Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

April 29, 2015: Who would like a warm weekend forecast?

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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.

Wednesday –  Quite a bit of sun over parts of southeast Missouri and southwest Illinois, some clouds elsewhere.  Temperatures mainly in the 60’s.  Light north/northeast winds.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is medium
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
No reason to cancel plans

Morning School Bus Stop Weather –
  Partly sunny.  Morning temps in the 40’s.  Light northeast winds.
Afternoon School Bus Stop Weather – Partly cloudy.  Temperatures mostly in the 60’s.  Light northeast winds.

Wednesday night –  Clearing.  Cool.  Small chance for a shower over our northeast counties.  Temperatures in the 40’s.  North and northeast 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

Thursday –  A mix of sun and clouds.  Perhaps a breeze at times. A chance for a shower over our northeast counties of SE IL, SW IN, and NW KY.  Temperatures in the 60’s.  Northeast winds 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 – northeast counties could pick up a shower.

Thursday night –  Clearing.  Cool.  Temperatures in the 40’s.  North and northeast 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 –  Mostly sunny and warmer.  Temperatures in the upper 60’s to lower 70’s.  East winds at 10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
No reason to cancel plans – northeast counties could pick up a shower.


Sunrise and Sunset Times – Click Here




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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.  A mix of sun and clouds today
2.  Upper level system passes by on Wednesday night and Thursday.  Maybe a few showers with this low.
3.  Warmer by the weekend!  But will it be dry?
4.  Sustained warmth showing up in the charts?

The weather is currently dominated by a couple of features.  One of which is moving to our south.  This system has clipped our region with clouds.  Most of the precipitation has been south of our local counties.

Here is that system on the weather map.  The green represents rain.  The low is very very far south for this time of the year (more like a winter event).  The low is passing along the southern coast of Louisiana.



Another weather maker, an upper level low, will move in from the north over the next 48 hours. It will bring some clouds and light showers to our eastern counties.  Perhaps even a rumble of thunder with the cold air aloft.

Here is what that upper level low looks like on the 500 mb map.  The bright colors represent the vort max (lift).  So, some showers could form with this system as it dives down into the Ohio Valley.

If showers occur on Wednesday night and Thursday then it would most likely be over southeast Illinois, southern Indiana, and northwest/northern Kentucky (just speaking out our region here).  A thunderstorm can’t be ruled out with a system like this.


Here is the future-cast satellite view for Wednesday night and Thursday.  You can almost see the spin in the clouds…counterclockwise.  This is around the upper level low.  The white and colors are clouds and cold cloud tops.  The colors represent the temperature of the cloud tops.


This image below is for Thursday afternoon.  You can see the pinwheel type look to the clouds around the upper level low.


Future-cast radar paints very light precipitation echoes over the region on Wednesday night into Thursday.

This image is for the 11 pm to 1 am time frame on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  The colors represent rain showers.


And the image below is for Thursday afternoon.  You can barely see a few small showers in the area.  Small chances, overall.  Light precipitation if it were to occur.  Better chances to our east.


The great news is that the weekend should be mostly dry and much warmer (I have an asterisk here).  I can’t rule out a few 80 degree readings in our local counties.  Either way…warmer weather is arriving.  It has been my forecast that sustained warmth would arrive around the last part of the first week of the Month of May and continue into May.  We will see how this goes!  Spring has been slow to start this year.  A few warm days with many below normal temperature days.

Concerns for the weekend…

Some data is attempting to paint some scattered showers and thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday.  The majority of the data indicates this would be over our northern counties.  However, there is at least one model that shows a few showers and storms making their way all the way into far southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.  I will keep an eye on it.  That one model is an outlier.

Let me show you that on a graphic.  This is the GFS model that is showing some showers and storms over the weekend.

The purple and blue indicates rain and storms.  You can see this graphic for 7 pm on Saturday.  Precipitation is located over parts of eastern and central Missouri.  Again, this is the outlier model.  But, it is something I will have to monitor.


And this is the Sunday morning graphic for 7 am.  You can see some precipitation in our region.



I would encourage you to watch this video and interactive presentation concerning the 2011 tornado outbreak that struck parts of our region and the south-lands.  Very nice presentation and a great journalism piece.


See the extended forecast below for more information on the long range outlook.




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I did add a small chance for showers on Thursday for our northeast counties.  Weak system passing through the area.  Not a big deal, but a shower would be possible along the leading edge of it.

I am watching the weekend.  Hopefully it will be dry.  Some data is starting to show some precipitation.



No major concerns over the coming days.


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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



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

Wild card in this forecast –  the wild card today centers around a few showers on Thursday.  Might be a couple of showers moving in from the northwest towards the southeast.  Scattered, if they occur.  The second wild card will be the weekend precipitation chances.



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
Thursday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Friday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Saturday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Sunday Severe Weather Outlook – Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated




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

Small chance for showers over our eastern counties.  Light totals, if they occur.





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.

Well, the weekend is knocking.  It does appear we will have warmer temperatures!  Collective yay?

A little concerned about weekend precipitation showing up on some data.  However, the bulk of the data keeps our region dry.  Let’s hope that is the case.  I will update as new data becomes available.

Next week should be warm!  Perhaps warm the entire week.

Let’s look at the temperatures for next week.  This is Monday afternoon.  Lot of 70’s in the region.


Here is the Tuesday map.  Some 80’s showing up!


Wednesday map (below)  Click the maps for a larger view.


Thursday map (below).  Warm!




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




Please visit your local National Weather Service Office by clicking here. The National Weather Service Office, for our region, is located in Paducah, Kentucky.  They have a lot of maps and information on their site.  Local people…local forecasters who care about our region.



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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