Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

June 24, 2015: Strong cold front arrives by Friday

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This forecast update covers far southern Illinois, far southeast Missouri, and far western Kentucky. See the coverage map on the right side of the blog.

Remember that weather evolves.  Check back frequently for updates, especially during active weather.

The forecast numbers below may vary a bit across the region.  These are the averages.


Wednesday – Partly cloudy and not quite as hot as recent days.  Cooler than recent days.  A little less humidity.  But, not by much.  A 10% chance for a popup storm in the heat of the day.  Highs will be in the middle 80’s  to perhaps close to 90 or sou south.  Variable winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
Is severe weather expected?  Not expecting severe weather.
What is the chance for precipitation?  10% in the morning and then same in the afternoon.
What impact is expected?  None


Wednesday Night –  Partly cloudy.  Warm and muggy.  Lows in the upper 60’s and 70’s.  South/southwest winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  No
Is severe weather expected?  No
What is the chance for precipitation?  10%
What impact is expected?  No impact expected.  Muggy.


Thursday – Partly cloudy and hot.  A slight chance for a thunderstorm (better chances arrive Thursday night into Friday night).  If storms do manage to pop up over our northern counties it would be towards evening.  Highs will be well into the 90’s.  Southwest winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
Is severe weather expected?  Small chance over our northern counties.
What is the chance for precipitation?  20%-30% chance for storms.
What impact is expected?  Heat concerns.  Heat index values will be above 100 degrees.  Strong storms over northern counties late in the day are a possibility.


Thursday Night –  Showers and thunderstorms possible.  Lows in the 70’s.  Southwest winds at 10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  Monitor updates.  Rain possible…especially late.
Is severe weather expected?  Small chance
What is the chance for precipitation?  40%-60%
What impact is expected?  Heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds…where storms occur (if they occur).


Friday –  Cloudy with thunderstorms likely.  Heavy rain possible.  Small risk for severe weather.  There is a risk for flash flooding in some counties.  
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
Might want to have a back-up plan.
Is severe weather expected?  Severe weather can’t be ruled out.
What is the chance for precipitation?  80% chance for storms.
What impact is expected?  Storms could produce heavy rain and gusty winds.

Friday night:  Heavy rain possible.  Ending late.  Lows in the 60’s.

Saturday and Sunday:  Hopefully mostly dry and cooler.  Saturday morning we may still deal with some storms, but confidence is low.


Sunrise and Sunset Times – Click Here





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An explanation of what is happening in the atmosphere over the coming days…


1.  Warm again For Wednesday and Thursday
2.  Here comes the cold front!
3.  Weekend…might be dry, for the most part
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The hot weather will continue into Wednesday.  Expect more 90’s.   Same for Thursday.  Heat index values will reach 100-105.  Not the best weather to work outside.

Don’t forget our outdoor friends during weather like this.  Change the dog bowls frequently with fresh water.

The weather pattern takes a distinct shift by Friday into the weekend.  A cold front will arrive on Friday.  The front will push through our region on Saturday.

Showers and heavy thunderstorms will accompany the cold front.  Some of the storms could produce strong winds, heavy rain, and frequent lightning.  Right now the severe weather risk appears minimal.  But, monitor updates.  Can’t rule out dime size hail and down burst winds in a few locations.  Flash flooding is a concern.

A drier and cooler air mass will arrive by Saturday and Sunday.  You will feel the difference when you step outside.  Dew points will be falling.  Humidity will be lower.  Should be great.  This will last into next week.

Highs for Wednesday


Highs for Thursday


Highs for Friday


Highs for Saturday


Highs for Sunday




This section of the blog is speculative forecast information.  Because it is past the range of what meteorologists can forecast accurately, it should be considered speculation.  Anything past day 5 is considered a long range forecast.

1.  How long will the cool down last?
2.  Next Wednesday another cold front may arrive to reinforce the cooler air
3.  What about Fourth of July weekend

We will be cooling down by the weekend.  The short term discussion covered that topic.  I believe the below normal temperatures are going to last into the first week of July.

Expect a reinforcing second cold front to arrive around next Tuesday/Wednesday.  That front may also bring some thunderstorms.  Heavy rain is possible.

We may have several rounds of storms next week.  If so then heavy rain is possible.

Right now, long long way off, the Fourth of July is shaping up to be partly cloudy with below normal temperatures and low humidity.  Again, long way off to hit the mark.  But, that is how it currently appears.  Low confidence.  Some data is showing storms on the Fourth of July weekend.




I also set up a storm tracking page with additional links (use during active weather for quick reference)
Storm Tracking Tool Page


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How much precipitation should we expect over the next few days?

As we enter the late spring and summer months, keep in mind that slow moving thunderstorms can always produce locally heavy rainfall totals.  This is no secret to all of you who are farmers.  Your neighbors could pick up 1″ of rain from a thunderstorm, meanwhile you are sitting on dry ground.  Forecasting exact rainfall totals during this time of the year can be tricky, at best.

We will have on and off scattered storm chances into Thursday.  But, the main precipitation event will occur on Thursday night into Friday night.  This is when widespread rain is likely to occur over our region.  Expect widespread rainfall totals of 0.50″-1.50″.  Locally much higher amounts.

We have a lot of moisture in the atmosphere.  The cold front will wring that out on Thursday night into Friday night.



Can we expect severe thunderstorms over the next 24 to 48 hours?  Remember that a severe thunderstorm is defined as a thunderstorm that produces 58 mph winds or higher, quarter size hail or larger, and/or a tornado.

Thunderstorm threat level is ONE. 

Wednesday Severe Weather Outlook –  Low risk for severe storms.  Some storms possible…storms could be on the strong side

Thursday Severe Weather Outlook –  Some storms are possible (especially Thursday night)

Friday Severe Weather Outlook –  Some storms are possible.  Isolated severe weather risk.

Saturday Severe Weather Outlook –  Believe storms will end during the morning hours.  Shifting southward.

Sunday Severe weather Outlook – No storms in the forecast for Sunday




The main concern continues to be the hot weather.  Heat index values on Wednesday and Thursday will likely top 100 degrees.

Thunderstorm chances will be with us into at least Friday night.  Best coverage will be on Thursday night into Friday night.

Any storms that develop could produce heavy downpours, lightning, and gusty winds.




The wild card tells you where the uncertainties are in the forecast

Wild card in this forecast – The wild card for Wednesday will be whether a few storms pop up during the heat of the day.  Next weeks wild card might center around how cool will it become!


Here are the current river stage forecasts.   You can click your state and then the dot for your location.  It will bring up the full forecast and hydrograph.

Click Here For River Stage Forecasts…

Here are some current forecast hydrographs.  These will be updated each day with new information.

Smithland Lock and Dam

Paducah, Kentucky Forecast Stage

Cairo, Illinois


Current Temperatures Around The Local Area



We have regional radars and local city radars – if a radar does not seem to be updating then try another one. Occasional browsers need their cache cleared. You may also try restarting your browser. That usually fixes the problem. Occasionally we do have a radar go down. That is why I have duplicates. Thus, if one fails then try another one.

If you have any problems then please send me an email


We also have a new national interactive radar – you can view that radar by clicking here.

Local interactive city radars include St Louis, Mt Vernon, Evansville, Poplar Bluff, Cape Girardeau, Marion, Paducah, Hopkinsville, Memphis, Nashville, Dyersburg, and all of eastern Kentucky – these are interactive radars. Local city radars – click here

NOTE:  Occasionally you will see ground clutter on the radar (these are false echoes).  Normally they show up close to the radar sites – including Paducah.

Regional Radar – Click on radar to take you our full radar page.


Regional Radar


Live Lightning Data – zoom and pan:  Click here
Live Lightning Data with sound (click the sound button on the left side of the page): Click here


I also set up a storm tracking page with additional links (use during active weather for quick reference)
Storm Tracking Tool Page



Current WARNINGS (a warning means take action now). Click on your county to drill down to the latest warning information. Keep in mind that there can be a 2-3 minute delay in the updated warning information.

I strongly encourage you to use a NOAA Weather Radio or warning cell phone app for the most up to date warning information. Nothing is faster than a NOAA weather radio.

Color shaded counties are under some type of watch, warning, advisory, or special weather statement.  Click your county to view the latest information.

Missouri Warnings

Illinois Warnings

Kentucky Warnings




Here is the official 6-10 day and 8-14 day temperature and precipitation outlook.  Check the date stamp at the top of each image (so you understand the time frame).

The forecast maps below are issued by the Weather Prediction Center (NOAA).

The latest 8-14 day temperature and precipitation outlook.  Note the dates are at the top of the image.  These maps DO NOT tell you how high or low temperatures or precipitation will be.  They simply give you the probability as to whether temperatures or precipitation will be above or below normal.



Who do you trust for your weather information and who holds them accountable?

I have studied weather in our region since the late 1970’s.  I have 37 years of experience in observing our regions weather patterns.  My degree is in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University and an Associate of Science (AS).  I am currently working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Geoscience.  Just need to finish two Spanish classes!

I am a member of the American Meteorological Society.  I am a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador.  And, I am the Meteorologist for McCracken County Emergency Management.

I own and operate the Southern Illinois Weather Observatory.

There is a lot of noise on the internet.  A lot of weather maps are posted without explanation.  Over time you should learn who to trust for your weather information.

My forecast philosophy is simple and straight forward.

  • Communicate in simple terms
  • To be as accurate as possible within a reasonable time frame before an event
  • Interact with you on Twitter, Facebook, and the blog
  • Minimize the “hype” that you might see on television or through other weather sources
  • Push you towards utilizing wall-to-wall LOCAL TV coverage during severe weather events

I am a recipient of the Mark Trail Award, WPSD Six Who Make A Difference Award, Kentucky Colonel, and the Caesar J. Fiamma” Award from the American Red Cross.  In 2009 I was presented with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Award.  I was recognized by the Kentucky House of Representatives for my service to the State of Kentucky leading up to several winter storms and severe weather outbreaks.

If you click on the image below you can read the Kentucky House of Representatives Resolution.


I am also President of the Shadow Angel Foundation which serves portions of western Kentucky and southern Illinois.


Many of my graphics are from – a great resource for weather data, model data, and more



This blog was inspired by ABC 33/40’s Alabama Weather Blog – view their blog


Current tower cam view from the Weather Observatory- Click here for all cameras.

Southern Illinois Weather Observatory

The Weather Observatory


Southern Illinois Weather Observatory

WSIL TV 3 has a number of tower cameras. Click here for their tower camera page & Illinois Road Conditions

Marion, Illinois


WPSD TV 6 has a number of tower cameras. Click here for their tower camera page & Kentucky Road Conditions & Kentucky Highway and Interstate Cameras

Downtown Paducah, Kentucky


Benton, Kentucky Tower Camera – Click here for full view

Benton, Kentucky


I24 Paducah, Kentucky

I24 Mile Point 9 – Paducah, KY

I24 – Mile Point 3 Paducah, Kentucky



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