Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

May 31, 2015: Saying goodbye to a very wet May (for some of us)

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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.

The rest of tonight – Mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely.  Cooler.  Lows in the upper 50’s to lower 60’s.  Winds becoming northwest at 10-15 mph.

Sunday –  A mix of sun and clouds.  It will be cooler.  Showers increasing from the southwest towards the northeast.  Most coverage will be over the Missouri Bootheel into western Kentucky and Tennessee.  Parts of far southern Illinois, as well.  Lesser chances north of that area.  Highs will be in the upper 60’s to middle 70’s with northwest winds at 10-15 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?

Sunday night – Some clouds.  Cooler.  A chance for showers, especially over the southern and eastern half of the region.  Less humid, as well.  Lows will be in the 50’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

Monday –  Some clouds and cooler.  Less humid.  A small chance for a lingering shower.  Highs will be in the 70’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? 

Monday night – Partly cloudy.  Cool.  Nice for June.  Lows will be in the 50’s.  Northeast winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans?

Tuesday –  Partly sunny.  Mild and less humid.  A 20% chance for shower or thunderstorm, mainly over western Kentucky.  Highs in the 70’s.  Northeast winds at 5-10 mph.
My confidence in this part of the forecast verifying is high
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? 

Wednesday should be dry, as well.  Maybe a chance for a shower or thunderstorm over western Kentucky and northwest Tennessee and Missouri Bootheel.  Rain chances may increase a little bit by Thursday into the weekend as warmer air arrives and more humidity.

Sunrise and Sunset Times – Click 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.  Drier and cooler air spreading into the region behind a cold front!
2.  Latest data lingers some precipitation into Wednesday.  Scattered, at best.
3.  Warmer and more humid air returns late week

Well, May has been very very wet for some locations.  Other locations (some of the official recording stations just by chance) are below normal.  Unfortunately they somehow missed the big rainfall totals.

Many spots in southeast Missouri picked up 4 to 10 inches of rain in May.   Parts of southern Illinois picked up 4-8 inches of rain and the same for western Kentucky.  However, the Paducah, KY NWS Office ended up in a rain hole and will probably go in the books as below normal.  Same for a few more official stations.

That is the way spring usually goes.  Someone ends up with a lot of rain and other areas end up with less.  Most of the region ended up with above normal rainfall totals.  See maps below.

A cold front is moving through the region.  This front is responsible for the widespread showers and locally heavy thunderstorms on Saturday. Some of the storms produced small hail and 50-60 mph wind gusts (isolated events).

The cold front is moving south and east.  This is great news for our region.

We need some dry days and it does appear we will get a few.  Sunday will have quite a bit of precipitation spreading northeast out of Arkansas into Kentucky and Tennessee (Missouri Bootheel).  Light totals.

Sunday night into Wednesday appear to be mostly dry.  Perhaps a few showers and an isolated thunderstorm risk.  It will feel cooler outside as dew points drop into the 50’s!  To compare…dew points on Saturday were in the 60’s and 70’s.

Here is the Saturday dew point map


Here are the dew point numbers for Tuesday!  Much nicer


What are dew points?  Well, another great question.  A lot of people confuse humidity and dew points.  I like to use dew points to measure moisture in the air.  This is the better way, actually.  To learn more about dew points…click here

Overnight lows will be in the 50’s on Sunday night through Wednesday night.  I can’t rule out a few upper 40’s in those cool favored spots in rural areas.  Either way, very nice temperatures for early June.  How about that!

I hope you enjoy the mostly drier and cooler days ahead.  See the extended discussion below.

Let’s look at the high temperature maps and the departures (how many degrees above or below normal will high temperatures be)

Sunday’s High Temperature Map


Now the departures.  How many degrees below normal will these temperatures be?  Quite a bit!


Monday’s High Temperatures


Monday’s departures


Tuesday’s High Temperatures


Tuesday’s Departures (not as impressive).  We should moderate as the week wears on


Let’s take quick look at low temperatures – Sunday morning temperatures


And Monday morning lows




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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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…



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

Wild card in this forecast – the wild card for the coming days will be overnight lows.  Can a few spots dip into the 40’s in the region?  Appears possible…especially those cool favored rural areas.  50’s for sure!  It will feel quite nice outside over the coming nights.



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 for Sunday through Wednesday

Sunday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Monday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Tuesday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated
Wednesday Severe Weather Outlook –  Severe Weather Is Not Anticipated



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

Rain chances increasing on Sunday afternoon and evening.  Rainfall totals will vary from 0.20″ to 0.60″.  The highest totals will be near the KY/TN border into the Kentucky Lake area and east of there.  Light to moderate rain at times.

Light totals possible Monday into Wednesday.  If a thunderstorm forms then a little bit higher chances for 0.25″ or locally heavier in very small areas.




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.  Cooler air for most of this week
2.  A slight warm up is possible as we push towards the end of the week
3.  Rain chances may increase on Thursday into the weekend.  Still a few days to work this out

The big story is the cooler and drier air that will settle over our region early this week into the middle of the week.  I know farmers will be happy!  Much drier than recent weeks.  But, how long will it last?

Here is the GFS high and low temperature forecast numbers for the upcoming week (and more).  The more part should be ignored.  I don’t really trust the data past day 5 or 6.

What I want you to take from this is that we start out fairly nice this week and then we may see a steady climb in temperatures (and dew points/humidity).  Although, I should point out that some data continues the lower 80’s into at least Friday.  The GFS model nudges us more into the middle and even upper 80’s (we shall see).

Click image for a larger view – Image is from


Some of the models want to bring moisture back into the region by Thursday or Friday.  But, some of the models hold off and keep us dry.  This will need to be monitored.  For now I think it will be mostly dry right on through at least Wednesday night and perhaps Thursday.  Monitor updates on the late week part of the forecast.

My summer forecast is for mostly above normal precipitation for the region and normal to below normal temperatures.  We will be riding this southeast ridge most of the summer.  When it nudges into our region then that means warmer temperatures.  How often it nudges into our region is the question.  If the southeast ridge of high pressure nudges into our region more frequently then expect my temperature part of the summer forecast to be in jeopardy.  Meaning…warmer than expected.

May was very wet for much of the region.  My forecast for May was for above normal precipitation (centered over our western counties in southeast Missouri into southwest Illinois) with the last 15 days bringing some of our counties 4-8 inches of rain.  That is what happened.  Some places picked up very big totals over the last two weeks.  Other areas picked up less.  Nature of the beast with this type of pattern.

Several of the official reporting stations went in the books with below normal rainfall.  That is unfortunate since it doesn’t represent what actually happened.  But, that is the way it goes.

Here are the rainfall totals from April 30th through May 29th.  This does not count all of the rain that fell on Saturday.  Of course the hardest hit areas were Oklahoma and Texas.  Incredible rainfall totals.  Click image for a larger view.  Image is from




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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