December 20, 2010: Christmas Week! Significant storm system is forecast to impact the region...

December 20, 2010:

9 AM Update

Morning data is taking the low further south (for the storm on the 23rd-25th) - if true then that means the rain/snow line will be further south.  Still some time to tweak the holiday forecast.

Some data takes the system so far south that even the Tennessee Valley ends up as snow.  

Here is the latest GFS data - snowfall through Saturday.  A shift southward since earlier runs.  I will want to see tonights data before making any forecast changes.

December 20, 2010:

I have put together a detailed video concerning this upcoming storm - I am going to try and do these video presentations when an event is forecast to impact our region.  This first attempt is a little long - I will make sure the next one is under 5 minutes.

You can view the video by clicking here.

You can find more updates on my Facebook (under Beau Dodson) - Twitter, as well.

If you would like to be added to my email list then please email me and request to be added - I usually send out an email when something significant is occurring or forecast to occur.  Email me at

Bottom line it for me Beau...

For southern Illinois and far western Kentucky...

The forecast for severe or extreme weather risk for today, tonight, and tomorrow: 0%. 

The forecast for freezing rain, sleet, or snow today, tonight, and tomorrow:  Some light snow and flurries across the northern half of our area and northeast part of our region.


Today - Partly sunny this morning with increasing clouds through the day.  High temperature in the middle 40s.  Light winds.

Tonight - Cloudy.  A slight chance for light rain showers.  Low temperature in the middle to upper 30s.  Light winds.

Tuesday - A slight chance for light rain in the morning.  High temperatures near 45 degrees.

Tuesday night - Cloudy.  Cool.  Low temperature around 26 degrees.

Wednesday - Increasing clouds.  Cool.  High temperature near 38 degrees.

I also watching a potent storm for Thursday afternoon into Christmas Day.  This storm may spread a mixed bag of precipitation into our region Thursday evening before turning to rain on Thursday night and Friday morning.  Heavy snow is forecast across areas to our north.

Anyone with travel plans on Thursday into Saturday should check road conditions and the latest forecasts - watches - warnings.

Your up to the minute National Weather Service seven day forecast for southern Illinois and western Kentucky can be viewed by clicking here.

Your regional and local radars - including precipitation type radar - click here.

Barometer reading this morning is in the 30.00 - 30.20" range.  Last 24 hours of data - click here.


You can view current conditions - weather radar and more information by clicking here

A couple of NWS graphics for you this morning.  The first one was issued by the St Louis, Missouri NWS Office and the second graphic was issued by the Paducah, Kentucky NWS Office.  As with all graphics on my page - click to enlarge.

A weak system will move into the region later today - this will cause a slight chance of light rain to develop over our local counties.  Rainfall totals are forecast to be less than 0.10" with this first system.  Areas to our north and northeast may experience some light snow and/or mixed precipitation later today into tomorrow morning.

Of more concern will be a storm system that is forecast to impact our region on Thursday into Friday.
A deep area of low pressure is forecast to move out of the central United States and into the Ohio Valley by Friday afternoon and evening.

An area of precipitation is forecast to develop over our region on Thursday night.  Temperatures may be cold enough for this precipitation to begin as light snow, sleet, and/or freezing rain before changing to all rain by Friday morning and continuing into Friday afternoon.  The further north you go the better chance of frozen precipitation.

As colder air moves in behind the area of low pressure whatever precipitation is left over is forecast to change back to light snow or flurries.

The exact track of this storm will determine exactly what type of precipitation we can expect over southern Illinois and western Kentucky.  This storm has the potential to cause significant travel problems over portions of the central United States into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

It is possible that some travel problems could also occur in our local area.  This is especially true if the storm tracks further south than forecast.  Stay tuned.

A few graphics for you:  These graphics are brought to you by - this is the website that I use for much of my weather data.

The above image shows you the powerful storm system that is forecast to push into the central United States on Thursday morning.  See how tightly wound up the isobars are?  The low is centered over Kansas and Oklahoma.  The area in pink and purple/blue is precipitation.  Areas to the north will be snow and areas to the south will be rain.

The above map is for Christmas Eve.  You can see a tightly wound up system pushing over and through our region.  This is going to cause widespread rain, showers, and thunderstorms from our local counties south to the Gulf of Mexico.

Areas to the north will be experiencing strong winds and heavy snow.  The exact placement of the rain/snow/ice line has yet to be determined.

The above map is for Christmas Day - you can see the storm pushing off to the east of our local area.  This will help change whatever precipitation is left over to light snow and flurries.  Windy conditions are forecast for Friday into Saturday.  I would not be surprised to see winds gusting over 30-35 mph.

The above map is the forecasted snowfall for Thursday into Saturday.  I would not take this map to be exact - however, you do get the general sense of where the snow is forecast to fall.  Again - most of this snow will be because of the storm system on Thursday night into Christmas Eve.

I have zoomed in on the Paducah forecast area and areas to our north and east in the following graphics.  The first map is centered on Paducah.  This would be the snowfall forecast through Saturday.

The above map is centered on southern Indiana and Kentucky.  You can see that some snowfall is forecast by the GFS in the above mentioned areas.  It will be a difficult call on what we end up with.

Stay tuned for updates - especially if you have travel plans.

- Meteorologist Beau Dodson
McCracken County Office of Emergency Management

Please visit Chris Bailey's weather blog if you live in central and eastern Kentucky

For the latest watches and warnings please visit your local National Weather Service Office

To view all watches and warnings in Kentucky - Click here
To view all watches and warnings in Illinois - Click here
Other States - Click Here

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