Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

April 30, 2015: The weekend forecast is a winner!

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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.

Thursday –  A mix of sun and clouds.  Morning temperatures starting out in the 40’s.  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.  North winds at 10-15 mph with an occasional gust to 25 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
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 north winds.
Afternoon School Bus Stop Weather – Partly cloudy.  Temperatures mostly in the 60’s.  Gusty winds from the north.

Thursday night –  Clear and cool.  Lows well down into the upper 30’s and lower 40’s.  North/northwest 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.  Highs in the 60’s to around 70 degrees.  Light north/northeast winds.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 
No reason to cancel plans

Friday night –  Clear perhaps a few clouds towards morning.  Lows in the 40’s.  Southeast 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

Saturday –  Partly cloudy during the morning and then mostly sunny and warmer.  Temperatures in the 70’s.  Winds becoming southerly 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

Sunday – will bring warm and dry conditions.  Highs in the 70’s.  Small chance for a thunderstorm over our far northern counties (I64 and northward).  We will have some weak lift in the area on Sunday.  I will update if the forecast changes, as always.


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.  One or two showers over our far northeast and eastern counties on Thursday
2.  A beautiful weekend is forecast.

Wow, the weather sure is calm for late April.  Typically this time of the year is made up of chaotic weather.  We have had a couple of severe weather events over the part couple of months, but nothing like we normally experience.  The great news and weather will roll right on into the weekend.  I do see some unsettled weather over the coming weeks, but let’s enjoy the current nice spell!

The jet stream on Wednesday was diving southward from the northern United States.  You can see that on the jet stream map from (250 mb level).  The wind barbs are coming down from the north.  This is one reason it is cooler than normal.



We will have a couple of more days with cool(ish) temperatures.  Highs for Thursday will still be in the 60’s. But, we will start warming up on Friday and then for the weekend.


Here are the Friday temperatures


But, look at Saturday 🙂 – woohooooo!


What would you think about seasonal tornado forecasts?  Hmmm…maybe in the future!  Story can be read here



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




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No major changes to the ongoing forecast.



No major concerns over the coming days!  Not bad for late April and early May.  Normally this is a very active time of the year.


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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 will center around a shower or two (on Thursday) as a disturbance moves down from the north.  The chance for a shower will center over our northeast and far eastern counties.



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?

No significant rain for the region through Sunday.

A weak disturbance will push into the region on Wednesday night and Thursday.  This disturbance could bring some light showers to southeast Illinois, southwest Indiana, and northern and northwest Kentucky.  Light be the key word.  Scattered, as well.  Rainfall totals would likely be less than 0.10″.

The official rainfall forecast chart shows very little rain from the Thursday disturbance.

The rain over our northern counties…that is from the Saturday and Sunday front that will be stationed to our north.  MAYBE a few of the showers and storms will push into our far far northern counties.  I will continue to fine tune the forecast as we move forward.

Most of our region will remain dry over the weekend.





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.  Weekend should remain dry
2.  Warmer for the week with widespread 70’s
3.  Unsettled weather next week into the following week.  Warm temperatures with higher dew points.  Might mean some on and off shower and thunderstorm chances.

The latest data has pushed the Midwest front a bit further north for the weekend.  Crossing fingers, that should mean the showers and thunderstorms will stay north, as well.  Still small chances for our far far northern counties on Sunday afternoon or night.  If the front ends up slightly further north then rain concerns would not be an issue.  Bottom line – this looks to be a very nice weekend!!!!!

It does appear the nicest weekend of the spring is upon us.  Quite a bit of sun and warm temperatures.  Highs will be in the 70’s and even some 80 degree readings may dot the area.

Saturday’s High Temperature Forecast


Sunday High Temperature Forecast


I have been forecasting sustained warmth to show up in May.  That appears to be what the charts are showing.  Could we finally be finished with the week after week of below normal temperatures?  It does appear that is the case.

The warmer weather will bring occasional chances for showers and thunderstorms.  I have looked over the long range chart and there are a number of disturbances that move through the area over the next 2 weeks.  Each one will bring thunderstorm chances.  Too soon to know about severe weather chances.  May is known for severe weather.  I will monitor each disturbance.

Watching next Wednesday night through Friday for some increase precipitation chances.  Long way off.


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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