The forecast for Friday afternoon into Saturday couldn’t be much worse for flooded areas of southern Wisconsin: more severe thunderstorms and rain — possibly a lot of rain.
The storms, which could feature hail, damaging wind and even an isolated tornado, are expected to dump 1 to 3 inches of rain and locally heavier amounts on areas that have had 5 to 10 inches this month, forecasters warned on Friday morning.
The National Weather Service said soil is saturated roughly south of a Kenosha to Baraboo line and more flooding is likely if those areas see more rain, so a flash flood watch is in effect from 4 p.m. Friday through 9 a.m. Saturday.
Here is a Weather Service video with details:
Areas south and west of Madison saw 3 to 5 inches of rain in rounds of storms Wednesday night into Thursday morning, and many areas of south-central and southeast Wisconsin have seen 5 to 10 inches of rain this month.
Roads that remain closed on Friday morning include Wisconsin 30 at County I near Dodgeville in Iowa County, Wisconsin 191 at County W near Hollandale in Iowa County, Wisconsin 39 at County K near Hollandale in Iowa County, while Wisconsin 78 at County A near Belleville in Dane County re-opened around daybreak on Friday.
Update: Those closed roads were opened by 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Flood warnings continue for many area rivers, including the Baraboo, Rock, Fox, Pecatonica, and Sugar.
Parts of western Wisconsin saw 6 to 8 inches of rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning, with evacuations in Arcadia and Galesville, and shelters open in Arcadia, Galesville, La Crosse and Sparta.
In addition, residents of southeast Wisconsin are still recovering from severe flooding last week.
The Weather Service said several rounds of storms are expected from Friday afternoon through the overnight for southern Wisconsin, tapering off Saturday morning. The greatest risk for severe storms to produce heavy rain, damaging winds, large hail and possibly a tornado is Friday afternoon and evening.
The flash flood threat will increase during the overnight hours as storms continue to track over the same areas.
Heat index values in the mid- to upper 90s are forecast across mainly southern and western portions of the area Friday afternoon, and mainly southern portions of the area Saturday.
In Madison on Friday, there’s a 50 percent chance for showers and storms, mainly after 2 p.m., with some of storms possibly producing heavy rain, partly sunny skies, a high near 88 and heat index values as high as 95, cooled slightly by light southeast winds becoming south winds at 5 to 10 miles per hour in the afternoon, the Weather Service said.
Overnight, the chance for showers and storms is 90 percent, with 2 to 3 inches of rain possible, as the low falls to around 70.
The chance for showers and storms drops to 30 percent Saturday, with some storms possible producing heavy rain, partly sunny skies, a high near 83 and southwest winds at 5 to 10 mph turning out of the northwest in the afternoon.
The Weather Service said quiet and much more comfortable weather will follow, with just a 20 percent chance for showers and storms after 1 p.m. Sunday, a 20 percent chance for showers Wednesday night, and a 40 percent chance for showers and storms Thursday.
Skies over Madison should be mostly sunny Sunday and Monday, sunny Tuesday, mostly sunny Wednesday, and partly sunny Thursday, with highs near 80, 73, 77, 80 and 78, and lows Saturday night through Wednesday night around 66, 59, 57, 61 and 64.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Branden Borremans forecasts a few showers and storms developing on a muggy Friday afternoon, numerous showers and storms with more heavy rain likely overnight, a few showers and storms early Saturday, an isolated shower or storm later Saturday, then mostly quiet and more comfortable weather with a few storms possible Wednesday and Wednesday night, and scattered showers and storms Thursday.
Skies over Madison should be partly sunny to mostly cloudy Friday, cloudy turning partly sunny Saturday, mostly to partly sunny Sunday, mostly sunny Monday, sunny Tuesday, partly sunny Wednesday, mostly cloudy Thursday, and partly sunny next Friday, with highs near 87, 87, 84, 77, 80, 85, 83 and 82, and overnight lows around 69, 67, 58, 56, 61, 68, 64 and 60.
Thursday’s high in Madison was 87 at 4:01 p.m., 5 degrees above the normal high and 10 degrees below the record high of 97 for July 20, set in 1901, 1930 and 2011.
Thursday’s low in Madison was 67 at 5:38 a.m., 6 degrees above the normal low and 22 degrees above the record low of 45 for July 20, set in 1970.
Officially, 0.67 inches of precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Thursday, boosting Madison’s July total to 4.67 inches, 1.9 inches above normal. For meteorological summer (June through August), Madison’s precipitation total rose to 11.4 inches, 4.09 inches above normal. The 2017 total rose to 27.06 inches, 7.92 inches above normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for July 20 is 2.53 inches in 1912.