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Two Inches Of Rain Expected, Flash Floods Possible


Southeast Missouri and southern Illinois can expect about two inches of rain over the next day and a half or so.

There’s an unusual amount of moisture in the atmosphere right now that’s causing all this rain. The moisture in the lower levels of the atmosphere is coming from the Gulf.

That’s normal.

The unusual part of all this is we’re getting upper level moisture from the monsoonal flow- that’s moisture from the Pacific that travels through Colorado and Kansas to get to Missouri.

Kelly Hooper, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah, said we have anywhere between 150 to 200 percent our normal moisture.

“That’s the difference we have right now,” Hooper said. “We typically don’t get the monsoonal flow turned this way, but the way the high pressure is set up over eastern Texas, it’s just right to bring that Pacific moisture right into our area. Put that with a cold front bisecting the area, nearly stalled, and you’ve got the recipe for heavy rain.”

Hooper said this is the same system that caused heavy rains and catastrophic flooding in south central Missouri this week. The only difference is we have a cold front here. 

“That’s the only difference that we have,” Hooper said. “It’ll help the heavier rain that’s really plaguing Missouri to slowly shift eastward into Kentucky and southern Illinois, and then southward into Tennessee and Arkansas.”

Hooper said a strong cell could potentially dump one to two inches of rain locally in an hour, meaning flash floods are a serious possibility.

The heaviest rain is expected today and tonight.

Another front will work its way into the region early next week. That should bring drier, cooler air.

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