Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

May 29, 2015: Warm and muggy. Weekend 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.

The pattern over the coming days will bring a few thunderstorms.  This is a summer type pattern.  I can’t rule out a storm from time to time.  I will try to give you the % number…the best I can.

Friday –  Partly sunny warm and humid.  A scattered thunderstorm possible.  Highs in the 80’s.  Southerly winds at 5-15 mph.  Chance for precipitation at any given location is 30%-40%
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
I would not cancel any plans.  Can’t rule out a few storms.

Morning School Bus Stop Weather –  Partly sunny.  A small chance for a thunderstorm.  Warm.  Morning temperatures in the lower 70’s.
Afternoon School Bus Stop Weather – Partly sunny.  A chance for a thunderstorm.  Warm and muggy.  Temperatures in the afternoon will be in the 80’s

Friday night –  Increasing clouds with a chance for showers and thunderstorms.  Lows around 70 degrees with southerly winds at 10 mph.  Chance of precipitation will be 40%
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?
  Have a plan B in case it rains

Saturday –  Cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely.  A couple of rounds of precipitation possible.  Highs around 82 degrees with southerly winds at 10-15 mph.  Chance of precipitation will be 60%-70%
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
Have a plan B in case it rains on your outdoor events.

Saturday night –  Mostly cloudy with a chance for showers and thunderstorms.  Lows in the 60’s.  Southwest and west winds at 10 mph.  Chance for precipitation will be 60%
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?
  Have a plan B in case it rains

Sunday –  More clouds than sun.  A chance for a few showers and thunderstorms.  Highs in the 70’s.  West winds at 10-15 mph.  Chance for precipitation will be 40% (monitor updates on the % for Sunday…might need to be adjusted)
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
Have a plan B in case it rains on your outdoor events.



Sunrise and Sunset Times – Click Here




The School Bus Stop Forecast is sponsored by TransAmerica Agency Network Paducah District – you can visit their Facebook page here and their home page 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.  Friday will bring more warm and humid air.
2.  Thunderstorm chances will be on the increase this weekend

Well, the weekend is knocking and so is yet another cold front.  It is almost unbelievable how many weekends we have had to deal with showers and thunderstorms in our region.  This weekend will be no different.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely on at least Saturday and perhaps Sunday, as well.  If we can push the front southward then Sunday might not be too bad.  Some data wants to hang the front up near the Kentucky and Tennessee border.  Other data pushes it southward.  The further south the front sags the better off we are.

You can see the front drawing near our region on Friday.  The light green represents a few scattered showers and thunderstorms.  The dark green represents heavier and more widespread precipitation.


Then by Saturday afternoon the front is knocking on our door step



Organized severe weather does not appear to be in the cards.  However, monitor updates.  If we can achieve some instability then a few storms could produce damaging winds.  A down burst or two can’t be ruled out.

Locally heavy rain will be a concern.  Just like the last few weekends there will be a wide variety of rainfall totals.  Expect widespread 0.50″-1.00″ totals with pockets of greater than 1″.  Over the past week some places picked up several inches of rain.  Thunderstorms this time of the year do have a lot of moisture to work with.

Lightning will be a concern for outdoor events.

The cold front is forecast to pass through the region on Saturday night into Sunday.  The front may stall somewhere in the Tennessee Valley.  Some charts bring it back as a warm front early next week.  If this occurs then rain chances will linger longer.  Hopefully the front will push southward and we can dry out.  Farmers need a dry spell.



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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If you have plans over the weekend then have a plan B.  Some thunderstorms are likely going to be a part of the forecast, once again.  Same as the last few weeks.  Rainfall totals will vary quite a bit.

A few strong storms can’t be ruled out.  I would not cancel any plans, yet.  But, I would monitor updates.



If you have weekend plans then have a plan B.  Rain will be possible.



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…



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.  A few storms will be possible through the week.  Organized severe weather is not anticipated.  There could be some high winds with a few storms.  This type of atmosphere typically does produce isolated severe weather reports

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.
Friday Severe Weather Outlook –  A few storms possible.   Right now I am not expecting organized severe storms.
Saturday Severe Weather Outlook –  Thunderstorms will be possible.  Right now I am not expecting organized severe storms.
Sunday Severe Weather Outlook –  A few thunderstorms still possible.  Front might shift southward and that would help bring thunderstorm chances to an end.





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 over the coming days will once again vary greatly.  Expect most locations to pick up 0.50″-1.00″ of rain. Locally heavier totals likely in spots.  Extremely heavy downpours can occur in thunderstorms.  Moist air mass over the region.



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 far south with the weekend cold front push?
2.  Is there a prolonged dry spell in the cards?

Data today is mixed on bringing drier and cooler air back into the region on Monday through Wednesday of next week.  A front is forecast to stall out near the region.

If the front does not push far enough south then there will at least be 20%-30% rain and storm chances each of those days.  Still some debate on the front pushing far enough south to clear our region.

The good news is that widespread rain should be absent from the forecast on Monday through Wednesday of next week.



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



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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