Climate of Waukesha City, Wisconsin

Waukesha, Wisconsin, is a vibrant city situated in the southeastern part of the state, approximately 18 miles west of Milwaukee. As part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area, Waukesha experiences a climate that is characteristic of the Upper Midwest. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the weather and climate of Waukesha, it’s essential to explore its seasonal variations, precipitation patterns, temperature ranges, and the influence of its geographical location.

Geography and Location:

According to Citiesplustowns, Waukesha is located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, and is positioned in the western suburbs of Milwaukee. The city is situated along the Fox River and encompasses a mix of urban and suburban areas. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills, lakes, and parks, contributing to the city’s scenic beauty.

Climate Classification:

Waukesha falls under the classification of a humid continental climate. This climate type is characterized by four distinct seasons, with warm to hot summers, cold winters, and noticeable temperature variations between seasons. The proximity to the Great Lakes can influence local weather patterns.


  1. Summer:

Summers in Waukesha, from June to August, are warm and can be humid. Average daytime temperatures typically range from the mid-70s to the low 80s°F (24–28°C), with occasional warmer days reaching into the 90s°F (32–37°C). Summer is a popular time for outdoor activities, festivals, and enjoying the city’s parks and recreational areas.

  1. Fall:

Fall in Waukesha, spanning from September to November, brings a gradual cooling of temperatures. Average highs range from the 60s°F (15–26°C) in September to the 40s and 50s°F (4–15°C) in November. Fall foliage becomes a prominent feature, with the changing colors of the leaves creating picturesque landscapes in and around the city.

  1. Winter:

Winters in Waukesha, from December to February, are cold and can experience snowfall. Average daytime temperatures range from the 20s to the 30s°F (around -6 to -1°C). The city may experience periods of freezing temperatures, and snowfall contributes to winter scenes, creating opportunities for winter sports and activities.

  1. Spring:

Spring in Waukesha, from March to May, marks a transition to milder temperatures. Average highs range from the 40s and 50s°F (4–15°C) in March to the 60s and 70s°F (15–26°C) in May. Spring is characterized by blooming flowers, the budding of trees, and the gradual warming of the environment. Residents and visitors can enjoy the emergence of greenery and outdoor activities.


Waukesha experiences a moderate amount of precipitation throughout the year, with an average annual rainfall of about 34 inches (864 mm). The distribution of precipitation is relatively even across the seasons, with slightly higher amounts during the late spring and summer months. Winters may bring snowfall, contributing to the overall precipitation totals.

Influence of the Great Lakes:

While Waukesha is not directly adjacent to the Great Lakes, its climate is influenced by their proximity. The moderating effect of Lake Michigan can impact temperature extremes, leading to milder winter temperatures and cooler summer temperatures compared to more inland areas. The Great Lakes also contribute to the region’s humidity levels.


Waukesha may exhibit microclimates within its boundaries due to variations in elevation, local topography, and proximity to water bodies. Areas with different elevations or those located near lakes and rivers may experience slightly different temperature and precipitation levels compared to other parts of the city. These microclimatic variations contribute to the diversity of experiences within Waukesha.

Urban Heat Island Effect:

While Waukesha is not a large urban center, the development of commercial areas and residential neighborhoods can contribute to localized variations in temperature. The urban heat island effect may be observed in areas with significant infrastructure, but its impact is generally less pronounced than in larger cities.

Parks and Outdoor Activities:

Waukesha’s commitment to parks and outdoor recreation is evident in its numerous parks, trails, and green spaces. Residents and visitors can explore parks along the Fox River, engage in outdoor sports, and enjoy the city’s natural surroundings. The climate, with its distinct seasons, provides opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year.

Community Events and Festivals:

Waukesha hosts various community events and festivals throughout the year that take advantage of its climate and cultural diversity. Events may include art fairs, music festivals, and community gatherings. The city’s calendar reflects its community spirit and the vibrancy of its cultural scene.

Economic Activities and Industries:

Waukesha’s climate has influenced its economic activities, with a mix of industries contributing to the city’s growth. The city’s proximity to Milwaukee and its position in the metropolitan area contribute to its economic diversity, with manufacturing, healthcare, and technology sectors playing significant roles.

Climate Change Considerations:

Waukesha, like many communities worldwide, faces considerations related to climate change. Changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, and the potential for more extreme weather events are areas of concern. The city may be engaged in climate resilience planning, focusing on sustainable practices, infrastructure considerations, and community initiatives to address these challenges.


Waukesha, Wisconsin, experiences a humid continental climate characterized by its four distinct seasons, scenic landscapes, and outdoor recreational opportunities. With a mix of economic activities, community events, and a climate that accommodates various pursuits throughout the year, residents and visitors can enjoy a diverse range of experiences. Waukesha’s commitment to parks, cultural events, and outdoor recreation contributes to the overall appeal of the city. As Waukesha continues to evolve, climate considerations will likely play a crucial role in shaping sustainable practices and ensuring the well-being of its residents.

Waukesha City, Wisconsin