Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

June 28, 2015: An unusual pattern for July

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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.


Saturday night – A slight chance (10%) for an evening shower or thunderstorm.  Otherwise, clearing and cool.  Nice camping weather.  Lows in the 50’s and 60’s.  Light north winds.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  No
Is severe weather expected?  No
What is the chance for precipitation?  Small.
What impact is expected?  No serious impacts.


Sunday –  Partly cloudy.  Puffy cumulus clouds.  Nice temperatures and lower humidity levels.  A 10% chance for an afternoon thunderstorm.   Highs in the 70’s to lower 80’s.  North and northwest winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?
Is severe weather expected?  No
What is the chance for precipitation?  10%
What impact is expected?  No serious impacts.


Sunday night – Becoming cloudy.  A 40% chance for showers and thunderstorms.  South winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  No.  Late night will bring some precipitation.
Is severe weather expected?  No
What is the chance for precipitation? 40%
What impact is expected?  Lightning, gusty winds, and small hail with the most intense storms that move in from the north.


Monday –  A lot of clouds.  A 40% chance for thunderstorms.  A little warmer.  Highs in the 80’s with southwest winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is  high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  
Could be some storms around.  Not a washout. 
Is severe weather expected?  Small risk for a strong storm.
What is the chance for precipitation?  40%
What impact is expected?  A couple of storms could produce heavy downpours, gusty winds, and small hail.

Monday night –  Partly cloudy.  A 20% chance for a thunderstorm.  Lows in the 60’s with west and southwest winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?
 Might be some evening precipitation.  Monitor radars.
Is severe weather expected?  A couple of evening storms could be strong.  Severe storm risk is very low.
What is the chance for precipitation?  30% in the evening.
What impact is expected?  No major impacts.  If a storm remains then lightning.


Tuesday –  Partly sunny.  Pleasant day for summer.  Just a slight chance for a thunderstorm.  Less than 10% chance.  Highs in the 80’s with southwest winds at 10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?  
Is severe weather expected?  No
What is the chance for precipitation?  Less than 10%

What impact is expected?  No major impacts.


Unsettled Wednesday into Sunday with several chances for showers and heavy thunderstorms.  Monitor updates.  MCS season is here.


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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.  Cooler than normal weather this week
2.  On and off heavy rain chances.  Thunderstorms.  MCS’s are a concern over coming weeks.
3.  Watching Wednesday/Thursday for a heavy rain event for some of our counties
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The big story for the coming weeks will be below normal temperatures, overall.  That does not mean we won’t have some warm days.  It just means that a better air mass is likely to be situated over our region than the middle and end of June (which was well above normal temperatures).

The summer forecast was for July to turn cooler and wetter.

I have concerns about multiple chances for storms over the coming weeks.  We may end up with too much rain across parts of the Ohio Valley.

We will have a deep trough over the middle and eastern United States over the coming days.  A large dip in the jet stream.  This will be the reason for the cooler than normal temperatures.

A pattern like this also will bring multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms.

One round will arrive on Sunday night and Monday.  Storms moving in from the north and northwest.  A couple of storms could be strong.  Severe weather risk is minimal.

Another good chance for thunderstorms will arrive on Wednesday and Thursday.  Perhaps centered on Wednesday night and Thursday.  Heavy rain is a concern with this system.  It will move in from the west.

A stalled out front should be draped near our region.  Multiple rounds of precipitation may move along this front.  Flooding is a concern for some counties if this pattern unfolds as anticipated.

We may have to deal with MCS’s.  What is that?  See below.

What is a Mesoscale Convective System?  Large thunderstorm complexes that form in the late spring and summer months.  Here is a great educational lesson on this topic…click here

The hail in McCracken County, KY on Friday was some of the larger hail since 2003 (that I know of).  Up to 3″ size hail was reported in isolated spots (southwest part of the county).  I also had reports of 2″ size hail in Cunningham, Kentucky.  Numerous reports of dime to quarter size hail were received.

Only a couple of reports of wind damage.  There were a ton of warnings on Friday.  A couple of the warnings verified.  Hit and miss on the warning verification.  Definitely some large hailers!

Thank you for all of the reports and photographs.




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.  Unsettled pattern with rounds of heavy rain possible
2.  River flooding concerns
3.  As promised, cooler than normal likely over coming 2 weeks.  Cooler is relative for July.
4.  Fourth of July weekend.  Rain and storms?  Stalled front?

Our new weather pattern will establish itself over the coming 7 days.  A dip in the jet stream will remain over the region and may be reinforced from time to time.

This pattern may last for awhile.  The big heat may return turns the last part of the second week of August into the third week of August.  Long way off to throw that basketball.  And, not saying we won’ t have periods of hot weather in July.  We have to watch the heat ridge as it will always attempt to move into our region during the Month of July.  For now the trough will win out.  Dip in the jet stream.

Let’s look at that dip in the jet stream.  Can you find the trough over our region?  The dip in the jet?  See how the lines curve downward?  That is the dip in the jet.

This is the Sunday 500 mb map.  Winds at 18,000 feet.  Image from


This is the map for next Friday.  Trough remains with us all week.


Moving ahead to next Sunday.  Strong trough.  This could mean heavy rains next weekend.



Historically a pattern like this means multiple rounds of thunderstorms.  Some storms could be heavy.  I have concerns that the rivers are so high.  This will need to be monitored.

After the system on Wednesday/Thursday passes through our region, we will have to deal with another system around Fourth of July weekend.  That could mean some wet periods for the holiday.  Still early and I continue to fine tune the forecast.

Stay tuned.



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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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 on Sunday should be minimal.

Sunday night and Monday we will have additional scattered showers and thunderstorms.  A few spots could pick up 0.50″ of rain.  Many areas will pick up less than that.  Some will miss out entirely.

Rainfall chances increase dramatically by Wednesday and Thursday.  Heavy rain is a good bet with amounts greater than 1-3″ in some counties.  Still some time to monitor the placement of the best precipitation chances.  An MCS will be possible.  A complex of thunderstorms.

Here is the official rainfall forecast for the week.  Keep in mind there could be locally heavier amounts.  Always a good bet this time of the year.


What is a Mesoscale Convective System?  Large thunderstorm complexes that form in the late spring and summer months.  Here is a great educational lesson on this topic…click here



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 for Sunday into Monday.  Marginal TWO for Monday.  Maybe a couple of strong storms.
Sunday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated.  Small chance for thunder during the day.  Scattered storms possible Sunday night.

Monday Severe Weather Outlook –  Scattered storms possible.  Not expecting them to become severe.

Tuesday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Wednesday Severe Weather Outlook –  Thunderstorms possible.  Heavy rain possible Wednesday night.
Thursday Severe Weather Outlook – Thunderstorms possible.  Heavy rain possible.
Friday Severe Weather Outlook – Thunderstorms possible
Saturday Severe Weather Outlook –  Thunderstorms possible





A couple of strong storms on Sunday night and Monday. The Storm Prediction Center has placed us in a small risk zone for strong storms.  Perhaps some small hail and gusty winds with storms.  Widespread severe weather is not anticipated.

Heavy rain possible Wednesday night or Thursday.

Rivers will continue to remain high over the coming week.  Check the lake and river stages for details.



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

Wild card in this forecast – The wild card for Sunday will be whether or not a stray thunderstorm pops up during the afternoon.  Cold air aloft.  Occasionally an atmosphere like this can produce a shower or storm.  Better chances on Sunday night and Monday.


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

Current Temperatures Around The Local Area



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


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