Lake Fog & Warm Sunday

***Watch WISN 12 News for Milwaukee’s most accurate forecast!***

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your weekend on the Weather Watch 12 blog!  Weather conditions have varied greatly across southeast Wisconsin Saturday afternoon.  Areas near Lake Michigan were once again seeing locally dense pockets of lake fog moving inland from time to time.  While inland locations were enjoying a mix of sun and clouds and temps in the 70s!

The fog hang over parts of Downtown Milwaukee have provided some great pictures over the last day.  Our camera network on the weather page of is a great place to look at various cameras across our viewing area.  The view below is from our station at 19th and Wells, looking back toward Downtown.  Notice that the US Bank building which is typically very easy to see, is blocked by the fog and low clouds!

Many people have been wondering how and why the fog is forming, and staying so close to the shore.  The main reason the fog is forming is that warm and moist air is flowing over the chilly waters.  Dew points, which are a measure of surface moisture have climbed into the 50s to around 60 in Milwaukee.  Combine this with a light southeast wind, and low clouds and fog are forming over the lake, and pushing near the shore.

The fog has been dense at times, and reduced visibilites to less than an 1/8 of a mile.  Again, most of this fog is within about 1 to 2 miles of the lake.  Below is a surface map showing the wind direction, temps(in red), and dew points(in green) which I discussed above.


Once you get slightly inland, the wind direction shift to a more southerly direction.  This halts the fog, along with the sunshine.  The fog needs to hang close to its source region, the lake.  Before we move on to the Sunday forecast, another picture from our camera network.  This one from Racine within about 100 yards of the lake.

The fog should not be a problem on Sunday.  Winds will be much stronger, and turn to a more southerly direction.  This will allow temperatures in all locations to warm into the 80s.  Likely low 80s near the lake, and mid 80s inland.

Below is a temperature forecast for 1 p.m. on Sunday.  This is from the 12Z NAM, one of several computer models we look at when forecasting.

Along with the warm temperatures, it will be humid.  Dew points will likely push into the 60s.  During the late afternoon I still think a couple of isolated showers or thunderstorms may develop.  Best chance of this would be over inland areas away from Lake Michigan.  So don’t be surprised if a couple showers develop later Sunday.

Better rain chances more in with more scattered thunderstorms on Monday and possibly Tuesday.  Until then, enjoy the weekend and early summer preview!

Watch WISN 12 News for the updated forecast all weekend!

Jeremy Nelson


2 Responses

  1. Please metion the snow storm of May 10th 1990, when Eight of snow fell in Muskego and Hartford WI..35MPH winds damag ed or destroyed thousands of trees and downed numerous power lines. The storm in Upper Mich. and eastern Wisconsin caused more than four million dollars Thanks Ron Gehrt of Muskego.

    • Ron,

      When we get closer to May 10 we’ll look back to that storm. Thanks for the heads up.


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