Tough Forecast & T-Storm Timing

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest on weekend rain chances!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog. The weekend is now here, and some questions still remain unanswered in regards to the chances and timing of showers/t-storms.

In this blog we will look at when the timing of rain looks most likely, and also discuss some of the potential pitfalls in the forecast.

Let’s start by looking at the complex setup across the upper Midwest. Southeast Wisconsin is sitting very close to two frontal boundaries, a warm front and a cold front. There is also an area of low pressure over western Wisconsin. All of these boundaries could lead to showers and thunderstorms popping up anywhere from late Friday into parts of Saturday.

Below is the surface map from 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. At this time Milwaukee was 72 degrees with a sticky dew point of 66. The wind was southeast, so the cooler air over the lake was keeping temps down a bit. Inland areas were in the low 80s, with dew points around 70! That is humid!

With a cold front to the west and the warm front just to the north of southeast Wisconsin, a few thunderstorms will be possible late Friday afternoon and Friday evening. Any storms that do form may produce gusty winds, heavy downpours, and some hail. Those storms would be very isolated. A few showers could carry into Friday Night, but most of the night looks dry.

The toughest part of the forecast comes on Saturday. The timing of a frontal passage will determine if we see showers and thunderstorms. There is a chance that Saturday stays dry all together, but the cold front would have to zip south of our area early. Below is a forecast for 3 p.m. Saturday from our in-house high resolution computer model. This keeps afternoon rain well south of our area and turns the wind to the north. Hopefully this solution is the correct one, because it would mean a mainly dry Saturday! Just click on the map below to enlarge.

With the uncertainty of the cold front position, I am going to keep a chance of a few showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for Saturday. But right now it looks like after a few morning showers, rain chances will begin to decrease the later we get into the afternoon on Saturday. The Saturday pitfall would be if the front is slow to move through the area, a slower solution would lead to an increased chance of rain on Saturday.

Temperatures will be coolest near the lake with highs around 80, inland locations should warm into the low to mid 80s on Saturday.

By Sunday, dry conditions should prevail as the surface forecast map shows the cold front down over Illinois. Skies will still be mostly cloudy, and with winds mainly off Lake Michigan, temperatures will be in the low 70s near the lake, a little warmer inland.

With the question marks that remain, make sure to take our forecasts with you all weekend. We will be sending out updates all weekend!

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Remember, you can always ask a weather question right here on the blog! Just post your question to the comments section. Have a great weekend and make sure to watch WISN 12 News for the very latest!

Jeremy Nelson


2 Responses

  1. Shades of 2009 today… a day originally forecast to be 90 degrees a few days back ends up cloudy and in the 60s.

    • Daniel,

      I think the last time we had 90 in for today was on Tuesday, but I was hoping the warm temps would stick around for at least today. The front dropped just south of our area, and we are on the bad side of a nearly stationary front for this time of year. Winds out of the northeast, and that spells bad news with Lake Michigan as a neighbor. Plenty of warm days ahead…it isn’t even June 15 yet.


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