Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

May 1, 2015: Welcome to May! Warmer weather for the weekend.

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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.

Friday –  A chilly start to the morning.  Maybe a couple spots of light patchy frost in the cold favored areas.  Mostly sunny sky conditions throughout the day.  Temperatures in the 60’s.  North 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

Morning School Bus Stop Weather –
  Mostly sunny.  Morning temps in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s.  Light north winds.
Afternoon School Bus Stop Weather – Mostly sunny.  Temperatures in the 60’s.  Light north winds at 5-10 mph.

Friday night –  A few patches of clouds moving in from the north.  Cool.  Lows in the 40’s.  Northeast winds at 5-10 mph.  A 10% chance of a shower along and north if I64.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?
  No reason to cancel plans

Saturday –  Mostly sunny.  Highs in the 70’s with southwest 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

Saturday night –  A few patchy clouds.  Otherwise, mostly clear.  Lows in the 50’s.  Southerly 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

Sunday –  Partly cloudy and warmer.   Temperatures in the 70’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

Monday – Partly cloudy and warm.  Highs in the upper 70’s to around 80 degrees.  Southerly winds at 10-15 mph.



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.  A chilly start to your Friday
2.  A beautiful weekend ahead of us

Friday morning will start off chilly.  Some 30’s are possible in cold favored spots.  Many areas will be in the upper 30’s and lower 40’s.  The good news is that a nice warming trend will begin on Saturday and last into next week.

A strong upper level low will pull away from our region on Friday.  You can see that upper level low here on the 500 mb map (about 18,000′ above the Earth’s surface).  The strong counter-clockwise winds behind this system is why we will be so chilly on Friday morning.  Image is from  The colors represent wind speed.


A weak system approaches from the north on Friday night.  It should bring a few clouds but nothing more.  Perhaps a 10% chance for a shower north of I64.

Expect dry conditions for most of my forecast counties on Saturday and Sunday.

Temperatures for the weekend will rise into the 70’s and perhaps even a few 80 degree readings.  I doubt I will hear any weather complaints over the weekend!!!!  Please enjoy.

No severe weather concerns over the coming days.  Quite unusual for early May.  But, we won’t complain about that either.  Quiet is good when it comes to the severe weather front.

High temperature forecast for today


High temperature forecast for Saturday


High temperature forecast for Sunday


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




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Visit their web-site here.  Or, you can also visit their Facebook page.




Endrizzi’s Storm Shelters – For more information click here.  Endrizzi Contracting and Landscaping can be found on Facebook, as well – click here



Gary Eckelkamp’s web-site click the above banner or click here


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 – No major wild card in the forecast.



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
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 precipitation over the region through 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.  Warm next week
2.  A chance for a few showers and thunderstorms from time to time next week

Typically we expect unsettled weather during the Month of May.  Warmer, as well.  Warmer weather is definitely here and it should stick around through the near term.  That is the good news.

We will have some unsettled weather over the coming weeks, but that is to be expected.

A few weak systems will pass near our region over the coming week.  I don’t see a strong signal for severe weather, but I will keep an eye on each disturbance.  It doesn’t take much to have severe weather during the Month of May.  Wind fields are usually strong and instability is usually high.

But, for now…some scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible over the coming week.  But, severe weather risks appear low.  Perhaps the best chance for some precipitation to shop up on radar would be Thursday into next weekend.  Monday through Wednesday looks to be mostly dry.  I can’t rule out a stray popup shower or storm, but widespread precipitation appears to hold off until the end of next week.

Here is the GFS precipitation charts.  You can see some patches of green on the maps.  That represents some showers and thunderstorms.

This first map is for Tuesday night.  A few patchy shower/storms over eastern Missouri and perhaps into southwest Illinois.


This is the Thursday night map.  Quite a few showers in the region.



The map below is for Friday morning.  More showers and thunderstorms dotted around the region.



The map below is for Friday afternoon and evening.  Perhaps quite a few showers and storms in the region.



And finally…the Saturday map.  Perhaps next weekend won’t be dry.  Appears several chances for showers and thunderstorms over the upcoming work 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




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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