Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What to expect for Fall in the MidSouth

Thursday September 22, 2016 at 9:21 AM Central marks the beginning of fall here in the Local 6 area. While temperatures are still very summer-like I wanted to give you a peak at how quickly our weather will change in the next couple months. The seasonal start represents equal parts daylight and darkness and we'll see a decline in daylight hours until the Winter Solstice in December. With less daylight comes less warmth in the Northern Hemisphere along with a migrating jet stream that often brings harsh storms both of the severe and winter variety.
A look at the graphic to the right shows that decline in temperatures from September to November. Hot and humid conditions with highs in the 80's and 90's are usually ongoing as we first embark on Fall but a chill in the air is rarely far behind. By October frost is threatening to bring an end to the growing season and November ushers in a higher chance of a first snow and daily jacket-wearing.
Seasonal allergies begin to wane with our first frost then the cold/flu season kicks in as big temperature swings keep us on our toes to stay healthy.Those big temperature changes are thanks to the polar jet stream dipping farther and farther south delivering arctic blasts of cold air. Our relative location to the Gulf of Mexico also keeps a chance of warm, moist air in play which can lead to nasty severe weather outbreaks and winter storms deeper into the season. This is why we call Fall our SECOND severe weather season in the Local 6 area. It's not uncommon for tornadoes and windstorms in October and November.
Below is a look at the outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for temperature and precipitation for the month of October.

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

  • 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.