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After a weekend of high fire danger, much-needed rain and thunderstorms are on the way for southern Wisconsin after the warmest day of the year, according to forecasters.
Sunday’s high at the Dane County Regional Airport was 75 at 3:28 p.m., the warmest it has been in Madison this year, and just 2 degrees below the record high of 77 for April 4, set in 1929.
April remains without precipitation and since March 1, Madison has seen just 1.41 inches, 1.2 inches below normal.
But storms are possible Monday, mainly over far southern and southwestern Wisconsin late in the morning into the afternoon, the National Weather Service said.
Chances for storms continue at times Tuesday through Thursday as a more active weather pattern develops across the region, the Weather Service said.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest is abnormally dry with areas of severe and exceptional drought across much of North Dakota and South Dakota.
Monday's rain may be just enough help to douse the dry ground and help prevent fire issues in the region, but storms expected Tuesday and Wednesday could bring 1 to 2 inches of rain, and 3 to 4 inches in some locations, causing possible flooding, AccuWeather said.
"These storms Tuesday may be rather localized, but could still be dangerous and even produce an isolated tornado," AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossio said. "The more widespread severe weather threat is anticipated Wednesday afternoon.”
In Madison on Monday, there’s a 30% chance for showers and storms, mainly before 2 p.m., with partly sunny skies, a high near 76 and southwest winds at 5 to 10 miles per hour, the Weather Service said.
Chances for showers and storms continue at 30% overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, after 2 a.m. and mainly before 8 a.m., with a low around 58 and a high near 73 under partly sunny skies, with southwest winds around 10 mph.
Chances for showers and storms continue at 50% Tuesday night, 60% Wednesday, 90% Wednesday night, and 70% Thursday, with possible totals of a tenth of an inch Wednesday, a quarter- to half-inch Wednesday night, and a tenth to a quarter of an inch Thursday, except higher amounts are possible in any storms that may develop.
Chances for showers are 30% Friday and Friday night, 40% Saturday and Saturday night, and 20% Sunday.
Skies over Madison should be mostly cloudy Wednesday and Thursday, partly sunny Friday and Saturday, and mostly sunny Sunday, with highs near 72, 62, 60, 55 and 62, and lows Tuesday night through Saturday night around 55, 54, 47, 43 and 41.
27 Storm Track Katherine Noel forecasts a chance for storms overnight, a chance for showers and storms Tuesday morning, rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, rain showers Thursday, rain possible overnight Thursday into Friday, a chance for rain Friday, and a chance for scattered rain showers Saturday.
Noel said highs for Madison Monday through Sunday should be near 75, 76, 72, 64, 60, 57 and 55, and overnight lows around 58, 53, 52, 47, 41 and 40.
Sunday’s high in Madison was 75 at 3:28 p.m., 23 degrees above the normal high and 2 degrees below the record high of 77 for April 4, set in 1929.
Sunday’s low in Madison was 34 at 5:38 a.m., 2 degrees above the normal low and 24 degrees above the record low of 10 for April 4, set in 1886.
No precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Sunday, leaving Madison’s April precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) at zero, 0.41 inches below normal. The meteorological spring (March through May) total stayed at 1.41 inches, 1.2 inches below normal. The 2021 total stayed at 3.54 inches, 1.75 inches below normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for April 4 is 1.37 inches in 1892.
With no snow on Sunday, Madison’s April total stayed at zero, 0.6 inches below normal. The meteorological spring total stayed at 2 inches, 5.6 inches below normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison has received 45.2 inches, 3.5 inches below normal.
Madison’s record snowfall for April 4 is 2.1 inches in 1977.
Photos: Remembering huge snowstorm that hit Madison in April 1973