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Southern Wisconsin could see severe thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, evening

Southern Wisconsin could see severe thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, evening


Southern Wisconsin could see severe thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening, with large hail and damaging wind gusts possible, along with heavy rain that will likely cause several rivers to rise above flood stage over the weekend, according to forecasters.

Scattered thunderstorms are expected Saturday afternoon and early evening, with a “slight” risk for severe storms for much of southern Wisconsin, including Madison and Milwaukee and locations to the south.

Storm potential Saturday afternoon by National Weather Service

Close to 30 million people may be at risk for severe storms over the central U.S., with some of the storms capable of spawning isolated tornadoes from late Friday into Saturday, AccuWeather reported.

The first strong storms hit Thursday night over portions of eastern Kansas to central Missouri and southwestern Illinois, with hail up to the size of golf balls.

"Storms from northern Missouri and southern Iowa to central Illinois may have the greatest potential for tornadoes on Saturday, but this threat area may lift northward later in the day and early in the evening," AccuWeather lead storm-warning meteorologist Brian Knopick said.

In Madison on Friday, there’s a 10% chance for showers after 5 p.m., partly sunny skies, a high near 55 and east winds at 5 to 10 miles per hour.

There is a 100% chance for rain Friday night and Saturday, 80% Saturday night, and 50% Sunday, with a quarter- to half-inch possible Friday night, again Saturday, and again Saturday night; and storms possible after 11 a.m. Saturday to before 1 a.m. Sunday.

Rain totals forecast by National Weather Service

Mostly quiet weather will follow, with just a 20% chance for rain showers, possible mixed with snow showers at times, Tuesday through Wednesday.

Skies over Madison should be cloudy Saturday, mostly cloudy Sunday, sunny Monday, mostly sunny Tuesday and Wednesday, and partly sunny Thursday, with highs near 58, 50, 55, 52, 56 and 51, and lows Friday night through Wednesday night near 43, 43, 35, 35, 35 and 34.

27 Storm Track meteorologist Max Tsaparis forecasts rain developing Friday evening, scattered showers and thundershowers Saturday, rain and thundershowers Saturday night, possible light rain Sunday morning, and a few rain showers possible Thursday.

Tsaparis said highs Friday through Thursday should be near 53, 50, 48, 58, 47, 53 and 54, and overnight lows around 41, 41, 34, 32, 30 and 36.

Thursday’s high in Madison was 45 at 5:36 p.m., 3 degrees below normal and 34 degrees below the record high of 79 for March 26, set in 2007.

Thursday’s low in Madison was 36 at 11:59 p.m., 8 degrees above normal and 45 degrees above the record low of 9 below for March 26, set in 1960.

U.S. tornado averages by month 1991-2010

Officially, 0.01 inches of precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Thursday, boosting Madison’s March and meteorological spring (March through May) precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) to 2.85 inches, 1.1 inches above normal. Madison’s 2020 precipitation total rose to 5.53 inches, 1.1 inches above normal.

Madison’s record precipitation for March 26 is 1.12 inches in 1928.

With no snow on Thursday, Madison’s March and meteorological spring (March through May) total stayed at 2.8 inches, 3.3 inches below normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison has received 53.5 inches, 6.3 inches above normal.

Madison's record snowfall for March 26 is 5 inches in 1928.

Photos: Remembering Wisconsin's deadliest tornado in 1899

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