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Dealing with the Weather in Milwaukee

The city of Milwaukee has a lot of good stuff going for it, from its seemingly countless breweries to its passionate baseball fans to the iconic Harley-Davidson Museum. Unfortunately, one thing that can get in the way of people enjoying these qualities is something Milwaukee is somewhat notorious for: its weather.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a lifelong local, a recent transplant, a vacationing tourist, or just someone browsing Milwaukee houses for sale, knowing how to deal with severe weather conditions is essential for anyone looking to spend time in Wisconsin’s beloved “Cream City.”

Summer

Although Milwaukee is most known for its gloomy winters, Milwaukee summers tend to veer hard in the opposite direction. Temperatures in June, July, and August can get pretty hot, usually peaking in the mid-90-degree range but sometimes reaching all the way up into the 100s. What really gets to you isn’t the heat, however. It’s the humidity.

A Milwaukee summer clings to you, and the high humidity makes it harder for sweat to evaporate. This leaves you feeling sticky and uncomfortable. Worse yet, it makes your body work harder to cool itself, ironically raising body heat in the process. This can lead to an increased risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

To counteract the effects of high humidity, people in Milwaukee should avoid strenuous exercise, wear loose and light-colored clothing, drink lots of water, and stay indoors when the sun is at its highest around noontime. If you don’t have access to air conditioning, it’s a good idea to open the windows to keep the air circulating. Last but not least, consider investing in a dehumidifier to remove excess water vapor from the air.

Winter

As rough as a Milwaukee summer can get, it can’t hold a candle to a Milwaukee winter. During the winter months, temperatures are rarely above freezing and often dip below zero, even during the day. The coldest Milwaukee day on record saw temperatures plunge to a frigid -55. Even worse are the chilly winds that come off of Lake Michigan. At their worst, gusts of cold winter wind have been known to blow upward of 100 miles per hour.

In addition to the cold, Milwaukee residents also have to watch out for snowstorms. Every year, the city sees an average of 46.5 inches of snowfall, which can mean a lot of time spent shoveling your car out of the driveway. Add to that the sheets of ice that can cling to roads and sidewalks, and what you get is a very bitter winter indeed.

Fortunately, people in Milwaukee have gotten used to such frosty extremes and know all the tricks for surviving the cold. Such tricks include staying inside as much as possible, laying down rock salt over freshly shoveled surfaces, and avoiding traveling by car. In the event that you absolutely must leave your home, make sure to check the pressure and tread of your tires.

Also, keep a supply box in your vehicle in case of emergencies. It should be stocked with blankets, warm clothes, extra gloves, a flashlight, snacks, and either kitty litter or sand (which can be used to give your tires traction when stuck on a slippery road. Never drive if your vision is obstructed, and always dress warmly.

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