
0.03"
Wettest
0.67"
January 1, 1941
Snowfall
0.4"
Snowiest
5.0"
January 1, 1919
Snow Depth
at 6 AM
5"
Most Snow of Ground
at 6 AM
19"
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2001
January 1, 1969


The odds of having any precipitation at all on New Year's Day is 54.7% (58 out of 106).  There has been measurable (0.01" or greater) precipitation on 29 New Year's Days (27.3%) and trace amounts (less than 0.01") of precipitation on 29 New Year's Days (27.4%).  There has not been measurable precipitation on New Year's Day since 2012 when 0.01" of precipitation fell.

It has snowed on 51 out of 100 (51%) New Year's Days.  Measurable snow (0.1" or greater) has fallen on 25 New Year's Days (25%) and trace amounts fell on another 26 New Year's Day (26%).  There has not been measurable snow on New Year's Day since 2012 when 0.1" of snow fell.

Residents have woken up with measurable snow (1/2" or greater) on the ground 65 times (78.3%), trace amounts (less than a 1/2") 11 times (13.3%), and no snow 7 times (8.4%).

In 2021, the high temperature was 23°F and the low temperature was 9°F.  There was no precipitation.  There was 2" of snow at 6 AM that morning and the average wind speed was 7 mph.


The following weather events happened on New Years Day:

  • In 1897, record warmth was felt across northeast Iowa, southwest, and central Wisconsin. The following cities recorded their warmest January temperatures: In IA: Elkader (64), Cresco (54). In WI: Prairie du Chien (66), Lancaster (60), La Crosse (57, tied with 1/25/1981), Viroqua (55), Medford (52). The temperature at Prairie du Chien also set a state record for the warmest January temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin.
  • In 1919, snow began on New Year's Eve and continued into the afternoon on New Year's Day. Some snow totals included: Viroqua, WI (8"), La Crosse, WI (7.6"), New Hampton, IA (7.5"), Fayette, IA (7"). The snow caused train delays.
  • In 1942, heavy snow fell across northeast Iowa.  Some snowfall totals included:  Fayette, IA (13"), New Hampton, IA (8").
  • In 1949, seven inches of snow fell at La Crescent, MN.
  • In 1961, Harmony MN received 16 inches of snow.  This was their greatest one-day snowfall.
  • In 1978, a snow storm brought significant snows to the region.  Some snowfall totals included:  In IA: Elkader (10"), Decorah (9"), Charles City (8"), Fayette (8"), Lansing (8"), Waucoma (8"), New Hampton (7"), Osage (7"), Oelwein (6") . In MN: Grand Meadow (8"), Caledonia (7"), Lanesboro (6.4"), Genoa (6"), Wabasha (6"). In WI: Prairie du Chien (12"), Mauston (9"), Readstown (9"), Galesville (8"), Lancaster (8"), Muscoda (8"), Platteville (6.2"), Cashton (6"), Lynxville (6"), Richland Center (6"), Trempealeau (6"), Viroqua (6").
  • In 1979, Lynxville, WI received 6.5 inches of snow.
  • In 1985, heavy snow fell across northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.  Some snowfall totals included:  Platteville, WI (7.5") and Elkader, IA (6").
  • In 1999, heavy snow fell across northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.  Some snowfall totals included:  La Farge, WI (8") and Osage, IA (6").
  • In 2002, La Crosse, WI had only 1" of snow for the season to date. This broke the old record 1.5" of snow set back during the winter of 1965-66. However, La Crosse would still go on to record 32.9" for the 2001-02 snow season.
  • In 2005, a cold front moved through the region Friday, December 31, and eventually, become stationary south of the area on January 1st. Cold air settled in behind the front with temperatures falling from the 40s and 50s into the 20s and 30s. An upper-level disturbance moved across the upper Midwest on January 1st and 2nd. As this disturbance moved through, air temperatures above the surface warmed above freezing, while surface temperatures remain below freezing. Freezing rain developed across southern Minnesota, northern Iowa into central and southern Wisconsin during the morning and afternoon of the 1st and continued into the early morning hours of the 2nd before shifting east of the area. Ice accumulations from the freezing rain ranged from little or none up to a half-inch across portions of southeast Minnesota and western and north-central Wisconsin.  Rochester received 0.39" of freezing rain.
  • In 2012, a low pressure system moved east across Iowa on New Year's Eve and northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin on New Year's morning. At the same time, a cold front moved east across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Temperatures ahead of this low pressure system and a cold front were in the 30s and 40s. A band of rain developed along the cold front. Temperatures were cool enough along and north of the Interstate 90 corridor for the rain to change over to snow. The heaviest snow (2 to 5 inches) in our area fell across Taylor County in north-central Wisconsin during the evening of New Year's Eve through the early morning hours of New Year's Day. Further west, there were even some reports of thundersnow across east-central Minnesota. One of these thunderstorms near Fairmont produced sustained winds of 40 mph and wind gusts of 78 mph. (https://www.crh.noaa.gov/arx/?n=jan0112)
  • In 2018, temperatures remained below zero throughout the day in Rochester, MN.  The high temperature was -5°F (2nd coldest - only 1974 was colder with a high temperature of -13°F).
  • In 2020, the high temperature at Rochester, MN was 36°F.  This was the warmest high temperature on a New Years Day since 1998 (42°F).  This also was tied with 1911, 1930, 1938, and 1951 for the 10th warmest high temperature on a New Years Day.   The high temperature at La Crosse, WI was 41°F.  This was the warmest high temperature on a New Years Day since 2000 (41°F).  This also was tied with 1890, 1955. and 2000 for the 8th warmest high temperature on a New Years Day.