Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

June 8, 2015: What about some rain and storm chances?

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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.

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Monday –  Flooding possible this morning over parts of southern Illinois from very heavy rainfall.  Mostly cloudy with pockets of sun over Kentucky and Tennessee.  Showers and thunderstorms likely today.  Some storms will be heavy.  High temperatures in the 80’s.  Southwest winds at 10-15 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
Have a back up plan.

Storm Tracking Tool Links – Click here

Monday night –  Mostly cloudy with a few thunderstorms possible in the evening…mainly near the KY/TN border.  Lows in the upper 60’s to lower 70’s.  West winds at 10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?
  I would have a plan B and monitor radars (mainly KY/TN).

Tuesday – Partly cloudy with a 20%-30% chance for thunderstorms mainly over Kentucky and Tennessee.  Highs in the middle to upper 80’s.   North and northwest winds at 10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
Should be okay, but check radars

Tuesday Night – A few remaining clouds.  Lows in the 60’s to lower 70’s.  Light winds.

Wednesday – Party sunny and warm/pleasant.  Highs in the middle to perhaps even upper 80’s.  East winds at 5-10 mph.  Above normal temperatures.


Sunrise and Sunset Times – Click Here





Current Temperatures Around The Local Area

Don’t forget to check out the Southern Illinois Weather Observatory web-site for weather maps, tower cams, scanner feeds, radars, and much more!  Click here



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


1.  Some storms possible on Monday
2.  Small chance for storms on Tuesday and warm most of this week
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A cold front will push into our region on Monday morning (early AM hours).  The front will first approach our northern counties between 12 am and 3 am on Monday morning.  This will be accompanied by heavy thunderstorms with frequent lightning.  Gusty winds and heavy rain.  The line will first enter the Randolph County, IL towards White County, IL and then slowly sag southward.  It may never really make it too many counties south of that line…it will be weakening.

The thunderstorms will weaken considerably between 4 am and 9 am.  Heavy rain is still a good bet into Monday morning over our northern counties.  That would include Farmington, MO towards Evansville and northward.

Temperatures will rise on Monday into the upper 70’s and lower 80’s over far southern Illinois and Kentucky/Tennessee.  This might help build some instability back into the atmosphere.  The dying line of storms will then redevelop and increase in intensity as the front enters our central and southern counties.

Let me show you ONE computer model for Monday.  Computer models differ slightly on how soon storms redevelop.  Some of this depends on cloud cover Monday morning.  There will be clouds left over from the overnight storms.

Keep in mind that if clouds linger tomorrow then instability will be greatly reduced.  That would mean a lower chance of severe weather and a lower chance of widespread redevelopment of storms.  LOW confidence on how Monday turns out.  Some places will end up with no measurable rain.

This is the WRF model from    I don’t see much here to argue about.  Seems reasonable.

Here is the future-cast radar for 3 am tonight

See the squall line to our north?  It is sagging southward.  Some of you might be able to look north tonight and see lightning.  Some would call that heat lightning.  It is actually just lightning so far away that you can’t hear the thunder.  There is no such thing as heat lightning.  Fun fact for the bbq party.

The colors on this future-cast radar map represents precipitation.  The brighter colors are heavier storms.


Here is the future-cast radar for 7 Monday morning.  See how everything has diminished?



Now let’s pull ahead to 11 am to 1 pm.  Boy, did that line die out.  We will see this goes.  Sometimes the models don’t get the intensity exactly right.


Moving ahead to 2 pm to 4 pm (below)

Now the line of thunderstorms is reforming.  Could be a few strong cells in the line.  This is not an overly impressive setup for severe storms.  Isolated warnings possible.  A few reports of high winds and nickel size hail possible.


Moving ahead to 5 pm to 6 pm

Future-cast radar shows a squall line moving southward through our region.


And finally…around 7 pm to 10 pm.  The line continues to slowly sag southward.  Some hefty downpours in spots.


Again, I can’t rule out a few warnings if storms perk up enough.  High winds and some hail will be possible with the most intense storms.  Small/minimal tornado risk.  Can’t ever really rule out a brief tornado when you have a few severe thunderstorms.

The front will push south of our region by Tuesday night.  Perhaps a few remaining storms on Tuesday for areas in Kentucky and near the KY/TN border.

Wednesday and Thursday should be mostly dry.  Just a small chance of a storm near the KY/TN line and NW Tennessee.


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.  Will Wednesday and Thursday end up dry?
2.  Moisture returns by the weekend?
3.  Watching the tropics very carefully

Confidence is medium on the Wednesday and Thursday forecast and a bit lower for the weekend.

Above normal temperatures Tuesday through Thursday.

A cold front will pass through our region early in the new work week (see the above discussion).  Once this front pushes southward we can expect drier air to move into the region.

Moisture returns by late in the week as southwest flow develops.  A cold front may approach the region by Friday and Saturday.  If this occurs then thunderstorm chances will increase quite a bit.  Some heavy rain can’t be ruled out if this occurs.  Lower than normal confidence on the Friday through Sunday forecast.  I need to watch the timing of a possible cold front coming in from the west.

A hurricane will approach the Baja of California this week.  Moisture will first spread into the southwest United States and then the moisture has to go somewhere.  It will eventually move towards the Central United States.  We may have to deal with some higher PWAT values in our region.  If this occurs then rainfall could be enhanced somewhere in the Central United States.

What are PWAT values?  Great question!  I found this blog post that explains it quite well.  Click here for more information on PWAT values.

Another tropical system may approach Texas or Louisiana later this week.  This will also need to be monitored.  Moisture from this system could move towards our region.  But how far north?  Time will tell.

Let’s look at PWAT value forecasts.  This is a bad setup for someone in the United States.  Flash flooding would be a big concern.  The moisture feed from the Gulf of Mexico needs to be monitored.  If it unfolds like some of the models show then a lot of rain will fall in its path.   Perhaps parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas would be pummeled with heavy rain.  But how far north will it reach?  That is what I will be watching.  Also parts of Kansas into Missouri and Iowa could have heavy rainfall.  Not sure about our region, yet.

This first image is for Monday afternoon. Watch the Baja of California.  Those bright colors are a tremendous slug of moisture moving northward.  The yellow and dark/deep red.


Now let’s move ahead to Wednesday.  The moisture is swept into the southwest and will then move northeast into the Central United States.  It might be hard to gauge the impact of this moisture.  But, if it is swept into a cold front then it will enhance rainfall.


Now, watch the Gulf of Mexico.  See the above image in the Gulf?  The red colors.  That is a LOT of moisture streaming northward.

Watch will that goes.  This is next Saturday.  The moisture is spreading northward.


Now let’s move ahead to NEXT Tuesday.  That moisture is still there.  Flash flooding will be possible somewhere in the U.S.  This entire pattern needs to be carefully monitored.



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Some of the storms on Monday morning between 12 am and 3 am could be strong over our far northern counties.  Frequent lightning and gusty winds.

Flash flooding will be a concern where storms train over the same areas.  This will occur over parts of southeast MO into southern IL.  Perhaps northern and central parts of that area.  Extremely heavy rainfall totals for some locations.

Monday afternoon a few storms could reach severe levels over western Kentucky and Tennessee.  Hail and high winds would be the main concern.  Very small tornado risk.  Frequent lightning.



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…



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

Wild card in this forecast – The wild card in this forecast will be whether or not a few storms form on Tuesday.  Cold front moving southward…we will see how far south the front pushes.  Hopefully it will keep on going.



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 THREE for Monday for Kentucky and Tennessee.  It will be a two for southern Illinois and southeast Missouri.

Anyone with outdoor events should monitor radars and lightning data.  Even though a thunderstorm might not be severe, it could certainly cause problems if you have an outdoor sporting event or are camping.
Sunday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated

Monday Severe Weather Outlook – Thunderstorms are possible. A  few storms could become strong with high winds and hail.  This would mainly be over Kentucky and Tennessee.  Lesser chances elsewhere.
Tuesday Severe Weather Outlook –  Thunderstorms possible
Wednesday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Thursday Severe Weather Outlook – Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated




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.

No rain in the forecast for Saturday night or Sunday.  Thunderstorm chances increase on Sunday night (late) and Monday.  A cold front advances into the region.  Locally heavy storms with the front.  Rainfall totals will vary quite a bit.




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


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.


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



You can sign up for my AWARE email by clicking here I typically send out AWARE emails before severe weather, winter storms, or other active weather situations. I do not email watches or warnings. The emails are a basic “heads up” concerning incoming weather conditions.


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