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Beau's Journey » 2009 » April » 05

Archive: April 5th, 2009

April 5, 2009: Severe storms hit Paducah with damage…

  Tired and worn out from all of these back to back severe weather episodes.  I am ready for a break!

  Public reports of a possible tornado on the south side of Paducah this afternoon.  A line of severe thunderstorms moved through the county with winds in excess of 70 mph.  Awaiting a storm survey for more information.

  Southland Baptist Church had much of its roof removed – Lowes had outbuildings flipped over – 12 people were injured in a bus accident after high winds pushed a car into a truck and then hit the bus.  Also six residences had damage. 

  A meso-cyclone moved through Pulaski County, Illinois and Northern Ballard County, Kentucky.  Damage was reported to one home.  Siding and roof damage.  No warnings were issued with either storm, unfortunately.  Sometimes that happens.

  I am going to review the event tomorrow night and see if I can figure out what was missed on radar this afternoon.

  WPSD posted these images of the church


WPSD TV Photograph


WPSD TV Photograph


WPSD TV Photograph






April 5, 2009: Severe Weather Forecast

April 5, 2009: Morning update – 2 AM

(trying a new lay-out) – Call to action will be at the top – summary for those who want a quick "hit and run" summary – analysis for those wanted more information – and links for live data at the bottom of the email.

This forecast was issued by – Beau Dodson
Meteorological Specialist for the Paducah/McCracken County Office of Emergency Management

This outlook is issued for portions of southeast Missouri, South Illinois, southwest Indiana, State of Kentucky, West Tennessee, and northeast Arkansas.
Effective April 5 through April 14th.

Call To Action:  Spotters may be needed later today.  Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for possible watches and/or warnings.


1. The entire area has been placed in a slight risk (remember there are three risk levels slight/moderate/high) for severe thunderstorms on Sunday, by the Storm Prediction Center
2. Storm mode – low topped supercells and lines of storms are possible on Sunday.  If instability can be realized the risk for severe weather will increase a bit.
3. Storm motion – storms will move towards the east/northeast at 45-55 mph.
4. Severe weather type – large hail, damaging winds, heavy rain, lightning, and isolated tornadoes are possible Sunday.
5. Time – most likely time for severe weather will be between 11 AM and 7 PM.  (Some storms possible in the morning – esp in MO/IL)
The severe weather risk should diminish after sunset as the storms move further east.


Remember that severe weather is isolated in nature.  Unless a major squall line pushes through a particular region the damage generally varies from county county.  A few counties may sustain large hail, damaging winds, or tornadoes and the majority of counties may not receive any severe weather.  It is nearly impossible to predict ahead of time which county will receive the worst weather.  Unlike snowstorms, severe thunderstorms can be isolated or scattered.

I say that only because the last few events have produced little damage in Massac, McCracken, Ballard, and Graves Counties.  Other counties have not been so fortunate.  It is the luck of the draw when it comes to these event as to who get hits and who does not.

This also makes it difficult it trying to keep the public vigilant during spring severe weather season.  It is "always" someone else’s county that is impacted, however we know that is now always the case.  All of our local counties have taken a beating over the last few years.  So, it is important to take each event on its own merit. 

Strong low pressure area is advancing through Kansas and Missouri this morning.  It will continue to push eastward and southeastward through this afternoon.  Temperatures and dew points will increase across our region through the morning and early afternoon hours.  They should reach at least the 50s and some dew points could rise into the 60s.  This will provide enough moisture for severe thunderstorms to form.

Thunderstorms – supercells will likely develop later this morning and during the afternoon hours over portions of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.  The greatest risk for tornadoes will likely be over Illinois and Indiana.  Tornadoes can not be ruled out over the rest of our counties, as well.  The main threat will likely be large hail and high winds.

A few thunderstorms will also move into the region this morning (before noon).  The main threat for these storms would be locally heavy downpours and hail.  You can see them forming on radar out in Missouri and Oklahoma, at this hour.  Lightning, of course, will also be a threat for those outdoors.

Very windy conditions (west/northwest winds) will also spread over the region later on Sunday and continue into Monday.  Wind gusts over 30 mph are likely – with gusts over 40 mph possible in open fields and on hilltops.  Cold weather will also spread over the region.  A rain/snow mixture is even possible on Monday as the colder air moves into the region.  No accumulation is expected.  A set-back for spring lovers.  Freezing temperatures will be possible on Tuesday morning, unfortunately.

Another storm will approach the region on Thursday.  A bit early to determine what if any severe weather threat will occur with this system.  Another storm system will approach the region next Sunday into Monday.  Timing of this system is very uncertain, however, severe weather will also be possible with it.

Active weather pattern. Stay tuned…

Again, in summary:

Some strong/severe storms are possible today – we are in a slight risk zone.
Windy conditions (west/northwest winds) on Sunday afternoon into Monday – gusts over 30 mph likely.
Cold weather returns on Sunday night and Monday.  Rain/snow mix is possible on Monday – windy, as well.  Cold Tuesday morning.
Some strong storms are possible next Thursday – uncertainty on track and instability surrounds that system.
Another storm system is possible for Easter and the following Monday/Tuesday time period.



New weather stations are up in McCracken County (see links below)

We have placed two weather instruments systems up in McCracken County – the links are below:
Western part of McCracken County (near Kevil in Ballard County)

Live streaming data of the above

Reidland area

Live streaming data from Reidland

You can find more stations on the Wunderground site (just put in your zip code).  Eventually I will have my system up and running in the Round Knob area of Massac County.  Will be a few more months, though.

Some links that might be useful:

Storm Prediction Web-Site

Regional Radar

Large Regional Radar

National Weather Service Paducah – watches/warnings

National Weather Service Memphis, Tennessee – watches/warnings

All NWS Sites

Beau Dodson
Meteorological Specialist for the Paducah/McCracken County Office of Emergency Management