Next 12 Hours
A building heat wave will bring the hottest weather of 2021 to southern Wisconsin by late this week, with heat indices of 90 to 95 over the weekend into next week, according to forecasters.
An isolated thunderstorm or two will be possible across central Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon, while isolated storms will be possible Wednesday and Thursday, mainly in the afternoon, the National Weather Service said.
In Madison on Tuesday, look for mostly sunny skies, with a high near 76 and south winds around 5 mph.
After an overnight low around 55, Wednesday’s forecast features a 20% chance for showers and storms after 2 p.m., mostly sunny skies, a high near 78 and south winds around 5 mph.
Overnight Wednesday into Thursday, there’s a 20% chance for showers and storms before 8 p.m., as the low falls to around 55.
The chances for showers and storms continues at 20% Thursday and Thursday night between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., with sunny skies, a high near 82 and west winds around 5 mph, then a low around 61.
The Weather Service said the heat picks up Friday, and chances for showers and/or storms return at 20% Sunday and Sunday night, and 30% Monday.
Skies over Madison should be sunny Friday through Monday, with highs near 87, 88, 89 and 88, and lows Friday night through Sunday night around 66, 68 and 68.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Max Tsaparis forecasts a possible stray late-day shower on Tuesday, a possible stray shower or storm Wednesday, and possible isolated late-day showers and storms on Monday.
Tsaparis said highs for Madison Tuesday through Monday should be near 75, 78, 81, 85, 87, 88 and 86, and overnight lows around 55, 56, 61, 64, 67 and 68.
The heat will be even more intense to the west of Wisconsin in the northern Plains and Canadian Prairies, where record highs in the mid-90s are expected, thanks to a northward bulge in the jet stream, AccuWeather said.
Bismarck, North Dakota might even crack 100 on Friday and/or Saturday, while even Marquette, Michigan will be nearing its record high of 84 on Friday.
The bad news is that the heat will result in a worsening drought across the region, where drought conditions ranging from severe to exceptional have been plaguing eastern Montana and into the Dakotas, and severe to extreme hitting southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, AccuWeather said.
Monday’s high in Madison was 72 at 4:40 p.m., 2 degrees below the normal high and 29 degrees below the record high of 101 for May 31, set in 1934.
Monday’s low in Madison was 50 at 3:55 a.m., 3 degrees below the normal low and 18 degrees above the record low of 32 for May 31, set in 1966.
No precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Monday, leaving Madison’s final May precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) at 2.2 inches, 1.9 inches below normal. The meteorological spring (March through May) total finished at 5.05 inches, 5.09 inches below normal. The 2021 total stayed at 7.18 inches.
Madison’s record precipitation for May 31 is 2.33 inches in 2000.