August 31, 2010: Tropics are alive - few showers in the forecast for our region

August 31, 2010 - Evening update

Here is the forecast track for Earl from Environmental Canada - the eventual track could be a bit left of this - but at least this gives you a good idea of what forecasters are expecting.






















48 Hour Forecast Map - www.wright-weather.com image

















August 31, 2010

As expected the tropics have come to life and come to life with a vengeance.  We have hurricane Earl that is causing problems in the Caribbean.  We also have newly formed tropical storm Fiona right behind Earl.  A third area of disturbed weather just came off of Africa.  Plenty to watch in the coming days.

You can receive the latest track forecasts by visiting the National Hurricane Center's web-site - here.

I expect that Hurricane Earl will give the southeast and east coast quite the scare.  However, the hurricane should stay just off-shore (but it is a close call - so stay tuned if you have interests there).  High seas and heavy rains - strong winds will brush the coastline and immediate inland areas.  Hurricane force winds will be possible near the coast in North Carolina and Virginia - then northeast into Maine.  Whether Earl actually comes ashore or not is still in question - but very close.

This is a dangerous hurricane and any shift in movement could have significant impact on sensible weather.  Bottom line - those near the southeast and east coast of the United States should continue to closely monitor track forecasts in the coming days - I would not write Earl off and there will be impacts for the Carolina coastline areas into the northeast.

Tropics are going to be active through September.  


For our region - the weather will be much more pleasant.  A few showers and thunderstorms will be widely scattered over the region today.  A better chance of showers and storms will move into our region later this week as a cold front approaches from the west.  At this time it appears the best chance for rain will arrive on Thursday night.

Much of the area continues to find itself in drought conditions.  This will continue into September.  The official forecasts (see previous posts) is for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for the month of September.

I do have some concerns that September might end up bring a bit cooler weather (not that anyone would complain) than the official forecasts - I see several cold frontal passages in the coming weeks.  However, for now we will stick with the official NOAA forecast and see what happens.

Over the next 5 days I would expect heavy rainfall over portions of Missouri and Illinois - north of our local region.  Several inches of rain will be possible across portions of central and northeast Missouri into central and northern Illinois.  Feast or famine - as I like to say.

Your 72 hour rainfall map (note the heavier rains to our north and west).  As always, you can click the image for a larger view. 

Below: 72 hour rainfall forecast - supplied by www.wright-weather.com




















Meteorological fall begins on Wednesday.  A signal that the seasons are changing.  I have also noticed that the long range models are showing hints of deeper lows and stronger cold fronts.  Another sign of fall.

There will be a few showers and thunderstorms scattered around our region today.  Then again on Thursday night and Friday morning.  Next chance of rain appears to be towards the middle of next week and then the following weeks - possible two more cold frontal passages. 

You can view your seven day forecast, issued by the National Weather Service, by clicking here.

To view radar - click here.

The forecast track for Hurricane Earl and a satellite image from WeatherTap.com - as always you can click the image for a larger view.

Below:  Track forecast for Hurricane Earl.




















Below:  Satellite image of Hurricane Earl




























































OK - that is the weather for now.  When weather becomes personal check back here and on Facebook for updates.

- Beau Dodson

August 29, 2010: Hurricane Earl

August 29, 2010

Hurricane Earl will be causing problems in the days to come.  It will be a close call for Puerto Rico and then for the far eastern United States.  Caution should be used in these forecasts - hurricanes can be difficult to forecast and computer models are not gospel.  Changes may be necessary for the forecast path of Earl.

Latest Computer Models Tracks - click for larger image


















Hurricane track information from http://www.wright-weather.com/





















National Hurricane Center Forecast - click image for larger size

For the latest bulletins on this and other hurricanes please visit the National Hurricane Center's web-site - here.

We are entering an active period in the tropics - several potential problems for the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico.  We will have to watch the system behind Earl.  It may very well pose a risk to the United States, if it can develop, late next week. 

August 28, 2010: Nice weather continues - few showers in the forecast

August 28, 2010

Well, we expected the long range forecast to bring normal to above normal temperatures - with a few days below normal.  So far that appears to be on track (although it was a bit cooler than expected over the last few days - nobody will complain about that subject).  We have been much closer to normal over the last few days - even a bit below normal in some counties.  A much needed break from the extreme heat.



















Latest Weather Story From The Paducah, KY NWS


According to the National Weather Service Office out of Paducah, Kentucky this will likely be declared one of the top 5 warmest summer's on record for our region.  You can read more about the numbers by visiting the Paducah, Kentucky NWS web-site - here.

The next two weeks look to bring normal to above normal temperatures.  However, there should be at least a few days of below normal temperatures.  Normal high temperatures for this time of the year are around 86 degrees - normal low temperatures are in the 60s.

A bit more unsettled weather also appears to be in the cards.  With at least a few chances for showers and thunderstorms in the coming week.   And perhaps a period of heavier thunderstorms as we move into week two.  Some signals on the model data of stronger front passages.

Tropical weather update - we told you over the last few weeks that the tropics were about to become quite active.  That is the case - with two named systems on the weather map (and a third on the way).

It still appears that the east coast will have an above normal chance for tropical weather.  An active season is forecast and that pattern is becoming increasingly conducive for land falling tropical storms and hurricanes.   Especially along the eastern coast of the United States.  But, that doesn't mean Florida and the Gulf of Mexico can't expect problems.  The water temperatures are extremely warm - any system that develops this season has the potential to cause problems.  Stay tuned.

For the latest in tropical weather forecasts please visit the National Hurricane Center's web-site - here.

A few showers have been placed in the seven day forecast.  You can view the forecast here.  Insert your own city or zip code for your local hometown weather.

The latest 5 day rainfall forecast (broad brushed).  You can see that we are at least expecting some rainfall in our local region.

Widespread severe weather is not expected through the next five days.

Here are your latest 8-14 day forecast - temperatures and precipitation (click on image for larger view)...






















TEMPERATURE FORECAST























PRECIPITATION FORECAST


- Beau Dodson

August 26, 2010: No changes in forecast - enjoy the lower humidity levels.

August 26, 2010

No significant changes in the forecast.  Temperatures will start to rise in the coming days - back to near 90.  The difference, though, will be lower humidity levels.  This will make for some nice evenings and pleasant late summer days.

Humidity levels will start to increase next week.

Enjoy!

- Beau Dodson

August 25, 2010: Cooler weather! Drought continues...

August 25, 2010

Good morning!

Cooler weather is arriving for our region.  Words that everyone has been waiting to hear for weeks on end.  Now, don't think that just because we experience a few days of cooler weather that summer is over.  It is not.  We will have more heat in the coming days/weeks.  But, for now - let's enjoy the cooler temperatures.

I still believe and am forecasting that the worst heat is behind us.  Still some hot days ahead.  I am more concerned about the upcoming fall fire season that the return of hot weather.  Dry weather - stronger winds = fire danger.

Your seven day forecast can be viewed here.

The 8-14 day forecast indicates normal to above normal temperatures.  It also, unfortunately, is still showing below normal precipitation.  We need rain - desperately. 

As expected, the tropics have come back to life.  We are tracking several systems in the Atlantic.  Also watching the Gulf of Mexico.  For the most up to the minute tropical information you can visit the National Hurricane Center's web-site here.

- Beau Dodson



8-14 Day Precipitation Forecast - Brown is below normal precipitation.

August 23, 2010: Cooler weather later this week - drought continues.

August 23, 2010
For your latest weather information visit www.weatherobservatory.com

No significant changes to the previous forecast.  It does appear temperatures will be a little lower than upper 80s towards the middle/end of the week.  So, this is good news for those who have grown weary of the recent record streak of 91 and above temperatures.

We do a have a tropical system in the Atlantic.  It appears this system will not impact the United States.  Danielle is in the far eastern Atlantic.  To read more about Danielle please visit the National Hurricane Center's web-site - here.

The biggest news this week will be the lower humidity levels starting Wednesday and continuing into Friday and Saturday.  It will at least feel a lot nicer outside than in previous weeks.  I would not be surprised to see low temperatures drop into the 50s later this week.  This is also good news for everyone who is tired of the day in and day out hot hot hot weather.  

The best chance for the area to see low temperatures in the 50s will be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Unfortunately I do not see any indication of significant rainfall.  The drought will continue this week and possibly into next week, as well.  Rainfall deficits will continue to worsen.  There is only a very slight chance - less than 20% - of a scattered shower as the front passes through towards the middle of the week.

Fire conditions will worsen, as well.  Several local fire departments are requesting that area residents don't burn brush or grass/fields until additional rain falls.

The long range models indicate that mostly above normal temperatures could continue into September and October.  November and December is still a bit too far off to make a call. 

Overall it appears that precipitation will remain below normal in the coming weeks.  Again, we need a tropical system to move out of the Gulf of Mexico to really bring us significant rains.  We will just have to keep watching.  Tropics should pick up considerably during the coming weeks - 2 month period.  Several impacts to the U.S. will be possible.  Stay tuned.

Your seven day forecast can be viewed here.

Lot of signals still point to a winter filled with swings in temperatures.  Unlike last winter that was mostly cold.  Above normal precipitation appears likely.  Could be quite active with many storm systems tracking north of our region - putting us in the warm sector.  With water temperatures so high in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic there will be a higher risk of significant precipitation events and possibly some significant deep storms (windy systems - heavier precipitation).  The above normal water temperatures has to balance out one way or another - the balance will likely make for interesting weather in the central United States.  But, when isn't winter interesting in our region?

Some winter time severe thunderstorm events won't be out of the question.  We will need to monitor the set-up as we move further into fall.  Also don't forget our fall severe weather season is fast approaching.

- Beau Dodson


 8-14 Day Outlook - Normal To Above Normal Temperatures Are Expected To Continue



1 Month Outlook - Appears To Favor Above Normal Temperatures.  September Forecast.

August 22, 2010: No changes

August 22, 2010

Good morning!

No changes from yesterdays forecast thoughts.  Warm week ahead - nothing unusual, though.  Temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s.  Humidity levels will be lower towards the end of the week.  That means the fire danger will increase.  Fire departments are asking that people refrain from burning grass and brush (in some counties).

We could see some cool overnight lows - especially with the lower dew points.  Will feel nicer outside and you can sleep with your windows open!  I am sure this will be welcome relief from the recent extreme heat.

Enjoy the week.

- Beau Dodson

August 20, 2010: Weather update for August 20th-27th

August 20, 2010

You can follow quick/frequent updates on  my Facebook or Twitter feed.

11 AM Update -
Severe weather risk is low today.  Bigger chance of strong storms east of our immediate local counties.  SPC has dropped the slight risk for much of the KPAH region.  Still could be some storms redevelop later today.  A few strong cells are possible.

I picked up 1.01" of rainfall this morning.  The most rain we have received, at this location, in about two months.

- have a good weekend


Previous Discussion...

YOUR WEATHER HEADLINES: 

1.  A chance for rain/storms on Saturday (August 21st) - a few strong/severe storms will be possible.
2.  Normal to above normal temperatures are expected next week.  NOT expecting extreme heat or heat index values.
3.  Concerns are growing over brush and grass fire conditions (some counties have burn bans in effect).

Primary Weather Concerns:

A few severe thunderstorms are possible on Saturday - the Storm Prediction Center has placed our region in a risk zone.  The main threat from storms would be lightning and gusty/damaging winds.  Isolated hail.

Fire departments continue to ask local residents to refrain from burning brush or grass/fields.  Much of our region is experiencing drought conditions.  These conditions will likely worsen in the coming weeks.  The fall fire season could be active if conditions do not change soon.

Call To Action:  There is a chance for spotter activation on Saturday (August 21st).



Outlook:


Most of the region remains in drought conditions (areas to the east of Kentucky Lake - central/eastern Kentucky -  have received heavy rainfall over the last week).  The drought continues to spread to more counties.  The latest drought monitor maps can be viewed here.  Click on a state to view county by county conditions.  These maps are updated on Thursday mornings.  As you can see, most of our local area has been experiencing dry conditions over the last few months.  The overall pattern does not appear to be in any hurry to change.  Unless a tropical system or a cold front stalls over our region then we may not experience much relief in the near term. 

A frontal system will produce rain and thunderstorms in our region tonight and on Saturday.  A few of these storms may be strong/severe.  The main threat would be damaging winds.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed our local area in a risk for severe storms.  A widespread severe weather event is not expected, at this time. 

It is still my belief and forecast that the most intense heat is behind us.  That does not mean we won't experience more hot weather.  But, I am not seeing anything that indicates day after day 100+ weather - like what we experienced over the last few weeks. 

This has been the 2nd warmest summer ever recorded in Paducah, Kentucky.  We will likely make a run for the number 1 spot.  Temperatures this coming week will likely be normal to above normal.  That means upper 80s to middle 90s.  Heat index values will be a bit lower as we will be in a drier air mass. 

The drier air mass will raise some concerns for fire departments.  Increasingly dry conditions will mean that the risk for brush and grass fires will increase.  This will become an important topic as we enter the fall months.  Stronger winds combined with dry conditions could cause many counties to implement burn bans.  We already have several counties that have burn bans in effect. 

Otherwise - most of the upcoming week is expected to remain dry. 

For the American Red Cross readers - the tropical season is expected to become quite active over the coming weeks.  Watching the circulation over Alabama, one off the southeast coast (east of Florida), and another in the far Atlantic. 

This forecast was issued by - Beau Dodson
Meteorologist for the Paducah/McCracken County Office of Emergency Management

Useful links for radar and other information:

Latest Radar
http://weatherobservatory.com/weather-radar.htm

Seven Day Forecast
http://www.weatherobservatory.com/hw3/

Paducah Hazardous Weather Outlook
http://kamala.cod.edu/ky/latest.flus43.KPAH.html

Storm Prediction Center
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/

Regional Radar
http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/southmissvly.php
or
http://wxweb.meteostar.com/radar/radar_link.shtml?map=SCR_BASE_REFL.gif

NWS Paducah
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pah/

NWS Memphis
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/meg/

NWS Jackson, KY
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/jkl/

NWS Louisville
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lmk/


August 20, 2010: Rain? Seasonal temperatures next week

August 20, 2010

Quick update -

Rain chances will increase later tonight and on Saturday across our region.  Rainfall counties of 1/2-1" will be possible.  Like the last few weeks it is possible that some counties will receive very little in the rainfall department.

Severe storms are possible across portions of Missouri and Illinois - mainly west and north of our local counties.  A few strong storms will be possible over our region - isolated severe.

Temperatures next week should be more seasonal.  Normal to above normal temperatures are expected for the rest of the month.  Highs next week will be in the upper 80s and lower 90s.  There are hints at cooler air towards the middle/end of next week.

Watching the tropical disturbance over Alabama as it drifts south and east.  Also watching several disturbances out in the Atlantic.

- Beau Dodson

August 19, 2010: Heat Continues - Yesterday's Rainfall Totals

August 19, 2010

I like to say the phrase "feast or famine" - I say it a lot.  For good reason.  It seems like we can't find a happy middle ground when it comes to weather.  But, that isn't unusual in itself - averages come from extremes.  That is how it has always been and always will be.

The official drought monitor maps have been released this morning.  The drought is spreading and will likely worsen in the coming weeks.  Here is the latest map.

Yesterday's rainfall was no different.  I recorded 0.00" here at the Weather Observatory.  Not a drop fell.  Most of the rain stayed in Kentucky and Tennessee - which is how it was forecast.  So, the forecast was not too bad.  However, it would have been nice to at least get a little bit of rain further north and west.  It just didn't happen.  The boundary was a bit father south than expected and the tropical moisture was steered further south and east, as well. 

For the entire month of August I have only recorded 0.16" of rainfall.  Extremely dry.

Rainfall totals in Kentucky ranged from just a few sprinkles in Paducah to as much as 6 inches (more in some isolated areas) in south central and southeast Kentucky.  Numerous counties were under flash flood warnings.  Flood warnings were also issued for a large portion of Tennessee.  That is what happens with tropical moisture from an old tropical depression spreads into the Tennessee Valley. 

But, that is yesterday - rain has ended and the next decent shot at rain will arrive on Friday Night and Saturday.  Although the chances are still not overly impressive.  I will keep an eye on the chances and update on later today.  Right now I am not expecting severe weather.

The heat wave is going to build back into our region in the coming days.  We may not return to the extreme levels that we witnessed last week, but we will likely see temperatures return to the middle and upper 90s.  Heat index values will once again approach and exceed 100.  This would mean that the National Weather Service may have to issue heat warnings and advisories, once again.

I am expecting 90+ weather to continue through most of next week.  We could see a day or two with temperatures a bit lower - but overall expect warm/hot temperatures to continue.  There are some hints of cooler weather towards the middle/end of next week.  Will tweak forecast if need be.  We can hope!

Your SEVEN day forecast can be viewed here.  For latest radar and current conditions please visit the Weather Observatory web-site.

Paducah recorded its 31st day above 90 degrees yesterday.  This was a new record.  If Paducah can reach 90 degrees or above for 38 days in a row then that will also be a new record.  Not the kind of records you want to be setting.

The hurricane season is about to become more active.  We have been saying that for about a week now - I thought perhaps after August 10th we would really see activity increase.  I should have held out a bit longer.  However, with that said, I expect several tropical storms and hurricanes over the coming medium and long range time period.  That would be the next 15-20 days.  There is an increased risk for the eastern half of the United States.  A pattern that often leads to east coast hurricanes is developing.

Long range forecast for our region - no change from my previous thoughts.  Normal to above normal temperatures for the rest of the month.

Currently winter forecasts are pointing to above normal temperatures and perhaps wetter than normal.  Long way to go.  So - we will watch the trends over the coming weeks and months.

- Beau Dodson

August 18, 2010: Chance of rain today - heat returning soon

August 18, 2010

Noon update - the flood event we talked about last week is underway - large portion of Tennessee and Kentucky is currently under flash flood warnings.  Mostly east/southeast of our region.

----

Scattered showers around today...
Heat index values creep back up towards end of week...
Long range still looks warm...

Our disturbance from the west and our tropical depression to the south (remnants of) continue to push moisture and lift into our region.  However, it appears that the dividing line between some decent rainfall and nothing at all will be quite sharp.

As expected the heaviest rains are falling to our south and southeast.  The remnants of tropical depression number 5 are influencing moisture as far north as Kentucky.  During the heat of the day this will flare up even more.

The system to our north and west is not overly impression in the rainfall department.  So, this leaves many of us with just a chance for a few scattered showers and thunderstorms today.  The best coverage will be over Kentucky and Tennessee.  Heavy rainfall will likely occur east and southeast of our immediate local counties.  Unfortunately, this is bad news for most of us.  We still need rain.  Flash flooding is likely over areas of heavy rain - again - to our east and southeast.

Our next chance of rain will occur on Friday into Sunday when another system approaches our region.  Again, not a sure bet that everyone will receive rainfall.

Humidity levels are starting to rise and will continue to rise into this coming weekend.  This combined with hotter temperatures will once again provide a risk for high heat index values.  Long range data indicates normal to above normal temperatures for the rest of August.  We are not finished with the hot weather.  I don't believe we will return to the extreme day in and day out heat - however, additional heat advisories and excessive heat warnings will be possible before all is said and done.

Fall can't arrive soon enough.

Your seven day forecast can be viewed here.

Your interactive radar can be viewed here.

The tropical Atlantic is starting to heat up.  Several disturbances coming off of Africa have a chance for development.  We may see additionalt tropical storms and hurricanes over the next 7-14 day period.  Models are hinting at an east coast system.  Still plenty of time to keep an eye on that subject. 

- Beau Dodson

August 17, 2010: Beautiful day!

August 17, 2010

An amazing morning outside.  Wonderful temperatures - low humidity.  Loving every minute of it!  Rain chances increase tonight and Wednesday then again towards Friday.

Our tropical system never really did develop quite as expected.  Although, the NHC did find a closed circulation and depression winds - they didn't bother to upgrade it.  It was pretty much moving ashore anyway.  So - the remnants of TD 5 are now moving through Louisiana - as expected.  Moisture is already starting to spread northward from this system.  It will continue to push moisture into the Tennessee Valley over the coming days.  Unfortunately, most of it will stay south of our local counties.

The best chance of rain later tonight and Wednesday will be in Kentucky and Tennessee.  The heaviest rains are expected to be on the KY/TN border and in Tennessee.  There will be a chance of showers and storms across the entire region.  Best coverage, though, will be in the above mentioned areas.

Long range we will have to keep an eye on the tropics from Florida and up the east coast.  There are some indications that a system may impact that region late in the period.  Also keeping an eye on the Caribbean. 

Otherwise temperatures are expected to be near to above normal in our region over the coming weeks.  Still some hot days ahead of us.  And if the latest data is correct we may return to heat advisory criteria next week.

Enjoy the day!

- Beau Dodson

August 16, 2010: Some relief from the heat - rain chances

August 16, 2010

Spotter activation is not anticipated through Thursday.

Well, our much anticipated relief from the heat has arrived.  This is the first day we have not been under a heat advisory in more than a week.  Although temperatures today will likely be in the upper 80s and lower 90s it will not feel as hot.  Humidity levels are lower.  This is good news.  Your seven day forecast can be viewed here.

It will be cool enough tonight to sleep with the windows open.

Temperatures through the rest of the week will be in the upper 80s and lower 90s.  Heat index values will range from 90 to 98 degrees.  We may have to start think about heat index values of 100+ again by the weekend and into next week.  The rest of the month is expected to have normal to slightly above normal temperatures.

What most people want to hear are the words "rain is on the way" - so, let's take a look at the potential for measurable rainfall over the coming days.

A slight chance for rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday as a disturbance passes near our region.  Better chance of rain as you go north and west in Missouri and Illinois. 

We will then have another chance of rain and storms late in the week as a frontal system approaches our region and mixes with some tropical moisture from a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico.  As we have been talking about for some time now - there could be a risk for heavy rainfall over portions of the Tennessee and Mississippi Valley late in the week.  The exact track of the tropical disturbance is a bit uncertain.  I will update as it becomes a bit more clear.   Right now it appears portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee would be the most likely area for heavy rainfall.

There is a small chance that the tropical system could push much further west than currently anticipated.  Bottom line - as mentioned above - a lot of uncertainty on the track of the tropical disturbance.

Several locations in our region received rainfall over the weekend.  Totals of 1-3" were reported over portions of southern Illinois and western Kentucky and Tennessee.  Meanwhile, other areas received little or no precipitation.  I recorded a total of 0.08" of rain since last Friday.  Barely enough to wet the sidewalk.  For the month I am now at 0.16".  Dry - to say the least.

 You can catch all the latest forecasts, radar, current conditions, and more at my web-site - www.weatherobservatory.com

- Beau Dodson
Meteorologist for the McCracken County Office of Emergency Management

August 15, 2010: Hot again today - then some relief. Watching tropics.

August 15, 2010

For those fortunate enough to have received rainfall on Saturday or earlier this morning, you should be thankful.  Many of us did not receive much in the way of meaningful rainfall.  So - the drought continues across our region.

Portions of western Kentucky and western Tennessee did receive some much needed rainfall - some areas had strong winds and heavy downpours.  Some wind damage was reported in Graves County.  Other areas of Kentucky also had severe thunderstorms with high winds.  There were even a few tornado warnings to the east of our local forecast area.

My rainfall here for the month has only been a scant 0.16".  It has been nearly sixty days since I have recorded 1" or more of rainfall in a 24 hour period.  It is extremely dry.

The heat wave will continue today.  Temperatures will be in the middle to upper 90s over most counties.  Heat index values will be over 100 degrees.  All heat advisories well expire tonight - I do not expect advisories for our region tomorrow - this is the first time in a number of days that we will be advisory free.

Your six day forecast can be viewed here.

If Paducah does reach 91 degrees then they will tie their record number of days of 91 or above.  If they reach 91 degrees on Monday then they will break their old record.  In order to break the record of 90 OR above then they would have to reach 38 days in a row - which was set back in 1993.  Which is doubtful to occur.

The much anticipated cold front will push through our region during the next 24 hours.  This will help lower temperatures and humidity levels - a bit.  Expect temperatures to still approach or exceed 90 degrees in the coming days.  However, the humidity levels will be lower.  This means that the excessive heat warnings will expire as of 7 pm tonight.  We could still see some heat advisories.  Check your local National Weather Service Office for the latest watches and warnings.

A few scattered showers and storms will be possible again today in our region.   The next chance of showers and storms will arrive on Tuesday night and Wednesday.  A bit of energy will push in from Kansas.  This could provide enough lift to spark an area of storms over Missouri.  The storms would then push east/southeast.  Locally heavy rain will be possible across portions of Missouri and Illinois.  It is a bit early to determine the track of this rain producer.  Most likely the heaviest rains would miss our local counties - however, it will need to be watched.

The other area of interest currently resides over Alabama and Mississippi.  The remnants of tropical depression five is causing showers and heavy thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. 

This area of low pressure will push southward over the coming days - slowly.  If this system can move back over the water, which I believe it will, then it will likely strengthen and could become a depression or a tropical storm once again.  The system would then push westward.  Eventually it is possible - low chance - that the system could push moisture back into our region.  It appears more likely that most of the moisture would stay to our south and southwest.  However, it is well worth watching - especially with our ongoing drought.

The track and intensity of this system is far from certain.  However, as I have talked above over the last few days, it is possible that we could see this tropical depression "return to life" and cause concern for those in its path.  I will be monitoring and updating the forecast accordingly.

Otherwise - the rest of the week is expected to be warm.  Temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s will likely be the rule.  There are hints that a few days could be warmer.  However, for now we will stick with the above and adjust if necessary.

The remainder of August should be average to a bit above average in the temperature department.  We are not through with the warm temperatures.

Tropics -

The tropics continue to frustrate forecasters who have predicted a near record season.  Although there have been a few named storms it does seem that the development of tropical storms and hurricanes is off to a slower start than first expected.  There are plenty of reasons, though, to continue to believe that we will see quite a few tropical storms and hurricanes during the upcoming 2-3 month period. 

- Beau Dodson

August 14, 2010: Weekend update...

August 14, 2010

A cold front is approaching the region.  Yes, I did say cold front.  :)  Now, it won't be cold behind the system but humidity levels will be lower and temperatures will most likely be anywhere from 8-12 degrees cooler.  Which - under the circumstances - we will take what we can get.

Showers and thunderstorms will form near the front.  A few of these could be strong/severe.  Gusty winds and heavy rain will be the main culprit with any cells that do form.  Not everyone will receive rain.  You can view your interactive radar by visiting my web-site.

Looking ahead -

I am keeping a close eye on the tropical depression or what is left of the tropical depression over Alabama and Mississippi.  Expect this system to slowly move back towards the Gulf of Mexico.  Depending on whether or not it moves back over the water will determine if it will strengthen.  If the system does strengthen then we are going to have to watch the eventual track.  Some of the moisture from this tropical system could eventually make it into our region.  A low chance - I believe I have been saying less than 10% risk.  However, we will see what happens over the next few days.

Otherwise, the week ahead (Monday-Friday) will be warm.  Temperatures will be in the upper 80s to lower 90s.  Humidity levels will be lower.  So, at least it will feel better outside.  Overnight lows will also be lower than recent weeks.  More seasonal weather. 

Your six day forecast can be viewed here.

Also - the National Weather Service Office in Paducah, Kentucky has issued a excessive heat warning for most of our counties.  You can view that information here.

It appears we are about to break some records - the information below is from the Paducah, Kentucky NWS Office.

At Paducah, the streak of consecutive days with high temperatures above 90 degrees stood at 26 as of Friday, August 13th.

The record is 28 consecutive days, which was set in 2007. Sunday, August 15 should mark the 28th consecutive day of highs in the 90's at Paducah. The third longest streaks were 26 days, which occurred in 1944 and 1952. The second longest streak was 27 days in 1988.   Read more concerning the records by visiting the Paducah, Kentucky NWS web-site - here.

The record number of days where the temperature reached 90 degrees OR above is 38 days.   This record occurred in 1993.  
 
Have a wonderful weekend and try to stay cool out there!

- Beau Dodson






















Your weather story for the upcoming week

Morning Satellite

August 13, 2010: Where do we go from here - more seasonal weather and rain chances

August 13, 2010

So, where do we go from here?  Yesterday brought the first widespread thunderstorm activity in quite awhile.  Although we only picked up 0.06" of rain (barely worth mentioning) other areas received heavy rain.  Benton, Kentucky received nearly 2.5".  Portions of Marshall County received 0.70".  So, some decent totals - here and there.  Not enough to break the drought across most of our region.  But, a start for some of us.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were also issued for a number of counties - mainly for damaging winds.  I measured 51 mph from the gust front winds.  Many other areas reported 40+ mph winds.  Some trees were downed in McCracken County and limbs were downed in Metropolis.

Today will bring more heat and humidity - perhaps a bit more humidity because of yesterdays rainfall.  Heat index readings are once again expected to range from 100-115 degrees.  Actual air temperatures will be in the upper 90s to near 100.  If it makes you fell any better - the first winter weather advisory for the 2010-2011 season was issued for portions of Montana last night.  Signs of fall are at least occurring somewhere!  I am at least trying to find something for you to clink onto.

The near record streak of 90 degree days will continue into the weekend.  It is possible that Paducah will at least tie the record for the most days being 90 degrees or above - in a row.  You can review the records/stats on the NWS web-site - here.

Extreme heat will once again be the rule on Saturday.  High temperatures in the upper 90s to 100+ will likely occur in most of our counties.  Heat index values will be in the 105-115 range.  Sizzle.

I believe temperatures will remain in the 90s on Sunday - then a cold front will push through our region.  This will help lower temperatures into the 80s on Monday (although lower 90s will still be possible across portions of our region - especially southern portions) and into the 80s on Tuesday into next weekend.  That is how it appears right now.

There are some disagreements on how this all plays out next week.  Timing on the cold front is in question - especially if it slows down.  Also with an influx of tropical moisture we could see humidity levels rise from Wednesday into Friday.  If humidity levels rise and temperatures are still near 90 degrees then heat index readings could still approach 100.  This will need to be monitored.  However, for the time being I am going to stick with next week being slightly cooler and not as muggy.  We will see how it goes. 

There will be a chance for thunderstorms again today and Saturday.  Although, it does not look like the coverage will be as widespread today as it was yesterday - over our northern counties.  Our southern counties - say west Kentucky, southeast Missouri, and western Tennessee may have greater coverage.  If storms do form then they will be locally heavy with strong winds.  Isolated severe storms will once again be possible.  The chance of storms will continue on Sunday although the risk is more likely to be across Arkansas and Tennessee - and along the KY/TN border and southeast portions of our local counties (mainly Kentucky).  This again depends on where the front stalls out. 

If the cold front slows then we will have to push the chances for storms a bit further north on Sunday.  I will take a wait and see approach for now. 

There is a low end chance (less than 10%) for a significant rain event late next week - after Wednesday it appears - across portions of the Tennessee Valley.  A tropical system is forecast to intensify over the northern Gulf of Mexico - close to the coast.  Then move north and northeast.  IF - and that is a BIG if - that actually occurs then heavy rains will be possible across portions of the southern United States into the Tennessee Valley.  Whether or not this would impact Kentucky is still uncertain.  The development of the system itself is uncertain.  Low risk (again less than 10%).  Bottom line - something I will be watching.  I will update accordingly - especially if it appears a flash flood event is in the cards for part of Kentucky (southeast part of the state does not handle heavy rainfall very well).

It appears that the worst of our heat wave is almost behind us.  Does that mean we won't see more hot and humid weather?  No.  It does not mean that.  Hot and humid weather will be possible in the coming weeks - especially with the dry soil conditions.  Meteorological fall begins September 1st.  So - the end of summer is at least in sight. 

The National Weather Service Office in Paducah, Kentucky has continued excessive heat warnings for many of our counties into Saturday.  You may view their warning map by visiting this web-site.

Your local six day forecast can be viewed here on my site
Your local radar can be viewed here

Heat Safety Rules - NWS Paducah, Kentucky

You can also follow me on Twitter - under Beau Dodson
The Weather Observatory also has a fan/group page on Facebook.  Please check it out, as well!

-  Beau Dodson (beaudodson@usawx.com)
Meteorologist for the McCracken County Office of Emergency Management

August 12, 2010: Heat wave

At 11 am this morning the temperature was already 99 degrees.  The heat index here at the Weather Observatory was 119 degrees.  Quite amazing.  Living near a field causes the relative humidity to be higher than some other areas.  This causes the heat index values to be several degrees higher than within the city limits.

High temperatures today across our region will range from 96 to 103 degrees.  Heat index values will be in the 105-115 degree range.  Areas near corn fields or crops will be even higher.

Scattered showers and heavy thunderstorms will develop late this morning and into the afternoon hours over our local counties.  Some of the storms will produce heavy rain, frequent lightning, and gusty winds.  An isolated severe cell is possible.

The heat will continue into Saturday and Sunday.  Then a cold front will pass through our region on Sunday.  This will help lower temperatures and humidity levels.  Highs will be closer to seasonal levels the first part of next week.  Thankfully.

Latest data indicates that humidity levels may once again rise towards the middle/end of next week.  So heat index levels could once again approach or exceed 100.  We will monitor the trends.

Paducah, Kentucky has experienced 24 consecutive days of temperatures 90 degrees and above.  If they make it to 28 then they will tie the record consecutive number of days of 90 and above.  For more information on the records please visit the NWS web-site - located here.

Your six day forecast can be viewed here.

Our tropical depression/system continues to move into Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  Gusty winds and torrential rains will impact those areas.  Rainfall totals of 5-10" will be possible.  The NHC did downgrade the system last night.  Although, the system looks better this morning than it has during most of its life cycle. 

Keeping a close eye on next weeks weather pattern for the potential of heavy rain.  It appears to be a low chance at this time.  But, will monitor. 

The tropics will likely become more and more active in the coming weeks.  Hints of a system off the southeast coast next week as well as the Gulf of Mexico. 

For up to the minute information/radar/current conditions please visit http://www.weatherobservatory.com/


- Beau Dodson

August 11, 2010: No changes in the forecast...

August 11, 2010

No significant changes from the previous few days. Our well forecasted heat wave continues to impact our area. Excessive heat warnings continue for our entire region. Heat index readings will once again reach into the 100s. Maximum temperatures will range from 98 to 104 degrees.

I recorded 103 degrees yesterday here at the Weather Observatory in Massac County. It felt every degree of that. Intense heat will once again be the main story for today and tomorrow across our region.

Remember that burn bans are currently in effect for portions of the region.  Fire departments are asking that you please don't burn fields or debris.  Dry conditions continue.

A cold front is forecast to approach and move through our region late in the weekend. This is going to bring our best chance at cooler weather and lower humidity levels. This is good news. However, a drought busting rain is not currently in the cards. There will be, however, an increased chance for showers and thunderstorms.

Next week should bring temperatures in the upper 80s to around 90. Lower dew points and humidity levels. This will make it feel even cooler. We will also watch for some thunderstorm complexes that may move in from the northwest. There is uncertainty on just how significant our chances for rain will be. So, stay tuned for updates on rain chances!

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded our disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico to a tropical depression. Some increase in intensity is possible. The big story is going to be gusty winds and rain along the Gulf of Mexico Coastline. This system is expected to move north/northeast into the Tennessee Valley over the weekend. This will at least help increase their chances for rain.

The tropical depression is currently forecast to increase our moisture levels just a bit ahead of the cold front moving into our region over the weekend. Although the main focus of the depression should remain to our south and east. Unfortunately.

Still some time for changes in the track - so I will keep a close eye on any future change that might occur. As of right now I do not believe we should get our hopes up on this depression impacting our immediate local counties.  Will also need to keep an eye on the track for flooding potential somewhere in the Tennessee Valley - perhaps as far north as southeast Kentucky.  They tend to flood quite easily during heavy rainfall events.  I will monitor and update accordingly (for those living in that region or for OEM).

Latest six day forecast can be viewed here
Latest current conditions here at the Weather Observatory can be viewed here.
Latest watches and warnings from the National Weather Service can be viewed here.
Radar - just click here.

- Beau Dodson

Forecast track from the National Hurricane Center for our tropical depression

August 10, 2010: The heat wave continues...

Tuesday: August 10, 2010

Another hot day is in store for the region.  Yesterday temperatures rose into the middle 90s to over 100 in a few locations.  I recorded 100 degrees here at the Weather Observatory.  Heat index readings reached 121 degrees at one point during the afternoon.  Granted we have higher dew points here and humidity levels because of the corn fields.  However, many people in this region live around/near corn fields.  So - I am not alone in the experience.

More common, yesterday, were heat index readings in the 105-110 degree range.

The NWS in Paducah, Kentucky has upgraded the entire region to an excessive heat warning.  Unfortunately, the heat is expected to continue most of the week.  You can review the latest watches and warnings by visiting the Paducah, Kentucky NWS web-site - here.

In addition to the heat, there will be a slight chance for thunderstorms over our region.  Yesterday some heavy thunderstorms moved through Graves and Calloway Counties in west Kentucky. These storms produced rainfall totals of 1-2". Gusty winds were also reported.
Some good news - the pattern may finally break next week.  Some questions remain on just how big of a break - but it does appear that temperatures will be somewhat cooler next week.

I continue to watch a tropical disturbance that is pushing into the Gulf of Mexico.  It is possible that this system could become a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next day or two.  The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the system.  This is the same system we have been talking about for the past week. 

It is too early to determine if this system will have any impact on our local counties.  A frontal system is forecast to move into the Ohio Valley on Saturday and Sunday.  It is possible, if the storm tracks far enough north, that it could interact with this front - near or over our region.  Low chance - but something I will be monitoring.

For now - the big story continues to be the heat.

Your day by day forecast can be viewed here.

The National Weather Service continues to ask the public to check on elderly residents and remind school districts of the dangers of the on-going heat wave. Also - I know it goes without saying - but the National Weather Service also wants to remind everyone about the dangers of leaving children and pets in vehicles (even for just a few minutes) in this extreme heat.

Some fire departments in the area are asking residents to please not burn trash, debris, or grass/fields. Burn bans are now in effect for Ballard, McCracken, and Marshall Counties - there may be other counties, as well. Please help our local fire departments by refraining from burning debris or other materials during this extended period of drought.


The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Paducah, Kentucky has placed a number of tips on their web-site on how you can prepare for the on-going heat wave. We ask that you please pass this information along to those who might find it useful.

For astronomy fans - the Perseids Meteor Shower continues into the middle of August.  The peak of this meteor shower is forecast to be during the night of the 11th and morning of the 12th.  Also the night of the 12th and morning of the 13th.  If the weather permits there should be an opportunity to see quite a few meteors.  Best viewing time is between 11 pm and 4 am.

- Beau Dodson
Meteorologist for the McCracken County Office of Emergency Management
Meteorology Adviser to the Kentucky Department of Transportation Cabinet

Facebook updates - under Beau Dodson
Twitter updates - under Beau Dodson
http://www.weatherobservatory.com/ - updated forecast/radar/current conditions/advisories

Anyone who would like to be added to this email list can contact me and I will add them - simply email me at beaudodson@usawx.com
Media - you may use this email with quotes and credits.

August 9, 2010: Drought and heat wave will continue...

Monday: August 9, 2010



Several headlines this morning for the local fire departments, school districts, OEM, American Red Cross, media, and others...

Widespread heat wave to continue across most of our local region - temperatures will be slightly cooler as you go into central and eastern Kentucky. However, NWS offices in those regions may have to issue some heat related advisories, as well.

Some good news - the pattern may finally break next week.  Some questions remain on just how big of a break - but I think at this point that anything would be appreciated.  Plenty of signals that temperatures will at least be somewhat cooler.  Stay tuned for updates!

I sent out a strongly worded email on Saturday - we continue to ask that the media bring attention to heat safety rules and awareness. The email from Saturday is still valid for the upcoming heat wave. Temperatures on Sunday already reached 98-100 degrees over west Kentucky and southern Illinois. The heat will continue this week and possibly into the weekend. Some clouds during the week may temper temperatures slightly. Heat index readings today and into the coming weekend will likely be in the 105-110 range. Isolated areas of 115+ heat index values will be possible.

Your day by day forecast can be viewed here.

The National Weather Service continues to ask the public to check on elderly residents and remind school districts of the dangers of the on-going heat wave. Also - I know it goes without saying - but the National Weather Service also wants to remind everyone about the dangers of leaving children and pets in vehicles (even for just a few minutes) in this extreme heat.

Transportation Cabinet - any help you can provide with overhead alert signs concerning the heat wave would be helpful. Please remind travelers of the dangers of leaving children in a vehicle during extreme heat. Many vehicles break down during periods of high temperature - also tire blow outs are more common. Several fires have been reported in west Kentucky because of tire blow outs and sparks being thrown onto adjacent grassy areas.


Some fire departments in the area are asking residents to please not burn trash, debris, or grass/fields. Burn bans are now in effect for both Ballard and McCracken County - there may be other counties, as well. Please help our local fire departments by refraining from burning debris or other materials during this extended period of drought.


The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Paducah, Kentucky has placed a number of tips on their web-site on how you can prepare for the on-going heat wave. We ask that you please pass this information along to those who might find it useful.

The only relief in the coming week may come in the form of an increase in clouds and moisture around the Wednesday/Thursday/Friday time frame. However, there is uncertainty on the extent of the clouds and moisture. A tropical disturbance is forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico. The exact track of this disturbance will determine what - if any - impact it has on our local region. At this time it appears we may actually see a tropical storm develop or attempt to develop off the Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana coast.

Also humidity levels are slightly lower than they were last week - this will help shave off a few degrees from heat index values. Bottom line is that it will still be extremely hot across the region with dangerous heat index values.


Once again, similar to last week, there will be a chance for isolated strong thunderstorms over our region. One or two pop-up storms. Where they occur you can expect heavy rain and gusty winds. We are not expecting any widespread severe weather.

Emergency management officials and the National Weather Service appreciate all of the efforts last week to help keep area residents informed on the excessive heat. Let's continue to push safety as we move through the coming week.

For an update on the latest heat related watches and warnings - please visit your local NWS Office web-site. You can view all of the offices here. The Paducah, Kentucky Office can be viewed on this page. You will immediately notice the large area of red/orange colors over all of our counties. Click on your county in order to see which type of advisory is currently in effect.


- Beau Dodson (270) 970-1202 - media contact
Meteorologist for the McCracken County Office of Emergency Management
Meteorology Adviser to the Kentucky Department of Transportation Cabinet

Facebook updates - under Beau Dodson
Twitter updates - under Beau Dodson
http://www.weatherobservatory.com/ - updated forecast/radar/current conditions/advisories

Anyone who would like to be added to this email list can contact me and I will add them - simply email me at beaudodson@usawx.com
Media - you may use this email with quotes and credits.

August 7, 2010: Dangerous heat wave to return to our region...

August 7, 2010

DANGEROUS HEAT WAVE TO DEVELOP ONCE AGAIN OVER OUR REGION...

Request for the local media to continue to cover this story and provide safety tips for area residents...

Media - if you need a contact number for the Paducah, Kentucky National Weather Service Office then please contact me at beaudodson@usawx.com

Media - you may reference this email with quotes and credit.

Suggetions...

American Red Cross Offices to continue to offer heat safety tips and awareness...

Emergency Management Officials to be pro-active in contacting the media and providing extra preparations for any outdoor events in our region...

Local school officials to bring awareness to sports officials, coaches, and anyone else involved with outdoor activities...

Transportation Cabinet to consider using overhead alert signs in the coming week concerning the dangerous heat and potential vehicle breakdowns on interstates...

In addition to the heat, local fire department officials are reporting an increased concern for the potential of grass fires. Some counties are requesting that residents refrain from burning debris or fields until further notice. Please contact your local fire department for official information concerning burn bans.


Once again we have a strongly worded update concerning heat.  This is the second time this year that we have been prompted to bring awareness to dangerous heat conditions.

What everyone does not want to hear is exactly what is being forecast.  A return to heat and humidity will begin on Sunday and continue through most - if not all - of next week.  Daily temperatures will be in the upper 90s to low 100s.  This combined with higher humidity levels will mean that heat index readings over southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, southwest Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and northeast Arkansas (surrounding areas, as well) will range from 105 to 115 degrees.  Locally higher heat index readings will also likely occur (much like what happened last week when heat index readings exceeded 120 degrees in several of our local communities).  Daily forecasts and current conditions can be viewed at this link.

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Paducah, Kentucky has placed a number of tips on their web-site on how you can prepare for the coming heat wave.  We ask that you please pass this information along to those who might find it useful.

The only relief in the coming week may come in the form of an increase in clouds and moisture around the Wednesday/Thursday/Friday time frame.  However, there is uncertainty on the extent of the clouds and moisture.  A tropical disturbance is forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico.  The exact track of this disturbance will determine what - if any - impact it has on our local region.

Emergency management officials and the National Weather Service appreciate all of the efforts last week to help keep area residents informed on the excessive heat. 

Updated forecasts will be issued in the coming days - however, little change in the forecast is expected. 

For an update on the latest heat related watches and warnings - please visit your local NWS Office web-site.  You can view all of the offices here.  The Paducah, Kentucky Office can be viewed on this page.

- Beau Dodson (270) 970-1202
Meteorologist for the McCracken County Office of Emergency Management
Meteorology Adviser to the Kentucky Department of Transportation Cabinet

Facebook updates can be found under my name - Beau Dodson
Twittes updates can be found under my name - Beau Dodson

Expected high temperature maps from http://www.wright-weather.com/






August 6, 2010: Drought worsens over our local counties...

August 6, 2010

Good morning fellow weather enthusiasts.  As the sun rises this morning the air has a bit of a better feel to it.  Wouldn't you agree?  Temperatures are lower and dew points are lower.  This combination is making it feel a whole lot better than the last few days.  Thankfully, this weather will stick around for a couple of days.

As expected, most of us missed the rain and storms yesterday.   A few areas did have heavy rain and damaging winds.  Isolated.  More people went without rain in our local counties than received rain.  And, that was unfortunate because our farmers and gardeners need rain.

Summer, however, is not over.  The heat will start to build back slowly on Sunday and increase Monday into Wednesday of next week.  I have been debating, in my head, if this next heat wave will be as bad as what we experienced on Monday and Tuesday of this past week. 

Right now I believe that it will be hot - dangerously hot - but perhaps not quite as humid as this past Monday and Tuesday.  This may help at least keep the heat index values a bit lower.  Either way - it will be hot and those who work outdoors should use caution. 

Right now it appears the mid 90s will be likely across our region on Sunday.  Dew points will be on the rise, but won't be as high as they were a few days ago.  Heat index readings for Sunday will be around 100 to 105 degrees.

Then on Monday into Wednesday the temperature will likely rise in the middle to upper 90s and will approach 100 (Tuesday/Wednesday).  I am certain a few reporting stations will exceed the century mark (Tuesday/Wednesday).  Dew points will be higher, as well.  This means that the air will be quite oppressive.  Heat index levels will exceed 105-110 degrees, once again.  Some patches of higher readings will likely be reported, as well.    Dangerous heat.

Temperatures will be a bit cooler during the overnight hours on Sunday and Monday.  This will at least provide some relief.  If you remember, earlier this week, our temperatures remained in the 80s even at night on a few occasions.

Your local hometown forecast can be viewed here.

After the middle of next week all eyes will turn on a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico.  There is some potential for the tropical disturbance to become better organized.  If this is the case then our region will have to follow its path.  The disturbance could help bring clouds and a but more moisture into our region.  This would also help keep temperatures down just a bit.  Plenty of time to track that system.

The latest drought monitor maps have been placed on-line.  If you thought it was dry then you were correct.  Officially a good chunk of our region is not officially experiencing drought conditions.  You can view the national map here - click on your state for a county outline of the current drought conditions.

We need rain - let's hope the tropical disturbance moving into the Gulf of Mexico will provide some relief next week. 

- Beau Dodson

August 5, 2010: Thunderstorms! A small break and then another heat wave.

Well, the heat wave was as bad as expected over the last few days.  Real temperatures ranged from 100-105 degrees across our region.  Heat index values were in the 110 to 125 degree range.  I did see a few scattered unconfirmed reports of 130 degree heat index values.  Most likely those were near corn fields (which tend to allow dew points to pool even higher). 

I recorded a heat index value of 121 degrees yesterday afternoon here at the Weather Observatory in Massac County, Illinois.  It was the most amazing feeling - quite sickening to be honest.  It was not pleasant - to say the least.

Big thank you and applause goes out this morning to the local media, meteorologists, National Weather Service, and others for spreading the word concerning heat safety.  I believe that lives are being saved through awareness.  Also thank you to all of the local school districts for responding to the heat.

Now down to business - what everyone wants to know - what is next.

We have a small window of opportuntiy for a break in the extreme heat.  However, I want you to know that the heat is going to return, and possibly with a vengence, on Sunday and will continue into next week.  We will once again see some 100+ readings in our local counties.  Heat index values will also top 110 degrees next week.

A front system is currently draped across our region.  This has sparked a few early morning severe thunderstorms in Missouri and Illinois - see radar.  Some wind damage was reported over southeast Missouri.  I have not read any reports of damage in southern Illinois - however, a few reports of winds gusting over 40 mph were received by our friends over at the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Jim Rasor (on Facebook), WSIL, reported a gentle rain in Carterville with winds around 30-35 mph.

Additional showers and storms will develop and move through our region today.  Locally heavy storms - isolated severe storms - are possible.  The Storm Prediction Center has outlined their risk area for the day - it does include a few of our counties.  Not everyone will see rain - unfortunately.  But, for a few counties we may see rainfall totals in the 1/2 to 1" range (quick - torrential downpours).

A few storms will be left over tonight in our region.  They should move out by tomorrow morning.  However, the frontal system could continue to spark some showers/storms across Tennessee. 

Friday and Saturday - lower dew points will bring down the heat index readings.  Also temperatures will return to a more seasonal level.  High temperatures are expected to be in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees  perhaps a few lower 90 degree readings.  Not bad after our recent near record or record heat.

The bad news - temperatures will begin to rise on Sunday - back into the 90s with higher dew point values.  Heat index on Sunday may approach or exceed 100 degrees.

Dangerous/deadly heat is expected on Monday through Thursday of next week.  Real temperatures will be in the 98 to 104 degree range.  Heat index values will once again rise above 110 degrees.

Needless to say - the heat wave is not over.  Yes, a temporary break - but it isn't over yet.

I am watching the tropics.  Our best hope to break this dry weather (drought in some of our local counties) would be for a tropical system to come up through Texas or Louisiana/Mississiippi.  Of course that would not be good for them.  But, in order to break this dry streak we are going to have to bring in a lot of moisture.  Many droughts, in the past, have been broken by hurricanes and tropical storms.  So, we will continue to watch for development in the Gulf of Mexico.  It has been my believe that we would see a dramatic upsurge in tropical weather after August 8th or 9th. 

Try to stay cool out there and let's continue to get the message out concerning heat safety.  Please visit your local National Weather Service web-site for more information.  The Paducah office has put together this page of safety tips for dealing with the heat.

- Beau Dodson

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter under Beau Dodson - for more frequent updates on the weather.

August 4, 2010: Dangerous heat wave - please check on elderly residents

August 4, 2010:

ATTENTION: MEDIA, OEM, RED CROSS, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, LAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE DEPARTMENTS, SCHOOL OFFICIALS, OTHERS

Good morning everyone.

I encourage everyone to share and forward this email

Emergency management officials/others - I encourage you to contact your local television and radio stations this morning and ask them to continue to urge area residents to use caution in this heat and check on elderly residents.

You will rarely ever see a map like this from our local NWS Office in Paducah, KY - other surrounding offices, as well

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pah/
All offices
http://www.weather.gov/organization.php#maps

I am going to keep this short and brief - your help is needed.

This is a dangerous heat wave. Heat index readings yesterday in our region and surrounding areas reached between 110 and 125+ degrees. There were even some unconfirmed reports of heat index values of 130 degrees. This is considered extremely dangerous.

The heat will continue today and tomorrow. Slightly lower temperatures are expected Friday into Saturday - lower dew points, as well. The heat is forecast to return on Sunday and continue into next week.

Our local National Weather Service Office and other local emergency officials are urging everyone to check on elderly residents who might be afraid of using their air condition due to high electric bills, make sure they have fans and are using them to kelp move air around in their homes, or who might not be aware of the dangers of this intense heat wave.

Also - it is known that elderly residents are not always aware that they are overheating. See more information on the link below for heat related illnesses. Don't assume that someone is okay - if someone that you know comes to mind - that you might be concerned about in this heat - then that is good enough reason to check on them.

In 1995 the Chicago Heat Wave killed an estimate 700 people - mostly elderly residents and those who were shut in.

It is not often that I urge my readers to take action based on a heat wave. However, myself and others in the emergency community are asking for your assistance in making sure that all of our area residents reach out to their neighbors, shut ins, and others in order to make sure that we make it safely through today's heat and the coming heat over the next few weeks.

This has been a long - hot summer. It will likely rank in the top 5 warmest summers in Paducah's history. We still have a few weeks of summer left and the numbers will have to be crunched. Regardless, it is hot.

Some heat wave safety rules and additional information from the NWS

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=pah&storyid=54769&source=0


Also we don't want to forget about outdoor pets. Animals also are impacted by the heat. Changing their water bowls several times a day and making sure they have shade is important. Several people have already contacted me concerning dogs that have died in the heat.

If you know anyone who would like to be added to my email list then have them send me an email at

beaudodson@usawx.com

I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter under Beau Dodson

There will once again be a few storms around the region today. Some of them could be locally heavy or severe - most people will not see rain.

Thank you

Meteorologist Beau Dodson
McCracken County Office of Emergency Management
Meteorology Advisor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

http://www.weatherobservatory.com/

August 3, 2010: How many ways can you say hot? Relief on the way?

We weather people have to have something to talk about in the summer.  And - since it is summer - I guess that means we talk about the heat.  We come up with all kinds of way to express to people that it is going to be hot.  We call it the dog days of summer.  We call it the three H's - hazy, hot, and humid.  But, at some point you run out of ways to say it is going to be hot today!

However, I do have to say it once again.  There is some good news, though.  There are signs that the frontal system that will meander to our north the next few days will finally get a push to the south late on Thursday night or Friday.  If this front can push through our local counties then lower dew points (less moisture in the air) will make it at least feel better outside.  I am not saying pull out the jackets.  Not by any means.  However a few degrees here and a few degrees there sure could help our cause.

High temperatures are still expected to remain at or above 90 degrees through the weekend.  Your official hometown forecast can be read here.   A sprinkling of heat advisories and warnings have been issued by the NWS Office out of Paducah, Kentucky.  You can see a complete list of advisories on their web site by clicking here.

So - stay tuned.  Slightly drier and cooler air may approach our region for the weekend.  Nothing to write home about - but at least the potential for some "it feels a little better outside" weather for the coming weekend.  That is the best way I can describe it!

Next question - what about rain?  Well, I knew you would ask.  Everyone is asking about rain.  Farmers need rain - gardeners need rain - our yards need rain!  There still appears to be a chance of thunderstorms associated with the cold front.  The most likely time period would be Thursday and Friday.  Locally heavy thunderstorms will develop along the front - I don't believe everyone will see rain.  Unfortunately.  But, many of us will have at least a shot at some precipitation.  Better than nothing.  The official 5 day rainfall forecast from NOAA (they sometimes broad brush this map - so don't become overly excited).

I have to agree with Jim Rasor when he posted on Facebook yesterday that in order for us to break the drought we need to see either a tropical system move into the Midwest or a stationary front draped across our local region for days on end.  Otherwise the rainy season begins in fall and winter.  I know that is not much help but that is where we are at with this dry spell.  We all need rain.

I am still keeping an eye on the tropics.  Since we last talked yesterday the NHC (National Hurricane Center) has upgraded the disturbance to a tropical depression.  Tropical depression number four to be exact.  It could strengthen and become tropical storm Colin.  There are competing forces at work with this system.  If the depression doesn't become better organized soon then it is possible that it will fall apart.  We will see what forces can win the battle.

Either way - the current track paths keep this system away from the United States.  We will continue to monitor for any surprises.

You can catch me on Facebook and Twitter - simply under Beau Dodson or you can visit my website at www.weatherobservatory.com.

I hope you have a great day and try to stay cool out there.  This is considered dangerous heat and caution should be taken if you must work outdoors today.

- Beau Dodson

August 2, 2010: Excessive heat and Colin forming

- updated at 2 pm for frontal passage subject

Yesterday was warm and today will be hot. The just about sums it all up! Not what anyone out there in our region wants to hear.

Temperatures will be on the rise both today and tomorrow. High temperatures in our region will be in the middle 90s today and the upper 90s to near 100 degrees tomorrow. The same will be true for Wednesday into Friday - 90s across the region. A few clouds may help temper the heat late in the week - along with a slight chance for thunderstorms.

The NWS out of Paducah, Kentucky has issued an excessive heat watch which could be upgraded to a warning. You can read more about that here.

As always take precautions if you have to work out in the heat. Check on elderly residents who may not be properly using their air conditions or fans. And don't forget about our outdoor friends. It is recommended that you change your pets water once or twice a day.

There will be a frontal system north of our region from the mid-week time period into late week. Although precipitation is not expected to be widespread there could be a few thunderstorms around the northern portion of the region. Any storms that do form could be heavy - as is usually the case during the summer months.

I do not believe the front is going to make it very far south - especially early on (Wednesday into Thursday). This high pressure ridge, that is the cause of our heat wave, is just too strong. Although some of the models have been showing the cold front moving through our region as early as Wednesday - I am not convinced they are correct.

Chances for real precipitation will be hard to find - at least through Wednesday. After that there should be a bit more of a push to the front and by Friday the hope is that the front will be moving into Tennessee.

Again, along and ahead of the front there will likely be some thunderstorms. Some locally heavy rain with any cells that do form. We will need to fine tune when the front will actually push through the region - assuming it doesn't get stuck near the KY/TN border.

Unfortunately the heat is expected to continue into the weekend and perhaps into next week. I know this has been a long summer for everyone. The peak of the heat will likely be today into Wednesday. Then ever so slightly cooler on Thursday and Friday. Hopefully dew points will be lower by the weekend - so even if it is still hot it will at least feel a little better outside.

The high temperature yesterday at the Weather Observatory north of Metropolis, Illinois was 89 degrees. Just shy of 90.

The risk for severe weather over the next 5 days will remain low. Storm Prediction Center's five day outlook. Any storms that form with the frontal system on Thursday or Friday could produce some heavy rain and gusty winds. Will just need to keep an eye on the timing of the frontal passage.

The NHC is closely monitoring a potential tropical depression out in the Atlantic. This system continues to gain strength and is expected to become a tropical depression at any time. If this system does form into a named storm then it would be called Colin.

At this time the tropical system is expected to move west/northwest towards the islands. Long range models take it anywhere from the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast coast or even curving it out to sea. There is quite a bit of debate on the eventual track of the system. We have plenty of time to watch the disturbance as it is still many days away.

Here is a satellite view of the system being monitored. Here are some forecast tracks that computer models are showing for what could become Colin.

















http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at201004_5day.html#a_topad
More information on the above link 

Our friends over at the National Weather Service Office out of Paducah, KY have issued a statement concerning the upcoming heat wave. If you would like to read more then please visit their website - click here.

That is it for today - I will keep an eye on our potential tropical system and the frontal system that will be near our region towards the middle of the week. I wish I had better news - I don't know how many people have been begging for rain and cooler temperatures - too many. It has just been one of those summers.

- Meteorologist Beau Dodson