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Milwaukee is forecasting heavy rain with a chance of severe weather this weekend

Milwaukee is forecasting heavy rain with a chance of severe weather this weekend

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Milwaukee weekenders should plan to pack an umbrella, as the latest forecast from the National Weather Service shows the potential for severe weather and heavy rain Friday and Saturday.

The latest projections from the NWS show that scattered thunderstorms are expected as a warm front from the south travels north through the state on Friday. The potential for severe weather on Friday, although low, could bring damaging winds, small hail and heavy rain.

“For downtown Milwaukee, we’re looking at the potential for isolated thunderstorms and showers during the afternoon,” said Michaela Heeren, meteorologist at the local NWS office in Sullivan. “Going into the evening, that will bring the potential for (severe weather).”

The peak of the storms is expected to occur in the late afternoon to early evening between 3 and 7 p.m., and the storms are forecast to end by 9 p.m., according to the NWS.

Heeren said Milwaukee is forecast for up to an inch of rain on Friday, with rates potentially reaching an inch per hour if conditions hold.

The NWS rates Milwaukee and parts of southeast and east Milwaukee as having a one-in-five chance of severe weather. To the west in central and western Wisconsin, the NWS is forecasting a two-in-five chance.

There is uncertainty about how strong the storms will develop because of the lack of environmental instability, Heeren said.

“Our environment is a little bit weaker than what we prefer for a typical severe setup, we don’t have many ingredients to keep storms alive long enough to produce significant severe weather,” she said.

On Saturday, the NWS is forecasting another round of potentially severe weather that will bring even more rain.

This system is forming behind a cold weather front that is traveling southeast through the state and brings a one in five risk of severe weather to Milwaukee.

However, the rest of the state will have a two-out-of-five rating, with Heeren describing it as “more traditional” severe weather. Conditions on Saturday will bring a chance for damaging winds, large hail, heavy rain and a small chance of tornadoes.

By Saturday, the NWS is forecasting up to 1.5 inches of rain for Milwaukee.