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The good news is there is a lot of summer-like days in the forecast, but we need to get through Friday first. As we discussed in yesterday’s blog, the forecast for Friday is a little tricky, but is now coming into focus.
Dry air is a concern when rain is in the forecast. Rain MUST overcome dry air to reach the ground, if it doesn’t, the rain evaporates before reaching the ground, known as virga. The best way to look for dry air is by looking at dew points, or the measure of moisture in the lower levels of the atmosphere.
Below is a surface map from 10 a.m. Thursday. The temp is 71 in Milwaukee with a dew point of 41. Farther south, over parts of Iowa, dew points are in the mid-50s and is raining. The rain is symbolized by the dots next to the weather station. Just click on the map to enlarge.
On the map above, notice the circles that are completely filled in and black? This means it is cloudy in those locations. In Milwaukee, the circle is only half filled in. This means it is partly cloudy.
Now if you want to double check to see if the surface observations are correct in regards to cloud cover, look at the visible satellite for roughly the same time. High clouds cover central and southern Wisconsin allowing for ‘filtered sunshine’, while cloudy skies are over much of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois.
Where skies are cloudy and rain is falling, those areas are much closer to a low pressure system. This is the low that will bring our area a chance of showers on Friday. The track of the low will stay to the south of Wisconsin, but enough moisture should flow north to allow for a chance of rain showers beginning early Friday. Below is the forecast surface map at 7 a.m. Notice southern Wisconsin is in the ‘green area’, this means there is a chance of showers.
While an all day washout is not expected on Friday, there could be showers from time to time. Rainfall amounts will vary greatly across the viewing area from a few hundredths to possibly a quarter to half inch.
A great way to track the rain is with our interactive radar. You can move the radar to your backyard, or anywherey you may be traveling.
By Saturday the rain is gone and sunshine will begin to emerge. Sunday and Monday look like very warm days across southeast Wisconsin. Barring any lake breeze, Milwaukee could see highs in the mid-80s! Goodbye Spring, hello Summer!
Make sure to watch WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10pm as we track the rain for Friday, and the huge warm-up ahead! You can also track the changes in a few other ways.
- Facebook: WeatherWatch 12
- Twitter: WISN12News
- iPhone App: WISN
Have a great day and don’t forget to post your thoughts and questions in the comments section of the blog!