Focus on Severe Weather

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest radar and severe weather updates!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  After a short 2 day break from rain and storms, another soaking rain hit the area Thursday morning.  And this may just be the beginning!  The next round of showers and thunderstorms will move into southern Wisconsin late this afternoon and into Thursday evening.  This is the round that could bring severe weather to our area!

Let’s start by with a quick reminder…if you want to track rain or severe weather day or night right down to where you live or work, just click the link below for our interactive radar.

Also, if you have storm reports or photos we would love to see them!  Just post photos and video to the U-Local section of or send them to  You can post rain totals to the comments section of the blog.

The setup for severe storms to fire is pretty impressive.  3 ingredients are needed for severe weather; moisture, lift, and instability.  The moisture is in place with dew points in the low 70s, the lift will be provided by a warm front advancing into southern Wisconsin.  The final ingredient of instability will begin to appear once the clouds clear and temperatures climb.  I expect southeast Wisconsin to quickly destabilize by late afternoon.

Now that you know the ingredients, let’s look at surface observations from around 1 p.m. Thursday.  The hot and humid air just south of our area is moving north.  At 1 p.m. it was 72 degrees in Milwaukee with a dew point of 70.  While just to our south in Rockford, IL it was 85 degrees with a dew point of 74!  Just click on the image below to enlarge.

The timing of any potentially severe thunderstorms for our area looks to be after 5 p.m.  The Storm Prediction Center has all of southeast Wisconsin under a slight risk of seeing severe weather.  Below is the severe weather outlook.

The biggest threat from the storms will be heavy rain and damaging winds.  Keep in mind ‘severe’ winds are classified as 58 mph or greater.  The Storm Prediction Center thinks the best chance of damaging winds is across southern Wisconsin.  The map below shows the threat of damaging winds.  The percentages mean the following, the 30% area simply means there is a 30% chance of winds 58 mph or greater within 25 miles of a point. 

Since a warm front is nearby and there are also little outflow boundaries left over from today’s morning rain, I think there is also a chance of isolated torandoes with the strongest cells.  This threat is one that we will watch very closely, and will cut into programming right away if a tornado warning is issued.  So stay tuned to WISN 12 for the latest on the potential for severe weather.

Even if no tornadoes or damaging winds occur, we need to watch out for locally heavy rain.  Many locations picked up 0.50″ to 1.50″ of rain this morning.  Here are a few totals that we received.

  • Lake Mills  1.60″
  • Milwaukee Mitchell  1.44″
  • Franksville  1.20″
  • Slinger  0.70″

To get a general idea of the entire region, here is a look at the NEXRAD rainfall estimates through about 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Thank you for reading, and make sure to stay up-to-date with the latest severe weather threats on WISN 12!  Also follow our forecasts on Facebook at WeatherWatch 12 and Twitter WISN12News

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


2 Responses

  1. Getting really dark here in North Fond Du Lac. When I looked on the map we were in the reddish color– what does that mean? Getting windy too!!! any warnings or watches out for us in North Fond Du Lac. I live off of Hwy 41. I’m also disabled so any early advice is great so I can also secure my service animals.

    Thank You.

  2. I would like to report 1.90″ of rain in the Town of Raymond from this morning’s rain/storms.

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