Friday, October 30, 2009

Watching the Rivers

All of this water has to go somewhere, right? It is all headed for the rivers. With that in mind, it is a good idea to look at some of the river levels around the region.

Below are the latest stages and forecasts from the National Weather Service for a few rivers in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. (The blue line is the observed river level. The green line is the forecast river level.)

Black River:

5 miles WSW of Annapolis, Missouri:

Poplar Bluff, Missouri:

St. Francis River:

Patterson, Missouri:

Current River:

Doniphan, Missouri:

Mississippi River:

Cape Girardeau, Missouri:

Big Muddy River:

Murphysboro, Illinois:

You can find other river stages by going here. This information is provided by the National Weather Service.

9am Weather Update - Time to build an ark?

The rain keeps falling across southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, and northeast Arkansas. All indications are that the rain will continue until early evening.

Some radar estimates are showing as much as 5" of rain in some locations of southeast Missouri. In the past 24 hours (7am Thursday - 7am Friday) we have officially picked up:
  • Poplar Bluff, Missouri Aiport - 2.55"
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri Airport - 1.61"
  • Paducah, Kentucky Airport - 0.89"
  • Carbondale, Illinois Airport - 0.83"
Take a look at the following forecast models. The green bars indicate how much rain will fall in a given period of time. Time runs from right to left.

First here is a look at the NAM forecast model. It is indicating an additional 0.60" of rain for Cape Girardeau.

Here is a look at the GFS forecast model. This model is indicating an additional 0.69" of rain for Cape Girardeau.

I'm kind of amazed that the models have such consistency. Usually models will be a little more off.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

10pm Weather Update

An update to my previous post regarding the cold weather...

First of all, it is going to be cold tonight around southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, southern Indiana, and northeast Arkansas. Frost Advisories and even Freeze Warnings are in place overnight for parts of the area.

Here are my forecast lows for tonight. Note: The 31 for Cape Girardeau is for the airport south of town. In town, temperatures will probably drop off to around 34 or 35 degrees.

Lets look back at the record low high temperatures for the last couple of days. Previous record listed on the left and this year's temperature listed on the right.
  • October 14: 56 (1986) | 53 (2009)
  • October 15: 58 (1977) | 52 (2009)
  • October 16: 52 (1966) | 50 (2009)
  • October 17: 52 (1976) | 54 (2009)
We have set new records for three of the four days. (New records indicated by bold font.)

Temperatures are forecast to move back to the 60's and even lower 70's by Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From Summer to Winter... Where's Fall?

Just as the title says, it has been chilly through the Midwest. All indications are that this cold snap is going to continue for the next 108 hours.

Below are the current standing record low high temperatures. (A little confusing I know. It means the coldest high temperatures in the record books for these days.)

October 14: 56° (1986)
October 15: 58° (1977)
October 16: 52° (1966)
October 17: 52° (1976)

Contrast those numbers with forecast high temperatures for the same time period.

October 14: 53° (Actual high temp for today.)
October 15: 53°
October 16: 51°
October 17: 49°

The month of October has been cool compared to "normal".
  • We have only had two days at or above average for the month.
  • The temperature deficit is sitting at 74.1°. That works out to being 5.7° below average per day.
  • Through October 13, the airport has measured 4.28" of precipitation. That is 3.04" above normal for the month.
It should also be noted that if you have any outside vegetation that you are concerned about, pay close attention to Sunday morning. It looks as though we could have our first frost with a forecast low temperature of 35° at the Cape Girardeau airport.

Friday, October 9, 2009

11:10pm Weather Update

The Storm Prediction Center just sent out a new mesoscale discussion concerning the Tornado Watch in effect until 3:00am CT for southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, and northeast Arkansas.

In the discussion the forecasters are stating that a threat for isolated tornadoes and damaging wind will continue for another 2-3 hours. Heavy rain will also be likely across the area.

Also in the discussion they point out the fact there is much more instability over central and southern Arkansas. That is the area that could really pop. However, there aren't any thunderstorms down there right now and there isn't much of a trigger to fire the storms. The current storms are firing just ahead of a cold front and along a warm front.

At 10:38pm CT, the Poplar Bluff, Missouri airport reported a wind gust near 40mph. The strong wind gust occurred approximate 15 minutes ahead of the actual line of thunderstorms. Keep that in mind tonight as you are looking at the radar. Some of the wind gusts are out ahead of the line.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tornado Watch #761

The Storm Prediction Center has issued Tornado Watch #761. The watch is in effect until 3:00am CT Friday.

Notice from the image above that the area that the watch covers is rain free. That is the best enviornment for severe thunderstorms to develop. That also means that nothing has developed yet so there is a chance that we could see nothing severe out ahead of the line of rain to the west.

Severe Storms Today?

Just getting back from a couple of days off and I look at the Storm Prediction Center's website and I find out that we have a risk for severe thunderstorms.

The Storm Prediction Center has included all of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, northeast Arkansas, and southwest Indiana in a "Slight Risk". The risk runs through 7am Friday morning.

Reading through SPC's 11:30am discussion, they seem to be pointing at damaging winds the main threat. However, they also indicate there is some potential for tornadic development. Notice below in the tornado probability graphic. There is a bulls eye over northeast Arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel.

Tornado Probability

Damaging Wind Probability

As I mentioned, I am just getting back from a quick trip to California. So I haven't been following this situation too closely.

This morning I have been looking at some of the weather data and I do see some potential, but right now it is just potential. I think there are several "ingredients" missing. Today's set-up would be similar to baking a cake. You have all the ingredients together on your kitchen counter, but then you realize you forgot the flour.

I am not sold on the thunderstorm development later this afternoon and tonight. I think there is a lack of instability across the region. At 11:00am CT, temperatures are only in the 50's across the region and dew points are only in the 60's. The atmosphere has been worked over from the rain that moved through the area this morning. Further south, Arkansas, temperatures are in the 60's and dew points are in the 60's. In fact, from Little Rock south temperatures are in the upper 70's with dew points in the 70's.

Having said that, it appears that we will likely see some heavy rain moving through the area Friday. Models indicate the heaviest rain will be in the area Friday morning.

I'm in for Bob Reeves tonight so tune in to Heartland News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 for the latest. If you don't live in the area you can also watch the newscasts live on the website. (Newscast times listed above are Central.)

You can also get updates from me via Twitter. Follow me @johndissauer.