Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

June 26, 2015: Some storms to deal with

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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.

Friday –  Partly to mostly cloudy.  A 40% chance for morning thunderstorms (best chance first over western and northern counties and then moving southward) and then a 70% chance for thunderstorms redeveloping during the afternoon.  Locally heavy rain possible where storms occur.  A couple of storms could produce high winds and hail.  This will depend on how unstable the atmosphere becomes Friday morning and early afternoon.  Highs in the upper 80’s to lower 90’s.  Southwest winds at 10-20 mph.  Winds becoming northwest.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  
I would monitor radars and at least have a back up plan in mind.
Is severe weather expected?
  I can’t rule out a couple of storms becoming severe.
What is the chance for precipitation?  40% during the morning and 60%-70% in the afternoon.
What impact is expected?  Locally heavy rain and lightning where storms do occur.  Gusty winds possible near storms, as well.  Isolated severe thunderstorm possible.

Friday night – An 80% chance for showers and thunderstorms early.  Then a 40% chance for precipitation after midnight.  Lows in the 60’s.  Northwest winds at 10-15 mph gusty at times.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  
I would have a back up plan.
Is severe weather expected?  Small risk for a severe thunderstorm
What is the chance for precipitation?
What impact is expected?
 Heavy rainfall amounts are possible early in the evening.


Saturday –  A 20% chance for a morning shower then partly cloudy.  Cooler and less humid.  Gusty winds from the north at 10-20 mph.  Highs in the 80’s.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high  
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  
Should be okay.  Believe precipitation will shift eastward before morning.  Small chance for a shower.
Is severe weather expected?  No
What is the chance for precipitation?  20%

What impact is expected?  None  


Saturday night – Clear and cool.  Camping weather.  Lows in the upper 50’s north and 60’s elsewhere.  North 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?  No
What is the chance for precipitation?
What impact is expected?


Sunday –  Quite a bit of sun.  Some puffy fair weather cumulus clouds in the afternoon.  Highs only in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s.  Nice weather.  North winds at 5-15 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high  
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  
Is severe weather expected?  No
What is the chance for precipitation?  0%

What impact is expected?  None

Maybe some more showers late Sunday night into Monday.

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


1.  Some storms over the coming 24 hours
2.  Locally heavy rain in spots
3.  Nicer weather is on the way
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Ring the bells…the cold front is coming!  The biggest cold front in quite a long time is approaching our region from the north.  It is going to know the heat ridge down and replace it with a trough.  A trough means unsettled weather and cooler weather.

It is going to be a highly unusual weather pattern for July.  Especially considering how long it may last.  This is not normal.  But, that is what will happen.

A ridge of high pressure means hot weather for our region.  A trough means cooler weather.  A trough means that the winds aloft will be from the northwest.

Let me show you on this 500 mb map.  500 mb is about 18,000′ aloft.

This is the ridge that now covers our region.  See how the flow is from the southwest?



Now look at next weeks pattern.  Wow, what a difference!  See how the flow is out of the northwest?  That is a trough.  A trough over the Ohio Valley.  A trough looks exactly like it sounds.  Same for a ridge.

In the winter months this would be cold air!



The trough will bring a series of disturbance into our region over the next 14 days.  Each one could trigger showers and thunderstorms.

Occasionally these northwest flow setups will produce MCS’s.  Large complexes of thunderstorms that ride around the edge of the ridge and through troughs.  This will need to be monitored.  It might mean heavy rain.


The cooler air will also mean lower dew points.  Less humid weather.  Should have some great nights over the coming 1-2 weeks.

We will have some thunderstorms developing this evening.  These will then shift south and east overnight.  A couple of storms could become severe with high winds and hail.

Monitor NWS watches and warnings…if issued.

We are going to have to deal with some thunderstorms on Friday into Friday night.  A few storms could even produce damaging wind gusts and hail.  Lightning is a concern, of course.

The latest data shows the precipitation coming to an end late Friday evening.  Moving off to the southeast.

Let’s look at a couple of maps from

This is one high resolution model. It shows the future-cast radar.  What radar might look like this evening into Friday.

This is the 7 pm radar view for tonight.  Some storms forming around St Louis and then northwest and southeast of there.  A line perhaps.


Moving forward to 10-11 pm tonight.  Radar might look like this.  Again, this is a models interpretation of what might happen.


Now moving forward to 3 am Friday morning.  You can see the precipitation has weakened considerably.


New storms will reform on Friday.  This is the 7 am future-cast radar

A complex of storms is approaching our region from the northwest.  A large one, at that.  How fast it tracks into our region is still in question.



Around 11 am to 1 pm this is what radar might look like.  You can see much of our region is still dry.  But, storms are developing and moving into the area.  A cold front will trigger widespread showers and storms.



Late afternoon.  Radar shows a lot of storms in our region.  Some of them could be on the heavy side.  Isolated severe weather can’t be ruled out.


Saturday should be mostly dry.  I can’t rule out a few showers lingering early in the morning (before 8 am).  For the most part, Saturday should be dry.

Sunday will be dry, as well.

Another disturbance will arrive on Sunday night and Monday.  Could bring a few showers and thunderstorms.

Friday high temperatures


Saturday high temperatures


Sunday high temperatures



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.  A cooler and less humid air mass for the coming week
2.  What about multiple rounds of precipitation in the long range?



Next week will bring unsettled weather with on and off rain/storm chances through the week.  I will nail down each disturbance over the coming days.

Right now the Fourth of July is starting to look more and more unsettled.  I hope not.  But, the models are showing showers and thunderstorms.  I will keep watching for trends one way or another.

Still early!



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.


Rainfall totals by Saturday morning should range from 0.50″-1.50″ across most of the area.  Pockets of greater than 3″ will likely occur in spots.  Keep that in mind.  I can’t rule out some ponding of water over roadways and even some pockets of flooding/flash flooding.  Same as the last few weeks.

Rainfall totals through Saturday morning.  Broad-brushed


Through next Thursday.  Again, broad-brushed




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 TWO for Thursday night and then Friday into Friday night

Thursday night –  A few severe storms are possible.

Friday Severe Weather Outlook –  Storms are likely both on Friday and Friday night.  A couple of storms could become severe with high winds and hail.  Frequent lightning with storms.  Heavy rain.
Saturday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated.  Some morning storms may linger over western Kentucky.
Sunday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Monday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated.  Thunder possible
Tuesday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated



Storms on Friday could be quite strong at times.  A couple of storms could even become severe with isolated reports of damaging winds and hail.

Major river flooding is occurring along the Mississippi River.  The Ohio River also is rising.  This rainfall event will help keep the rivers high a bit longer.


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


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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

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Benton, Kentucky

I24 Paducah, Kentucky

I24 Mile Point 9 – Paducah, KY

I24 – Mile Point 3 Paducah, Kentucky


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