MADISON, Wis. - The central and southern portions of the Midwest, including southern Wisconsin, could experience a severe weather outbreak Sunday.
A tornado watch is in effect for Dane County, areas to the south into Illinois and east into the Milwaukee area until 4 p.m. According to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center, this is a "particularly dangerous situation" with the possibility of long-lived, strong tornadoes, widespread damaging straight-line winds up to 80 mph, and large hail up to 2 inches in diameter.
Possible tornado-producing thunderstorms have already moved from northern Illinois into southeastern Wisconsin near Lake Geneva. A funnel cloud was reported near Hebron, Ill., but so far no tornado touchdowns have been confirmed. One-half inch hail has been reported in Madison from earlier thunderstorms.
The severe weather threat will end with the passage of a cold front by early this afternoon. Much colder air and gusty winds will arrive behind the cold front.
People planning to travel through southeastern Wisconsin or northern Illinois are urged to monitor the latest forecasts, and possibly delay the trip until severe weather has passed.