By Craig Koplien Special to Published Jan 20, 2014 at 12:30 PM Photography:

I have great news! We’re halfway through winter!

I have bad news. We’re halfway through winter.

If you’re not a big fan of the cold season, you may not know how to react to the news that we’ve passed the halfway mark of it.

According to my analysis of normal high, low and daily mean temperatures in Milwaukee and Madison, I estimate that the coldest week of the year, on average, in southern Wisconsin is Jan. 14-20.

If you are one who spends most of the winter looking forward to the summer, the passing of winter’s halfway mark is either reason for optimism or frustration. Do you feel optimistic that we’ve turned the corner and are now headed toward the warm season? Or, are you frustrated to learn that, despite all of the winter nastiness we’ve had to deal with so far, we still have about 50 percent of the cold season ahead of us.

I choose to be optimistic. As I prefer warm weather to cold, I look forward to two yearly milestones: the recently-passed halfway point of the cold season, and the winter solstice, a.k.a., the shortest day of the year, which occurs yearly around Dec. 21. As you read this today, our days are getting longer, and the normal temperatures are going up (albeit very, very slowly for now.)

Here are the numbers: The daily average temperature bottoms out at 22 degrees in Milwaukee during the timeframe Jan. 5-29. During this stretch, the normal high temperature is 29 and normal low is 15.

In Madison, the daily average temperature bottoms out at 18 degrees during the timeframe Jan. 11-22. During this stretch, the normal high temperature is 26 and normal low is 11.

Craig Koplien Special to

Craig is a meteorologist who was born and raised in Pewaukee. After getting a degree in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he worked over 20 years on TV and radio in Milwaukee, Madison, Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri.

Craig spends most of his time trying to keep up with his bride and their three teenage daughters. Any time left over is spent with his other beloveds, the Packers, Brewers and Badgers.