The spring of 2012 will go in the record book as the warmest spring on record for both Eau Claire and La Crosse. The average temperature in La Crosse for the three month period of March, April, and May that make up meteorological spring was 52.1 degrees. The old record was 51.6 degrees back in 1977. La Crosse's average temperatures this year was 54.8 degrees breaking the old record of 53.9 degrees also in 1977.
It really isn't too big of a surprise that we acheived the warmest spring on record this year. March 2012 was historic! We were breaking record highs and record warm lows left and right during about. Eau Claire saw 21 temperature records fall over the course of about two weeks. March 2012 ended up being the warmest March on record in both Eau Claire and La Crosse. The old records were shattered! The average temperature in March was in the 10s above normal for both cities.
What's interesting is when I looked back at what happened in the spring of 1977. The winter of '76-'77 was one of the tougher winters in Western Wisconsin. That January of 1977 was the coldest January on record in Eau Claire. Apparently, temperatures warmed up signficantly in April and May to make the spring of 1977 the warmest on record...well until this year. That must have been quite the transition to go from a bitter cold winter to now one of the warmest springs in the history books.
A couple other notes about spring 2012. It was a bit wetter than normal for both Eau Claire and La Crosse. However, for both cities it was the 5th least snowiest spring. In Eau Claire, the snowfall deficit for spring was over 10 inches below normal. That lack of snowfall would set the stage for us to quickly warm up to the levels we did in March. If not for the lack of snow, this may not have been the warmest spring on record. One more fun fact. So far this year in 2012 we are on pace for 2012 to be the warmest year on record in both Eau Claire in La Crosse. We have several months left but nonetheless interesting.