Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

May 7, 2015: Some changes are coming for the weekend

Keep in mind, everyone…the Friday through Sunday rain chances will be associated with weak upper level disturbances moving through the area. It isn’t a strong cold front that sweeps in and out of here with one line of storms. The chances over the coming days will be scattered to at times likely. As each impulse moves through the area it will spark “some” precipitation.

If big clusters of storms form over Kansas and Oklahoma/Texas today through Sunday then that will factor into our weather, as well. Dying thunderstorm complexes leave outflow boundaries. These boundaries move through our region. They can spark a few showers/storms, as well.

One such dying area of precipitation is currently over eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. It will shift east/northeast today.

Not a clear cut YES or NO rain forecast through the weekend. Thus, it will make it very hard to tell you it will or won’t rain at your exact location. Again, because this is not one strong front pushing through the region. It is a series of weak disturbances that will interact with the instability and moisture over our region.

Wish it were straight forward, because I know many of you have outdoor events.

That is why I have been saying since last Friday and Saturday to have a back up plan in the back of your mind. Plan B

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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 quite a bit across the region.  These are the averages.

With this type of pattern I can’t rule out a stray shower or thunderstorm in the region.  But, no organized precipitation is forecast until late in the week.  Just keep in mind…there could be a shower or storm popup.   Isolated in nature.

Thursday –  Partly sunny and warm.  A slight chance for a pop-up thunderstorm (less than 20% over western Kentucky and northwest Tennessee).  Showers and thunderstorms developing over southeast Missouri and southern Illinois – moving in from the southwest.  Chances for precipitation in those areas will be 40%-50%.  High temperatures will be in the lower to middle 80’s.  Winds southerly at 10-15 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
No reason to cancel plans, but monitor radars (esp southeast MO and southern IL)

Thursday night – Partly to mostly cloudy and mild.  A small chance for a thunderstorm at any given spot.  Especially over southeast Missouri and southwest Illinois.  Lows in the lower to middle 60’s.  South winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?
  No reason to cancel plans

Friday –  Partly cloudy.  Quite a few clouds.  Warm and humid.  A chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms (right now at any given location I would put the chance at 30%-40%).  Some questions on the timing of a disturbance coming out of the southwest/west.  High temperatures will be in the lower to middle 80’s.  Winds southerly at 10-15 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
No reason to cancel plans, but monitor radars as we will have a few showers and thunderstorms around the area.

Friday night – Partly to mostly cloudy and mild.  A 40% chance for a shower or thunderstorm.  Lows mostly in the lower to middle 60’s.  South/southwest winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?
  No reason to cancel plans, but monitor radars as a few showers and storms are possible.

Saturday –  Quite a few clouds.  Warm and humid.  A chance for showers and thunderstorms.  Chances for precipitation will range from 40% to 60% across the region.  This does not look like an all day rain.  But, expect some precipitation on radar from time to time.  Perhaps the best chance will be during the 11 am through the afternoon.  High temperatures will be in the lower to middle 80’s.  Winds south/southwest at 10-15 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
Monitor updates and have a plan B in mind.

Saturday night and Sunday – depending on the placement of a disturbance moving in from the west we will likely have some shower and thunderstorm activity in the region.  The question is coverage.  If you have outdoor plans then at least have a plan B in the back of your mind.  Right now it appears Saturday night chances will be around 40%-60% and Sunday might end being more like 40% chances.

Monday – Monitor updates concerning some heavier storms.  Precipitation chances increase to near 90% by Monday and/or Monday night along a cold front.




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Current Temperatures Around The Local Area

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


1.  The warm weather marches on!
2.  Rain and storm chances increasing by the weekend
3.  Strong storms on Monday?  See extended part of the Weather Talk discussion…scroll down

We have some weather changes in the forecast.  We have had an extended period of dry and warm weather across many of my forecast counties.  We did have some scattered storms on Tuesday (mainly over southeast Missouri).  Wednesday ended up mostly dry.

Thursday will bring only small precipitation chances to western Kentucky and northwest Tennessee.  But showers and storms are more likely over parts of southeast MO and southern IL.

Future-cast radar for later today (see the precipitation over parts of MO and IL).


Friday we will start to see the chances for scattered showers and thunderstorms increase.  I believe the chances on Friday won’t be as great as the chances on Saturday and perhaps Sunday.

If you have outdoor plans on Friday through Sunday then have a plan B in the back of your mind.  During that three day period of time…the best chance for precipitation will likely be on Saturday morning into Saturday afternoon.  Locally heavy rain is possible in pockets.  Lightning will be the main concern for outdoor events.

I would definitely have a plan B in mind.  I would not cancel or change any events.  I would monitor updates as we move forward.  Today’s data (Thursday’s data) will be helpful in starting to pin down the precipitation chances and timing.  I plan on updating the blog (at the top of the page) later today with new data.

I am starting to zero in on a couple of time frames for increased precipitation chances.  One of those will be Saturday morning into Saturday afternoon and another one on Monday.  Sunday chances might end up more scattered in nature.

Again, if you have outdoor plans then have a plan B.

Dew point will be high over the weekend.  It will feel muggy at times.  Warm temperatures.  Images are from

These are the dew points on Saturday afternoon and evening.  Some of these numbers are reaching into the upper 60’s and lower 70’s.  Dew points in the 70’s are muggy!

What are dew points?  Great question – click here for more information


Here are the Sunday afternoon dew points


The Storm Prediction Center has outlined Sunday for a threat of some severe thunderstorms just to our west.   We could have some strong or severe storms in our region on Monday.  Right now the risk appears minimal, but is worth monitoring.

Let’s look over the SPC outlooks

This is for Saturday.  A severe thunderstorm outbreak is likely out in the Plains.  Not a good day for them.



For Sunday that area will shift a bit to the east.  Suspect it will mostly stay out of our region.  But, I will be monitoring it.


And then on Monday.  We are in a risk for perhaps a few stronger storms.  Maybe severe?  Uncertainty abounds this far out.  We definitely will have storms on Monday.  Whether they are severe…that is the question.





See the extended part of the forecast for a cold front that will sweep through the area early next week.

Thursday morning low temperature forecast


Thursday afternoon high temperature forecast


Friday morning low temperature forecast


Friday afternoon high temperature forecast


These kind of temperatures will continue into the weekend.  No worries about temperatures!  Just precipitation we have to watch out for.

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No major changes to the ongoing forecast.



No major concerns through Thursday.  Rain and storm chances go up by Friday into Monday.  I will be watching for some stronger storms on Monday.


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

Wild card in this forecast –  The wild card continues to be centered around timing of precipitation on Saturday and Sunday.  Starting to zero in on Saturday late morning and afternoon and then again on Monday.  Perhaps Sunday chances will be more scattered.



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  ZERO/ONE for Thursday.  A very isolated thunderstorm can’t completely be ruled out today through Thursday.
Thursday Severe Weather Outlook – Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Friday Severe Weather Outlook – Thunder possible
Saturday Severe Weather Outlook – Thunder possible
Sunday Severe Weather Outlook – Thunder possible
Monday Severe Weather Outlook – Monitor updates as a cold front approaches.  I can’t rule out some stronger storms.




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

Very isolated precipitation chances through Thursday.  If a thunderstorm were to pop up then of course it could produce an isolated downpour.  But, most areas will remain dry.

Rain chances start to increase on Friday, especially over southeast Missouri and parts of southwest Illinois.  Then Saturday into Monday will bring increasing rain chances over the entire area.  The highest chances for rain and storms continues to be centered on Monday.  That is when a cold front passes through the area.

There are still timing issues on precipitation for Saturday and Sunday.  There could be showers and some storms on radar at any given time on both days.  However, there should be peak times, as well.  Those peak times will be highly dependent on some very small disturbances that will pass through the region.

Here are the current forecast rainfall totals through Sunday morning.  Keep in mind that a thunderstorm can always drop a bit more rain than nearby locations.  Images are from

sundaymorning7am Here are the forecast rainfall totals through Monday night


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.  Cold front arrives on Monday
2.  Strong storms possible on Monday

The main story for the extended forecast is the cold front that will sweep through the area on Monday.

This front will be accompanied by showers and thunderstorms.  A few of the storms could be strong.  Not sure about true severe weather just yet.  But, it is worth monitoring.

Several parameters for locally heavy rain and storms on Monday.  Let’s look them over.

This is the 1 am to 7 am rainfall totals from the GFS model from

That precipitation will track eastward and spread across the rest of the area on Monday.

Click images for larger views


Some question on the exact timing of the cold front on Monday.  If the cold front arrives in the afternoon then thunderstorm chances will increase a bit more.  Also the intensity of storms would be greater.  If the cold front arrives early then the instability might be lower.  Something I will be monitoring.

Here are the CAPE (energy) numbers for Monday late morning and early afternoon.  Certainly not eye popping numbers


The image below is the PWAT values.  PWAT values are what meteorologists use to determine how much moisture there is in the entire atmospheric column.  From the surface to several thousand feet aloft.

These are some decent numbers (1.5 to 1.8″).  Lot of moisture to work with.  Could be some heavy downpours on Monday.



Longer range (May into June)

Some early signals indicate June might bring below normal temperatures and above normal rainfall.  Long way off and I am not a huge fan of long range outlooks.  But, some charts are showing the above.  We shall see.

In the meantime, what about the coming weeks?  What are the charts showing?

Longer range outlook for temperatures below.  Precipitation could also be above normal during the time frame mentioned below.

This map is the forecast anomalies for May 6th through May 11th.  Will it be warmer than normal or cooler than normal?  According to this forecast it will be warmer than normal.  Lot of red on the map.


Now, this second map is for May 11th through the 16th.  Cooler than normal?  Might be according to these charts.

The EC ensembles, however, indicate that above normal temperatures will continue through much of May.  We will see which one wins the temperature contest.


There is some debate in the meteorological community about how our summer will pan out.  Some believe we may have a hot and dry summer.

The pattern for the last two years would indicate frequent northwest flow.  That would mean cooler than normal temperatures.  Is there reasons to believe this is going to change?  We have been in that pattern for a very long time.

We will see how it goes.


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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.

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


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