Chance of precipitation "near 100 percent" tonight
I'm alway skeptical when I see a forecast with a 100% chance of rain. That's what we have tonight in the National Weather Service forecast for Cape Girardeau:
TONIGHT...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS IN THE EVENING THEN SHOWERS LIKELY AND A CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS IN THE LOWER 40S. SOUTHWEST WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH IN THE EVENING SHIFTING TO THE NORTHWEST AFTER MIDNIGHT. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION NEAR 100 PERCENT.
It's been so long since we've seen little droplets of water fall from the sky that this might come as a shock. I'll believe it when I see it, though. It doesn't matter how confident these forecasts sound, Mother Nature can always surprise us.
Slight chance of severe thunderstorms tonight
The Storm Prediction Center -- an office we've been able to happily ignore for several months -- paints Cape Girardeau at the far southern edge of a region with a slight chance of severe thunderstorms. It appears that high winds are the greatest threat, but there's an outside chance of large hail and even tornadoes.
Lots of rain possible this week
Even if tonight's rain is a bust, there's plenty more falling water droplets coming our way. The forecast calls for additional chances of rain Wednesday (70%), Wednesday night (80%), and Thursday (70%). The 5-day projection puts Cape Girardeau in a nice pink-ish or magenta-ish color for around 2 inches of total rainfall.
Don't look now, but the "S" words are in the forecast
The official forecast for Thursday looks interesting:
THURSDAY NIGHT: MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF LIGHT RAIN...LIGHT SNOW AND SLEET IN THE EVENING...THEN PARTLY CLOUDY AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS IN THE MID 20S.
This is the first mention of either snow or sleet in a forecast this season. These rain-changing-to-snow scenarios rarely amount to anything, so don't hold your breath (if you like snow) or panic (if you don't). I doubt that we'll be seeing our first named storm, Winter Storm "AC/DC". Still, it's clear that our nice fall weather is over.