Storm Prediction Center Discussion


…SUMMARY… Severe storms, with a threat for damaging winds and a few tornadoes, are possible across parts of the lower to mid Mississippi Valley region this afternoon through tonight.

…20z Update

– MS Valley Region… The Enhanced risk area has been shifted southward with the update. This includes the addition of southeast AR and adjacent portions of northwest MS, and the removal of portions of southeast MO and southwest IL. This change is based on latest trends in HRRR and RAP guidance in conjunction with current observational data. As of 1930Z, isolated, likely elevated thunderstorms have developed over northwest AR as ascent increases ahead of the Plains trough. Additional widespread shower and isolated thunderstorm activity was occurring this afternoon in strong warm advection across much of east TX into the lower MS Valley. The greatest instability is centered on the Sabine Valley where broken cloudiness has allowed for better heating and strong southerly flow has transported upper 60s to low 70s dewpoints. Some showers developing over central LA have at times shown signs of weak cyclonic shear. As wind profiles and forcing increase later this evening, convection should become better organized and more robust as dewpoints increase to the north/northeast. While forcing will be somewhat weaker further south as the Plains trough and surface low eject northeast of AR/LA, this area appears to have the best chance for surface, or near-surface-based storms through the evening. This should result in a relative corridor of maximum potential for both damaging winds and perhaps a couple of tornadoes.

Further north, instability will remain limited by a cooler boundary layer and more modest surface dewpoints and modest lapse rates. However, strong shear/fast storm motion and linear storm mode could support storms capable of widely-scattered damaging winds.

…Northern CA Coast… No changes have been made to this portion of the outlook. ..Leitman.. 11/26/2019 .PREV DISCUSSION… /ISSUED 1030 AM CST Tue Nov 26 2019/

…MS Valley region through tonight… A pronounced midlevel shortwave trough now approaching the central/southern High Plains will eject northeastward toward the middle MS Valley by tonight, in response to an amplifying upstream shortwave trough that will reach southwest OR/northern CA this evening. An initial surface lee cyclone in southeast CO this morning will develop east-northeastward to the Kansas City area by this evening, and continue northeastward toward southern Lake MI by Wednesday morning. The surface warm sector will likewise spread northward/northeastward from east TX/western LA/southwest AR this morning to MO this evening, reaching the corridor from IL to MS overnight. A surface trough/dryline will demarcate the west edge of the moist sector this afternoon/evening from southeast KS into northeast TX, though this boundary will be overtaken by a Pacific cold front early tonight across MO/AR. Boundary-layer dewpoints in the 65-70 F range are spreading northward from the upper TX coast to southwest AR and extreme southeast OK as of mid morning, and northward low-level moistening will continue through the day across AR/southern and western MO/extreme southeast KS ahead of the synoptic cyclone and developing dryline feature. Widespread clouds are present within a subtropical moisture plume aloft from the southern Plains to the MS Valley, and low clouds are prevalent from northeast TX into AR along the primary moisture return corridor. The clouds will mute surface heating today, which casts doubt on surface-based storm development during the day in the warm sector. It appears that two general scenarios for convective initiation are more probable this afternoon through tonight. The earlier scenario will be within the moistening warm sector along the warm conveyor belt across AR later this afternoon/evening. The lack of surface heating suggests storms may remain slightly elevated in a strengthening wind profiles that otherwise supports supercells across AR. Late this evening into early tonight, storm initiation is also expected in a band or two across MO/AR after the Pacific cold front overtakes the remnant dryline. Very strong deep-layer vertical shear and long hodographs are expected from I-40 northward along the path of the ejecting midlevel trough and 120-130 kt midlevel jet streak, which may allow some broken cellular characteristics in the storms as they move quickly northeastward toward IL overnight. The thick clouds across the northern portion of the warm sector today, and the primary wave passing a little north of the established warm sector tonight cast doubt on the severe-weather outcome. Buoyancy will be limited where vertical shear is extremely strong from MO into IL, and the more probable area to initiate warm sector supercells across AR (along the warm conveyor) will be plagued by the thick clouds today. There is still potential for forced/shallow convection with damaging winds along the front tonight from MO into IL, and some potential supercells into AR and perhaps northwest MS overnight. However, overall confidence is low in storm evolution and resultant severe-weather threats, so will largely maintain the outlook areas.

…Northern CA coast this evening into tonight… Strong forcing for ascent will overspread northern CA later this afternoon/evening as a rapidly deepening cyclone and associated midlevel trough begin to spread inland. Strong gradient winds are likely with the frontal passage along the coast, but most of the convection is likely to be confined to the post-frontal environment as steeper low-midlevel lapse rates spread inland. Flow will remain strong in the post-front environment, and cold midlevel temperatures may support some small hail. However, the severe storm threat inland is too limited for an outlook area.


Thanksgiving Week 2019

Published 1:36am CDT on Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 by Cameron Lawrence

By now I’m sure you all have heard that this Thanksgiving Week 2019 is going to be very active weather wise. From 20s with potential snow to 60s with potential tornadoes. The meteorology community has been keeping a close eye on this for several weeks. Models have been all over the place but with the system less than 24 hours out they’re coming together nicely.

Starting around 6:00am today, light scattered showers will move into the area. This will last for the majority of the day with rain becomming more widespread after 4:00pm and wind gusts over 45mph. Between 10:00pm and 3:00am, one or two bands of strong to severe thunderstorms will move through the area.

“Isolated to scattered severe storms with a threat for damaging winds and a few tornadoes will be possible”

-National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center

As of 1:00am CDT on Tuesday, November 26th, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has place all of Madison County in the “Slight” category for severe thunderstorm potential. They have stated that “isolated to scattered severe storms with a threat for damaging winds and a few tornadoes will be possible.” With substatial wind shear expected and temps in the 60s, I would agree that there is definitely a possiblity for the development of tornadoes.

NWS SPC severe thunderstorm outlook as of 1:00am CDT on Tuesday, November 26th, 2019.

My main concern with this upcomming system is that it will be overnight. I will do my best to provide you all with timely updates on our Facebook page but I cannot stress enough that you need to have ways to receive instant warnings. Whether it be by NOAA Weather Radio, local news channels, or a mobile app on your phone, please have another way.

There are two more systems expected later on this week, on and after Thanksgiving. I won’t go too into detail just yet but I will touch on them a little bit.

System #2 looks to begin during the morning/afternoon hours on Thanksgiving Day. Light rain could mix with snow. This system will be out by midnight.

System #3 will arrive Friday afternoon. Again, showers with the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms. The widespread rain will end Saturday night with light rain and snow flurries sticking around Sunday morning. Little to no accumulations are expected with either system.

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How to Stay Safe In a Flood

How to Stay Safe in a Flood

Whether it be by storm surge, levee failures, or simply heavy rains causing flash flooding, on average nearly 100 people die each year from flooding according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). More than half of those deaths occur in vehicles. Death by flood is the second most common weather related death, behind heat deaths. Other than deaths, floods have many devastating effects. Floods cause more than $40 Billion worth of damage worldwide annually and most home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, the bill is left to the homeowner. Worse than that, people lose sentimental possessions like photographs that may have been taken generations ago, of people who have long been gone. Here are some ways to prepare and what to do should you find yourself in a flood.

Find out what type of flood risks are in your area. You can visit FEMA’s Flood Maps Service Center for that information. If you live near a creek, bottom of a hill, or a flash-flood prone area, be sure to monitor weather forecasts for any heavy rain that could fall on your area. Learn evacuation routes if you live near a levee system. If you know a flood is coming, be sure to gather supplies and medication in case you have to leave in an emergency. Remember to bag extra pet food. Store all important documents in waterproof containers. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is in working condition. Also you need to purchase flood insurance. As mentioned before, most home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. 

If an evacuation is ordered, do so immediately. Never drive or walk through flood waters. Remember, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” If you don’t have enough warning, or none at all, and your house becomes flooded you should go to the highest level. Don’t get in the attic because rising flood waters may trap you there and you could drown. If water reaches the top floor, and you can do so, climb onto the roof and wait. Try to call or signal for help. It will eventually come.

After flood waters have receded and emergency personnel have deemed it safe to return, be very cautious. There may be snakes or other animals in your house, so use thick gloves and boots during clean up. Never touch wet electrical equipment or use electrical equipment if you are standing in water. Don’t wade through flood water because there may be powerlines that you cannot see. If you use a generator, be sure to keep it outside. The fumes will kill you if used indoors.

If weather tips like this are something you’re interested in, be sure to subscribe at the bottom of the homepage and verify via the confirmation email you will receive. For up-to-date weather happening in Madison County, IL you can follow Madison County, IL Amateur Weather on Facebook!

Sources used:, The Weather Channel, National Geographic.

Introduction to Winter Weather Preparedness Week

  • November 18-22, 2019

Winter poses a wide range of threats to residents of the Midwest. Whether it be exposure to the cold, vehicle accidents caused by slick roads, or fires resulting from the improper use of heaters, hundreds of people are injured or killed each year as a direct result of winter weather.Winter storms range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a massive blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states while others affect only a single community.

High winds, freezing rain or sleet, heavy snowfall, and dangerously cold temperatures are the main hazards associated with winter storms. Impassable snow drifts can maroon people at home without utilities or other services for days after an event. Heavy snowfall and blizzards easily trap motorists in their vehicles and make walking to find help a deadly effort. Bitter cold temperatures and wind chills during and after a winter storm can lead to hypothermia and kill anyone caught outside for too long. The aftermath of a winter storm can impact a community or region for days, weeks or even months, incurring steep economic costs.

Terms to Know:

  • Blizzard: Blowing and/or falling snow with winds of at least 35 mph, reducing visibilities to a quarter of a mile or less for at least three hours. Winds lofting the current snow pack and reducing visibilities without any falling snow is called a ground blizzard.
  • Freezing Rain: Caused by rain falling on surfaces with a temperature below freezing. The rain freezes upon contact with the ground. Large build-ups of ice can down trees and power lines and coat roads.
  • Sleet: Rain/melted snow that has begun refreezing when it reaches the ground. Sleet tends to be softer than hail and is easily compacted. Sleet can make roads slippery very quickly.
  • Wind Chill: The apparent temperature the body feels when wind is factored into the equation.

The chart below shows how the different types of winter precipitation are formed.

Additional Links and Info:

This article was adapted from the National Weather Service’s official website. Click here to view the original article on

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URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Saint Louis MO 257 PM CST Sun Nov 10 2019

ILZ058>060-064-098>102-MOZ049-051-052-059>065-111100- /O.NEW.KLSX.WW.Y.0021.191111T1200Z-191111T2200Z/ Bond IL-Calhoun IL-Franklin MO-Gasconade MO-Greene IL- Jefferson MO-Jersey IL-Lincoln MO-Macoupin IL-Madison IL- Monroe IL-Montgomery IL-Montgomery MO-Osage MO-Saint Charles MO- Saint Clair IL-Saint Louis City MO-Saint Louis MO-Warren MO- Including the cities of Alton, Belleville, Cahokia, Edwardsville, Litchfield, Saint Charles, Saint Louis, Sullivan, Union, and Washington 257 PM CST Sun Nov 10 2019


* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of up to one inch. Winds gusting as high as 30 mph.

* WHERE…Portions of central and east central Missouri and south central and southwest Illinois.

* WHEN…From 6 AM to 4 PM CST Monday.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The rapid fall of temperatures into the 20s could result in a flash freeze of untreated roads and other surfaces, especially for areas north and west of Saint Louis.


A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means that periods of accumulating snow will primarily cause travel difficulties. Roads may rapidly become slippery once the snow begins, so motorists should plan for a slower than normal trip. Be especially alert when approaching bridges, overpasses, and curves.

Here you can obtain the latest road conditions in Illinois and Missouri

2019 Veterans Day Forecast

A “weather roller coaster” is in store for Madison County this Veterans Day weekend. From sunny and 60F to snow and temps in the teens with windchills near 6F, this here is a break down of what you can expect over the next few days!

Saturday and Sunday will be near average for this time of year with plenty of sunshine. The high on Saturday will be near 56F with winds between 10 and 15 mph from the south. Saturday night expect a low around 40F. Sunday the high could top 60F with light south breeze at 5 to 10 mph.

Monday (Veterans Day) is when things start to change. The high temperature is expected to be 36F and that will be very early in the morning. Temps will fall throughout the day. By 5pm we will be below 30F.

Model GFS Precipitation Type, Rate (in hr^1), 1000-500 mb Thickness (dam) Run: Sat 2019-11-09 00z (6:00pm CST) F060 Valid: Mon 2019-11-11 18z (12:00pm CST)

Rain begining early Monday morning will transition to snow after noon. Winds will be 10 to 20 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph. Little or no snow accumulation is expected. All precipitation should be done before sunset.

Model GFS 2 m AGL Wind Chill (degrees F) Run: Sat 2019-11-09 00z (6:00pm CST) F084 Valid: Tue 2019-11-12 12z (6:00am CST)

Tuesday morning will be very cold. A temperature of 17F and high winds will drop the wind chill down to 6F. For extreme-cold advice on how to prepare and protect your vehicle, house, family, and yourself, please click here.

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Published Saturday, November 9th at 10:00am CST

How to Protect Yourself in the Cold

Whether you work outside, play outside, or just simply enjoy being outside, one way or another we all end up enduring the cold weather. I’m not talking about when it’s 50F and your friend is up from Florida and thinks it’s freezing, I’m talking about when it’s ACTUALLY freezing. Here are a few ways to prepare for fridgid temperatures, protect yourself when outside, and some helpful tips from the National Weather Service to keep in mind during the cold months.

When you go out into the cold, frostbite and hypothermia are two things you need to protect yourself from. In some cases where it’s below zero with wind, frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes. This could cause permanent damage and require the amputation of fingers or toes. Some ways to avoid frostbite are:

  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Stay dry and out of the wind.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
  • Instead of gloves, wear mittins that are snug at the wrist.

It’s also very important to protect your house against the cold, as well as yourself. If you’ve ever left a can of soda in the freezer for too long, you know that it will eventually explode due to the liquid freezing and expanding. The same thing can happen to the pipes in your house. The water freezes, the ice expands, and the next thing you know the pipe has busted and there’s water gushing into your basement when it warms back up. Here are some tips to keep pipes from freezing up in the cold:

  • Let hot and cold water trickle or drip at night from faucets.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to un-insulaed pipes under a sink or near an outer wall.
  • Make sure heat is left on and set to no lower than 55F.
  • If you plan to be away: (1) Have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or (2) drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).

If your pipes do freeze:

  • Make sure you and your family knows how to shut off the water, in case pipes burst.
  • NEVER try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. Use a hair dryer instead.
  • Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent, oderless, killer caliming about 1,000 lives each year in the United States. Be very cautious when using alternative ways to heat your house such as a space heater or an open flame like a fireplace.

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • NEVER run a fuel powered generator indoors.
  • Open a window slightly when using a kerosene heater and follow the manufactuer’s instructions.
  • NEVER use a gas oven to heat your home.
  • If your heat goes out, you can keep warm indoors by closing off rooms you do not need, dressing in layers of lightweight clothing, and wearing a hat.
  • Always keep a screen around open flames like fireplaces.
  • NEVER use gasoline to start your fireplace.
  • NEVER burn charcoal indoors.
  • Do not close the damper when ashes are hot.
  • Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove, or portable space heaters. Always follow the manufactuer’s instructions.

Always remember to bring your pets inside when it’s cold. If using a heated dog house, be sure to keep their water fresh and full. Try to keep salt away from their paws. It can dry their paws out and cause them to crack.

Here are some vehicle preparation tips you can take:

  • Make sure your battery is fully charged and in good condition.
  • Keep fluids full (coolant, wiper fluid, oil, etc.)
  • Ensure proper inflation in tires.
  • Have jumper cables in case of a dead battery.
  • Always have extra coats and blankets in case you get stranded.
  • Try to keep your fuel above half way incase you get stuck and have to wait for help.

No matter what you do this winter, follow these tips to keep your family, pets, house, and car safe during the brutal cold. Have a great winter everyone.

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Published by Cameron Lawrence on October 29th, 2019 at 10:41am CDT

How to Prepare for an Earthquake

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an Earthquake is defined as a sudden and violent shaking of the ground, sometimes causing great destruction, as a result of movements within the earth’s crust or volcanic action.

Some other names for an Earthquake include  tremor, convulsion, quake, shake, and trembler!

The most common type of Earthquake is the tectonic earthquake. These happen when movement of tectonic plates create geological forces. The forces will cause the rocks in the earth’s crust to break. 

The second most common type of Earthquake is the volcanic earthquake. This is caused by the movement of magma in a volcano.

Collapse Earthquakes are small earthquakes underground that are caused by elastic (seismic) waves that occur due to an explosion of rocks on the surface. 

Explosion Earthquakes are caused by the detonation of chemicals and/or nuclear devices.

The best way to know that an earthquake is taking place is when the ground shakes. If an earthquake is happening from far away, you may feel a gentle bump on the ground, possibly followed by more rolling shaking later on. A close earthquake will feel like a sharp jolt, followed by faster, stronger jolts. 

There are many signs that an Earthquake could be imminent! Knowing these signs can help you to be prepared and can also help you guide your loved ones, yourself, and/or pets to safety before an Earthquake actually occurs. 

Notice smaller earthquakes that lead up to the main earthquake! If you feel like the ground may be rumbling or shaking, take all precautions to keep your family and yourself safe! If you think you feel the ground moving, move to safety! It is better safe than sorry!

If you have any type of shelter available (ex: table, counter, any hard surface you can climb under) immediately get underneath! You should be on your knees with your hands protecting your head and neck! Your neck has all of the nerves leading from your brain to your body. Any nerves being damaged can lead to permanent damage. If you do not have access to a hard surface that you can climb under, get as close to an interior wall as you possibly can! Do not hesitate! This is crucial!

It never hurts to have a prepared kit for any weather related issues!!! Some items you may want to keep put in an emergency bag in case of an Earthquake are:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Weather Radio
  • At Least 3 Gallons of Water Per Person
  • Non-perishable food items-to be able to eat! Have enough for a minimum of 3 days! If you have pets, keep pet food aside as well! If you are using cans, be sure to have a can opener.
  • Tools-in case you get stuck somewhere. I recommend a hammer or something strong in case you need to beat yourself out of an entrapment.

If weather tips are something you’re interested in, please subscribe to receive updates right to your inbox. Don’t forget to follow Madison County Amateur Weather on Facebook and Twitter for instant updates on severe weather that may impact you!

Resources: Oxford Dictionary, USGS, Wikipedia, Sciencing, Weebly

Our Next Chance for Thunderstorms

Saturday will be a very pleasant day with mostly sunny skies and a high near 79F. Low humidity and a light NE wind at 5mph. Saturday evening clouds will start to roll in. Expect a low near 61 with a NE wind at 5mph, becoming calm later in the evening.

5:00pm temps forecasted. HRRR model. Taken from Pivotal Weather

Things will change early Sunday morning as a cold front passes. Showers and thunderstorms look to start making their way across Madison County between 6:00am and 7:00am. These will stick around until the afternoon. Expect a high near 75 with a SE wind of 5-10mph. Sunday night more showers and thunderstorms until around midnight. Mostly cloudy skies with a low around 66mph. East winds at 5-10mph.

9/8/19 @ 12:00pm GFS taken from Pivotal Weather

Monday a few isolated showers or thunderstorms are possible. Things will begin to heat back up. Temperaturs look to be in the upper 80s and low 90s through the end of the week. Although too early to tell any specifics, models are hinting that the above average temperatures may stick around for a few more weeks, with above average precipitation as well.

Above average temperatures expected Thu, Sept 12th through Mon, Sept 16th.
Above average precipitation expected Thu, Sept 12th through Mon, Sept 16th

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Published Saturday, September 7th at 7:39am CDT.

How to Stay Safe During a Tornado

Tornadoes are the most common and violent natural disasters there are. Over 1,000 happen in the United States every year and they can happen during any month and in any state. There have even been tornadoes in Hawaii and Alaska!

You can start preparing now. Designate a space in your home that will be your tornado safe space. This should be in an interior room on the lowest level of a permanent building. If you live in a mobile home, have a shelter or place you can go during severe weather. You should stock your safe space with everything you might need. Keep in mind you may end up there for a few days. Some things you should have are listed below.

  • At least 3 gallons of water, per person for drinking and hygiene.
  • Non-perishable food items such as canned vegetables or meat.
  • First Aid kit with bandages, sterilizer like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol, healing ointment such as Neosporin.
  • Hand crank or battery operated radio along with a NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Flashlights for each person.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Whistle to let search teams know where you are.
  • Comfort items such as photographs, blankets, pillows, and kids’ toys.

A TORNADO WATCH means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes. Take this time to make sure your tornado safe space is fully stocked and all food items and medication aren’t expired. Go over your plan with all adults and children in the house to make sure they know what to do. When a tornado warning is issued, you will have very little time to react. Sometimes only minutes. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and have a way to receive warnings as they are issued.

A TORNADO WARNING means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. This is too late to prepare. You need to go to your tornado safe place immediately. Stay there until the threat has completely passed and it is safe to come out. After the the tornado has passed, evacuate as there may be structural damage. Assess any damage your house may have sustained. Look for things like broken windows, loose shingles or siding, downed power lines, fallen trees, etc. Never touch power lines. Even if you know they are not live, transformers may try to turn back on and you may be fatally shocked. Call your local authorities or the power company and stay clear of them. Be sure to restock any supplies you may have used while in your tornado safe space.

Be sure to go over your plan with your family and make sure they know what to do when a Tornado Warning is issued.

Published on September 8th, 2019 at 8:00am CDT.

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