Thunderstorm & Severe Weather Chances

***Watch WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10 p.m. as we track the potential for severe weather!***

*********8pm Update***********

TORNADO WATCH for all of SE Wisconsin until 1:00 AM. Line of storms moving SE from Oshkosh to the Dells. Heavy rain, lightning, damaging winds, and possible tornadoes. Stay with weather watch 12 for the latest and check out interactive radar to track the storms.


*********3 p.m. Update*****************

Tornado Watch until 7 p.m. for Dodge, Washington, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Fond du Lac counties. Tune to WISN 12 for the latest updates!


Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog! The focus for this blog will be on our chance for strong to severe weather this evening and tonight. Remember, you can track severe weather day or night with our interactive radar. Just click on the link below!

A cold front will head toward southeast Wisconsin this evening. Along the front there is a good chance that severe thunderstorms develop. Here are the questions concerning the severe weather for our area…the timing, will storms weaken before arriving, and what are the potential severe weather threats?

Let’s start by looking at the severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center. This is valid for today(Wednesday). Notice the moderate risk over our northern and western counties.

With the front not arriving until late evening and overnight across Wisconsin, that means hot and humid weather will reside out ahead of the front. After a day with highs near 90, and dew points close to 70 degrees, the fuel should be in place for a line of thunderstorms to develop, and potentially move into southeast Wisconsin.

Below is the surface map at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. While our dew point was sitting at 70 in Milwaukee, which is very humid. The dew point in parts of Iowa was in the low 80s which is about as high as the dew point will ever get in this part of the country! So needless to say, any storms that fire will have lots of juice to work with. Just click on the map to enlarge.

Right now the timing looks to be after dark. The best chance for Milwaukee should be after midnight, but our western counties will see the storms about 1-2 hours earlier. This model is generally really good at picking up on small scale features, such as thunderstorms. While a round of thunderstorms can’t be ruled out this evening, the best bet will be overnight. Here is a snapshot from our latest in-house high resolution computer model.

The biggest threat from the storms will be damaging winds. We will also watch for hail, and early in the thunderstorm develop isolated tornadoes. The highest risk for tornadoes is outside our viewing area. But as we have seen this severe weather season, tornadoes can never be ruled out.

Stay with Weather Watch 12 and WISN 12 News all day for weather updates. Remember, we also have numerous updates each day here:

  • Facebook: WeatherWatch 12
  • Twitter: WISN12News
  • (Futurecast, Interactive radar)
  • iPhone App: WISN

You can also post your pictures and video to the U-Local section of! Check back later for more updates.

Jeremy Nelson


5 Responses

  1. Just curious. What prevents the dew point from being say 90 F around this part of the country?


    Michael R.

    • Michael,

      The dew point can never be higher than the actual temperature so keep that in mind first. Second, the highest dew points in the world are near either the Dead Sea or the Persian Gulf if memory serves me right. You need to be either near a body of very warm water, or in the case of Iowa’s high dew points today, have vegetation giving off moisture. This process of transpiration from the corn crop is elevating the dew points in Iowa. So it adds to the moisture flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico. About the highest dew point I’ve ever been in was around 83 degrees when living in southwest Minnesota. Again, the corn crop aided in the elevated dew point. Good question! Jeremy

  2. Jeremy~What are the forecast models showing for rain totals in our area?

  3. Is anyone else experiencing any flooding?

    • There was quite a bit of street flooding and standing water across the area. I did see one rain total of 4.50″. Jeremy

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