You may have heard of (hurricane) Ike, but do you know Elena? They are both worth getting to know as we prepare for heavy rain in parts of the Local 6 area from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill.
It was the peak of the 1985 Atlantic Hurricane Season when Elena was born a Category 1 Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. On September 2 it made landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi and fueled a wealth of thunderstorms all the way up through the Mid-South for several days, including Western Kentucky. The peak rainfall for our area was reached on September 5, 1985 when Paducah recorded 7.49" of rain for the day. Flash flooding left many stranded and searching for dry ground. According to the Harlan Daily Enterprise, Perkins Creek raged submerging cars and trapping guests of a nearby hotel on the second floor. (see photo to left) To read more about Elena from the Harlan Daily Enterprise, click here.
The one reason we look to invite decaying tropical weather into the area is to get summer drought relief...especially once August arrives. With a wet Spring and early June, flooding is a concern as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill arrive at the end of the week. The areas of concern to us for the risk of flooding continue to be across SE Missouri and Southern Illinois. While the risk is not as great, we can expect periods of heavy showers and storms across Kentucky and along the Tennessee state line as well.
A weak cold front to our north is trapping Gulf of Mexico moisture associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill across the Ohio Valley and Midwest. High pressure over the Southeast is enhancing the compact placement of the moisture that will lead to heavier downpours over those same regions. See below for the latest computer model forecast concerning rainfall totals through Saturday morning.