Monday, June 22, 2015

Mississippi River Is Rising In Region 8

If you have not seen some of the pics of the Mississippi River in SE Missouri, it is high! Robert Foote, a photographer from KFVS snapped this pic this morning in Cape Girardeau, where the water has risen 2 feet since Saturday morning:

The river level there is considered "major flood stage" and it is still rising. See graph:
So, that water is heading south and the river will continue to rise in Region 8. At this time, it appears that the water levels should stay BELOW major flood stage. Here is the forecast graph in Caruthersville:

Notice in the above image that the river will be about 5 feet higher this weekend. This is only considered minor flooding, so no need to worry too much at this time.

A little farther south, the river forecast is similar in Osceola. It's rising, but we are not too worried, at this time:

While the river stage forecasts are not overly alarming at this time, we will continue to watch them over the next week or so.

Have a great day!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Heat Wave Coming!

Now that we have the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill leaving Region 8, it's time to start focusing on a heat wave for next week! A couple of notes:
  • This is NOT a record breaking heat wave for "high" temperatures.
  • HOWEVER, we could break a record for the "warmest low" temperatures.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday should be the hottest days.
The image below is the current upper-level pattern. There is an upper-level high sitting in southern California right now. That high pressure is moving our way:

Now, let's fast-forward to Tuesday when that ridge of high pressure is on top of Region 8:
The pattern seen in the above image is a HOT, summer pattern. Most of the south will be dominated by high pressure aloft. This means sinking air and very low rain chances. This also means the air will be "squeezed" causing what we call "compressional heating". The end result is high temperatures in the mid and upper 90s. Some parts of the state might even hit 100.

Don't worry, it appears we will get a little relief heading into next weekend as the ridge of high pressure retreats west. The image below is NEXT weekend... 8 days out:

Get ready to crank up the AC!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Breezy Bill

This evening we talked about the rainfall and wind that could come from the leftovers of Tropical Storm Bill on Thursday and Friday. I'm starting to be "a little" more concerned about the wind threat. First off, it will be NOTHING like we experienced with Hurricane Ike a few years back, but it could be breezy. This image shows the SUSTAINED winds could be in the 15-25 mph range:

Sustained winds are calculated by the average wind speed over a 10 minute period. However, there are occasionally higher "gusts". Wind "gusts" from Bill on Thursday into Friday could go into the 30-35 mph range according to some data this evening:
The track and timing of this storm is still questionable, so stay tuned to the Region 8 Storm Team as we fine tune the forecast over the next few days!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Moisture Increases This Weekend

Tonight, we are using a graphic that we may have never used on air. We are going to show "preciptable water" because it tells the weather story. We typically avoid getting too technical, but I think this data is pretty simple. Let's start with today. It's been pretty dry across Region 8 and the preciptable water has been rather low. Notice the legend and the shades of green:
Let's fast-forward to Friday when the moisture increases. Notice the surge of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico starting:
As we get to Saturday, a lot of moisture is available and some of the storms that develop could have some heavy rain. Not everyone will see rain, but those that do, could quickly pick up 0.50-0.75" of rain:
This pattern continues on Sunday and really into next week:

Don't cancel plans, just have a plan B again this weekend.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Heat Lightning Tonight!

I had someone point out to me that they could see "heat lightning" NW of them tonight. Many meteorologists say "there is no such thing as heat lightning", but I disagree. If most of the population call it "heat lightning"... than it's something. It's just misnamed. It has nothing to do with how hot it is outside. It's simply a storm that is far away, but because it is so high in the sky, and there is clear sky all around it, you can see it from a far distance. You can't hear it though because of the distance.

The reason it is called heat lighting is because it typically happens in the summer months, when it is hot.

The storm that they were referring to tonight is north of West Plains. Even though it is 100 miles away, we can see the lightning from that storm:
Just like you can see a very tall person in a crowd, storms that have a very high vertical structure can be seen from far away! The storm near West Plains is about 60,000 feet high!
Since there is a mostly clear sky between here and there, we can see the lightning! Even from 100 miles away!
I hope this makes sense... So, when someone says that they see "heat lightning", you can explain to them that it does not have much to do with "heat".

Have a good night!