4th of July Weather Past & Present

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog and Happy 4th of July!  In looking back at the last 5-10 years worth of weather conditions for the 4th, I was a bit surprised.  Typically most people think of the 4th of July as a very warm holiday and since it is a holiday it usually rains right?  Actually the opposite has been true in recent years.

Here are some weather numbers for Milwaukee in regards to the 4th of July.



2009     74       60     0.00
2008     71       50     0.00
2007     84       67     0.00
2006     77      61      0.00
2005     76      67     0.12
2004     79      66     0.01
2003     92      69     0.04
2002     86      61      0.00
2001     84      64      0.47
2000     72     54     0.00

A couple of things stand out to me.  This year should be the warmest 4th in 7 years, and it may be the first in 5 years to record rain!  One last set of numbers before we more on to the current weather conditions, all-time record high/low temperatures.


Now let’s look ahead to what you can expect for Sunday.  Both Friday and Saturday were great weather days with highs in the 80s and sunny skies.  The 80s will stick around for Sunday, but more clouds and a chance of showers/t-storms are in the forecast.

Breaking Sunday down into parts should help everyone plan their outdoor activities accordingly.  Sunday morning looks great with partly to mostly cloudy skies, dry conditions, and temperatures quickly jumping into the 80s.  Another thing that everyone will notice on Sunday is a big jump in dew points, which means a very humid day. 

Anytime the dew point gets to 70 or higher it feels very sticky outside.  Below is a map of the forecast dew points on Sunday at 1 p.m.  This forecast comes from the NAM computer model.  The orange color over all of southeast Wisconsin represents a dew point of 70 or higher. 

With many parades and events scheduled all day on Sunday, make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day.  The heat(highs in the mid to upper 80s) and humidity will lead to the loss of fluids quickly through sweating. 

By afternoon a rain chance creeps back in the forecast.  The tropical plume of moisture(courtesy of Alex) will reach our area.  This will lead to more clouds, and also some widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. 

Below is an image from our high resolution in-house computer model for 4 p.m. Sunday.  This shows a few showers and thunderstorms in our area.  Don’t focus on the exact position, but instead the scattered nature of the showers and storms.

The threat of severe weather is very low on Sunday, but since this is tropical moisture we are dealing with, heavy downpours are possible.  Any storms that do form could quickly drop 1″+ of rain in a short amount of time. 

The rain threat from Sunday will carry over into Monday and likely Tuesday.  Rain totals will vary greatly across our viewing area, but I could see 1″-2″+ in spots by the time the rain chances exit later Tuesday.

In the meantime, don’t cancel your outdoor plans, just have a plan ‘B’ ready.  And also, if you hear thunder, move indoors because lightning is close enough to strike your area.  Flooding and lightning are the top two weather related killers each year in the U.S.

You can track any rain or thunderstorms throughout the weekend with our interactive radar.  Just click the link below, and move the radar to your location!


Have a happy and safe 4th of July, and make sure to tune into WISN 12 News for the latest data and live radar!

Jeremy Nelson


2 Responses

  1. Good grief.

    Much of the Plains already are seeing some river flooding – some areas of major flooding, this will not help. Many flood watches/warnings already.

  2. HPC has been known to throw out some pretty exaggerated numbers in the past so let’s hope for the sake of the people of Iowa and you guys down in the KC region this turns out to be another one of those instances.

    The bad news is that some of the recent models have been retrograding the east coast high which would prolong the rain chances in those hardest hit areas. The 12z GFS even has most of our area dry through the day on Tuesday because of everything getting pushed back so far west.

    2nd time this year Milwaukee hit 90 and certainly not the best day for it to happen with all the outdoor activities happening today.

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