River stage: 8.66 ft. Rising
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013
It's a good news, bad news forecastPosted Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at 10:02 AM
Welcome to Missouri, where we have can have unseasonable warmth, freezing rain, snow, heavy rain, hail, and tornadoes all in the same 7-day forecast.
First, the good news: Two storm systems are poised to bring much-needed rain over the next few days. The computer models are showing colors that we haven't seen in quite some time. Here's the 5 day rainfall projection:
Cape Girardeau is in the 2-3 inch zone. Keep in mind that during 2012, we typically received less rain than what the computer models advertised. But maybe 2013 will be different and we can break out of the drought cycle.
The rain should help keep the Mississippi River from dropping even more, which is good news for barge operators. However, very little rain is expected upstream from St. Louis, so the river is not going to jump back to normal levels anytime soon.
The heaviest rain should come Thursday and again on Saturday. This is the official forecast for Cape Girardeau:
TODAY: CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE MID 50S. NORTH WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH.
And now, the bad news: The system on Thursday has a small potential to bring severe thunderstorms. In this morning's discussion, the Paducah NWS office states:
WIND FIELDS WILL BE STRENGTHENING THROUGHOUT THE DAY THURSDAY... AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF WEAK SURFACE BASED INSTABILITY MAY POSE A SHORT-LIVED HAIL OR DAMAGING WIND CONCERN THURSDAY EVENING... ESPECIALLY OVER SOUTHEAST MISSOURI...FAR WESTERN KENTUCKY...AND THE EXTREME TIP OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. CANNOT COMPLETELY RULE OUT AN ISOLATED SHORT-LIVED TORNADO EITHER GIVEN THE PAIRING OF STRONG LOW LEVEL SHEAR AND MARGINAL INSTABILITY.
And more bad news: You may have noticed that the Saturday night forecast mentions "snow." That's only the beginning. The unseasonable warmth will be replaced by much colder air arriving Saturday night, potentially setting the stage for the "F" word: freezing rain. Notice how many times the "F" word appears in the official extended forecast:
SUNDAY: PARTLY SUNNY WITH A 30 PERCENT CHANCE OF RAIN FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 30S.
Of course, this is still several days away, and we all know that the computer models will flip-flop many times. But next week could be ugly.
One last bit of bad news: The Nexrad radar in Paducah will be offline for roughly the next two weeks for an upgrade, which will make it harder to tracker these upcoming weather systems. (At least the St. Louis radar is available as a fallback.)
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In this blog, weather junkies on the Southeast Missourian staff talk about (what else?) the weather. Give us your observations, folk wisdom and Farmers Almanac tales -- it's a weather free for all.
Hot topicsGet ready for cabin fever in 5...4...3...
(0 ~ 6:43 PM, Dec 6)
Plenty of white stuff
Where's the snow?
Forecast calls for 6-10 inches of snow and/or sleet
Winter Storm Warning issued; F-word index drops to 4