Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summer Slammed by Rain; Title for Wettest Up For Grabs

Credit: Midwest Regional Climate Center. Click for larger view.
Tuesday PM Update:
The heaviest rain has come and left it's mark over the past weekend bringing flooded out roads and forcing people from their homes in parts of Missouri and Illinois. The slow, steady rain is starting to wind down and a break in the weather is expected for a day or two. Epic rainfall totals have made headlines for the past few days and record-breaking numbers are becoming more likely as we wrap up Meteorological Summer and the month of August. a fairly large swath of more than 6" of rain has been measured from Southern Indians down through Southern Illinois and into Southeast Missouri just over the past 7 days as see in the graphic above. Even a few specks of white appear in IL/MO which indicates more than 10" or rain during that 7-day period of time (mainly Sat-Tue). Here are a few official 4-Day totals listed by the National Weather Service in Paducah, KY and weatherunderground.com.

  • Ellsinore, Missouri: 17.61"
  • Williamsville, MO: 15.53"
  • Doniphan, MO: 12.14"
  • Mississippi River at Moccasin Springs, MO: 10.67"
  • N. Cape Girardeau, MO: 9.42"
  • NW Poplar Bluff, MO: 9.30"
  • Marble Hill, MO: 8.00"
  • Mt. Vernon, IL: 8.93"
  • Piedmont, MO: 7.52"
  • NW Jackson, MO: 7.28"
  • Big Muddy Substation, IL: 6.89"
  • Zeigler, IL: 6.34"
  • S. Carbondale, IL: 5.81"
  • Benton, IL: 5.81"
Credit: Midwest Regional Climate Center.
Click for larger view.

These rainfall totals are so impressive that some of the higher amounts actually account for 750% of the average rainfall for the 7-day period as seen to the left.
All of this leads to where we stand for the month of August and for the entire Summer season (June-Aug). The following data is generated from the Paducah Area and the Midwest Regional Climate Center and represents up to August 15th:
  • Month-to-date: rank 1st in wettest period with a surplus of 5.78".
  • Season-to-date: rank 3rd wettest with a surplus of 7.15".
  • Year-to-date: rank 12th wettest with a surplus of 9.28"

 The wettest August on record at the Paducah National Weather Service was measured just two years ago in 2014 with 7.85". The wettest summer (Jun-Aug) on record was measured in 1958 with 22.45". Currently, as of Tuesday 5PM, Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah is measuring 7.81" for the month of August and 17.68" for the summer period. With additional rain expected before the end of the month it is highly likely that we will break the record for wettest August but we are still several inches away from breaking the record for wettest summer. It will take an additional 4.77" to hit that particular mark.

Check out this fantastic video from Nicholas Woyak from the Kinkaid Lake Spillway after 4 days of excessive rain in Murphysboro, IL. Nickolas also adds that the last time he had seen the spillway that full was back in May of 2011.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Weekend Flooding Threat and Updates


Saturday PM Update: A Flash Flood WATCH has been extended until Tuesday morning at 7AM. Reports of severe flash flooding have been relayed to the National Weather Service in Paducah from areas across Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri. Up to 6" of rain has fallen over some of those areas with more to come. Here is a look at the latest projected rainfall totals. Notice that the corridor of higher totals has shifted a few miles to the NW of the OH River. South of the OH River, heavy rain will still be possible but more scattered and not as long duration as to the north. 
Projected rainfall totals from Saturday night through Tuesday morning. Compare this graphic to the one below. The highest totals are expected NW of the Ohio River.
Those of you in areas where rain has persisted on Saturday and are expected to see significant additional rain should take steps to make an evacuation plan in the event you need to leave for higher ground. There are links provided at the bottom of this page to help you prepare and respond when flooding impacts where you live. 

Friday PM Update: A Flash Flood WATCH is now in effect for most of the Local 6 area including the OH River counties in Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois, and Southeast Missouri starting Saturday morning and running through Sunday evening.

Thursday PM Update: The moisture train is already in place and now we are waiting on a cold front that is set to drop into the Mid-Mississippi Valley and become stationary by the start of the weekend. This particular front will sit stationary possibly through Monday leading us into a long-duration rain event. A very wet summer is already underway with astounding rainfall totals already exceeding 6" for the month of August in Western Kentucky. Most of that rainfall occurred within the first 6 days of the month while setting 2 daily rainfall records on the 1st and 5th with nearly 2" each day.

Needless to say the area is well saturated and thanks to a string of dry days this week we will have a little room to initially soak up some of the rain headed our way for the weekend. In the projected rainfall totals below you will notice a corridor of higher totals setting up along the north half of the Local 6 area. This corridor is subject to move a little dependent on where the front finally becomes stationary this weekend. That will determine who will see the highest chance for flash flooding, lowland flooding, and travel impacts.
Updated on Friday August 12, 2016

The forecast rainfall graphic also highlights that some areas may very well see over 4" of rain from Saturday through Monday. Right now it appears most likely that parts of SE Missouri and Southern Illinois are at highest risk for those higher totals. Flash flooding will also be most likely in these areas. A Flash Flood Watch may be issued on Friday for these same areas if not for the entire Local 6 area.
Courtesy: The Weather Channel
An alarming 234 people have lost their lives in flooding in the past year and a half. Fifty-two of those deaths took place in the four Local 6 states of Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee. The Weather Channel published the graphic to the right to depict flooding deaths by state from Jan 2015 to June 2016. Downpours have increased by as much as 37% since the 1950's and is exacerbated by episodes of El Nino and a warming climate.

Most importantly...THINK PREPAREDNESS! Find out where you would go if roads are closed due to flooding and talk to children about not playing in flood waters. Only a few inches of rushing water can sweep you off your feet and possibly cause a life-threatening situation. A COMMUNITY PREPARED IS A COMMUNITY STRONG.

Resources for Awareness & Preparedness