Severe storms, heavy rainfall expected Thursday night

Strong winds, large hail possible
Severe storms, heavy rainfall expected Thursday night

Severe storms and heavy rain are possible Thursday night into Friday.

News 3 meteorologist Bob Lesh said that as a low pressure system approaches from the west on Thursday and then moves through southern Wisconsin Thursday night and Friday morning, there is the potential for severe storms and heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service says 2 to 4 inches of rain is expected over southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin, with up to 6 inches in localized areas. A flash flood watch has been issued for those areas.

Before the system arrives late Thursday, the conditions will be favorable for isolated thunderstorm development Thursday afternoon, which has led the Storm Prediction Center to put southern Wisconsin at a slight risk for severe weather. The threat will mainly be for strong winds and large hail, although an isolated tornado is possible.

As the low moves through the upper Midwest, it will tap into abundant moisture, leading to potentially heavy rains, which could cause localized flooding. The heaviest of the rains are on a track that will take them into central Wisconsin, with amounts up to 5 inches possible there from Thursday night through Friday morning. In southern Wisconsin, the amounts will be closer to 2 inches, but any particularly heavy thunderstorms could increase local rainfall potential.

If the track of the storm shifts to the south even slightly, the larger rainfall amounts would move into southern Wisconsin, causing a greater flooding threat.