Wednesday Evening Heavy Rain Over Southwest Madison

Slow moving thunderstorms affected portions of southern Wisconsin Wednesday afternoon and early evening.  Most of the thunderstorms were moving to the southeast at about 15 mph, which reduced the flooding potential.  However, one small cluster of thunderstorms lingered over portions of southwest Madison producing copious rainfall in the same general area between 615 pm and 715 pm CDT.

The below two hour radar animation runs from 6 pm CDT to 8 pm CDT.  The area to focus on is about 3 miles south of Middleton Municipal Airport - Morey Field, which is labelled KC29 on the map. 

radar animation

The heaviest rainfall occurred in this area between 615 pm and 7 pm CDT.  According to WISC-TV3 meteorologist Gary Cannalte, the torrential rain caused flooding at the intersection of Watts Road and South High Point Road.  One to two feet deep water stopped traffic, and one vehicle stalled in the deep water at this intersection.  The intersection remained flooded for about 20 minutes.

The National Weather Service Doppler radar in far eastern Jefferson county estimated rainfall of 1.5 to 2 inches during this one hour period as observed from the below storm total rainfall estimate graphic.  WISC-TV3 estimated about 1.7 inches at this location during this same time

Rainfall estimate

Heavy rainfall of around an inch also passed across the Capitol Square during the late afternoon and early evening.

The below 24 hour precipitation analysis is a combination of radar estimated rainfall and cooperative observer rainfall reports.  The very heavy rainfall was isolated, and missed all of the cooperative observer sites that reported 24 hour rainfall this morning.  Some of the heavier rainfall reports in western Madison included:

0.98" Madison Arboretum
0.97" 1 NE Middleton
0.88" Middleton
0.87" Nakoma neighborhood
0.55" Madison Charmany Farm
0.03" Madison Airport
0.26" Mt. Horeb

rainfall estimate

 Farther east, a small cluster of thunderstorms lingered over north central Waukesha county during this time as well, producing torrential rainfall.  The cooperative observer located 1 mile north of the village of Merton on Lake Keesus reported 1.72 inches of rain.  

For a daily analysis of high and low temperatures, precipitation, snowfall and snow depth, check out our Daily Hydrometeorological Analysis page.  Maps are created for all of Wisconsin and southern Wisconsin.

Return to News Archive is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.