Heavy storms hit Madison, more to come rest of the week

May 16, 2019 GMT

Heavy rain and severe storms are in the forecast for southern Wisconsin starting Thursday and continuing into Sunday, with flooding possible along streams and in low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service said the main periods of showers and thunderstorms producing heavy rainfall are Friday afternoon into Friday night, and Saturday night into Sunday.

Showers and a few thunderstorms will affect southern Wisconsin Thursday and Thursday night, but the heaviest rainfall is expected to be farther south of Madison, along northern Illinois.

Some of the storms could turn severe, with large hail and damaging winds the main threats.


South-central Wisconsin could see up to 3 inches of rain before the showers and storms end Sunday night.

The very wet forecast doesn’t bode well for outdoor activities, and the Weather Service is advising people who might be thinking of camping this weekend to keep abreast of changing weather conditions.

“If enjoying any recreational activities, including camping, near southern Wisconsin rivers this weekend, stay aware of the latest forecast and radar information,” the Weather Service said.

The repeated rounds of heavy rainfall is cause for concern along rivers and streams that already have caused flooding throughout Wisconsin this spring.

Flood warnings have already been issued in Buffalo, Crawford and Grant counties, for high water and minor flooding on the Mississippi River.

The entire southern half of the state is expected to see heavy rain, so more flood watches or warnings could be coming as the week moves on.

Two rounds of rain are expected in Madison on Thursday, morning and late afternoon, with the high reaching close to 80.

Showers and storms are forecast Friday and Friday night, with up to an inch of rain possible. The high on Friday could be 25 almost degrees colder than Thursday, only getting up to 56.

Saturday is expected to be a repeat of Friday, except the high should be about 10 degrees warmer at 66.

Sunday should complete the weekend washout, with the high topping out at 67.

Monday could be the only dry day of the next 7 days, with a high of 58 under mostly cloudy skies.

Rain is forecast Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs of 60 and 67.

Wednesday’s high of 77 was 9 degrees above normal and 9 degrees below the record high of 86 for May 15, set in 1977 and tied in 2012.

The low of 44 was 2 degrees below normal and 14 degrees above the record low of 30 for the date, set in 1983 and tied in 2016.

No rain fell at the airport, keeping the May precipitation total at 1.69 inches, 0.06 inches above normal.

The record precipitation (rain plus melted snow) total on May 15 was 1.39 inches in 1933.

For the meteorological spring of March through May, Madison has received 5.83 inches of precipitation, 1.40 inches below normal.

Since Jan. 1, Madison has received 11.33 inches of precipitation, 1.42 inches above normal.