September is the second-driest month at Cape Girardeau, at least according to long term averages (August is the driest). But that won't stop people from exclaiming "It always rains during fair week!" if a shower pops up during the SEMO District Fair.
This year, we might be kicking off the fair with more than just isolated showers. The remnants of Almost-But-Not-Quite-Hurricane Gordon are poised to dump copious rainfalls totals somewhere in Missouri.
As usual, the storm's exact track is uncertain, but the current forecast has the core of Gordon sliding to our southwest through Arkansas, lifting north into Central Missouri, and finally veering to the northeast through Central Illinois and Indiana. It's a carefully choreographed dance move that would spare Southeast Missouri from the heaviest rains, but just barely.
Nevertheless, we could still see unusually high rainfall totals for September. These tropical systems tend to be very efficient at pumping moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The 5-Day Rainfall Chart paints 2-3 inch totals over our region, with higher amounts in a circle to the west.
The best chance of rain arrives Friday and Friday night, but Saturday -- the opening day of the fair -- is expected to be soggy as well.
On the plus side, the heat that we've been battling all summer should finally break this weekend, with temperatures struggling to reach 80 degrees starting on Sunday and hopefully lasting well into next week. So perhaps we should adopt another saying: "It always cools down during fair week."