Heavy Rain Potential (Tonight-Thursday)

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest radar updates!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog.  For the past several days in our forecasts you’ve heard about a chance of showers, chance of thunderstorms.  And so far those pockets of rain have been pretty isolated.  More isolated showers and thunderstorms can be expected across the region today(Wednesday).  From Wednesday Night thru early Thursday, the potential exists for a widespread rain that could bring heavy downpours.

Over the past 5 days the flow has been out of the south allowing moist air into southeast Wisconsin.  The moisture has translated into very humid days.  That same moisture, along with a cold front will lead to showers and thunderstorms early Thursday and possibly heavy rain.

Let’s start by looking at the setup for Thursday morning.  A cold front will slowly move across southern Wisconsin.  Here is the forecast surface map at 7 a.m.  The front is on the doorstept of our viewing area, and it looks like a wet morning commute.

Anytime day or night you can track rain with our interactive radar.  It may be a good idea to check before leaving home on Thursday.  Just click the link below, and keep in mind you can move and zoom the radar right down to your backyard!


It appears likely that somewhere in southeast Wisconsin rain totals could exceed 2″ from now thru Thursday.  Below is a forecast rainfall map from the 12Z NAM.  The small band of lighter red that runs from east of Madison to near Sheboygan is a band of almost 3″ of rain!  Again, remember this is a forecast from just one model.  I put a little yellow ‘*’ where Milwaukee is located.

Heavy rain is a good bet in spots from Wednesday Night into  Thursday morning, but the band of heavy rain shown above will likely shift a bit east or west.  The map above gives a good general idea of the forecast rain amounts expected, but let’s put some hard numbers on what the map above represents.

These are the forecast rain totals just for Thursday for a few cities in southeast Wisconsin.  Again, this is from the 12Z NAM(same info as above).

  • Waukesha  2.24″
  • Watertown  2.12″
  • Sheboygan  1.80″
  • Milwaukee  1.75″
  • Fond du Lac  1.18″
  • Kenosha  1.00″

The final rain totals will not look exactly like this, but I do think 1″-2″+ of rain could fall across parts of southeast Wisconsin.  The atmosphere is holding a ton of moisture right now, and that should be squeezed out on Thursday.  As the rain adds up on thru Thursday, please post your rain totals to the comments section of the blog.  We will be showing a list of totals on WISN 12 News!  Also, any weather pictures or videos can be posted to the U-Local section of WISN.com   Your images and movies may appear on one of our newscasts!

Most of the rain will exit southeast Wisconsin by the midday hours on Thursday, and at this point Thursday afternoon looks dry, but still a little muggy.

Beginning on Friday, a cooler and less humid airmass will return to the area.  Until then expect warm and humid days, with increasing chances of rain and thunderstorms.

For the latest weather information, tune in to WISN 12 News from 5-7 a.m. and at 5, 6, & 10 p.m.!

Jeremy Nelson


7 Responses

  1. We’ve had several storms move over Sheboygan today, and so far we’ve picked up 1.08 inches. We had wind gusts up to 35 mph with one of the storms this morning around 11 AM.

    • Robert…thanks for the update! Jeremy

  2. We had 2.5″ here in Raymond, this is before the rain begins again from the next round

  3. Here on the south side of Racine, my rain-guage shows 4.5″ from both storms this afternoon.

    • Debi…that’s a lot of rain! Thanks for the update!

  4. Just wondering what happened in the atmosphere that caused I guess the entire region to avoid the ‘heavy downpours’ expected late Wednesday evening and this morning. My local school (St. Mary’s – Elm Grove) shows just 0.03″ since midnight today. I thought we were going to get 1-2 or even 3 more inches of rain after the rain yesterday afternoon.

    Just curious….

    Michael R.

    • Michael,

      I was actually pretty happy that we missed the heavy rain overnight. Really in yesterday’s blog I should have said from the afternoon thru early this morning. We highlighted for days that when the rain finally reached our area, it was going to be a gully washer! So the heavy rain with the scattered storms yesterday was expected, pinning down where it was going to fall was the challenge. I saw a report in Racine County of 4.50″ of rain on Wednesday. Overnight the heavy rain never developed in our area, and we only saw showers. Thankfully the humid air will get pushed out of here tonight. Thanks for the post. Jeremy

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