A pickup truck made its way through water which covered part of Illinois Route 146 near Ware during heavy rain which fell in mid-August. File photo.The Old Cape Road near Reynoldsville in southwestern Union County was closed due to flooding along Clear Creek in early January 2016. File photo.Raindrops dotted the windshield on the photographer’s car last Saturday morning, which was the final day of 2016. The picture was taken in downtown Alto Pass and shows a veterans memorial in the Union County village.

Top 10 weather stories of 2016 in region

Major flooding, heavy rainfall events noted

Record flooding on the Mississippi River in early January was the top weather story in the region for 2016.

The National Weather Service office at Paducah posted the top 10 weather events of last year on its website.

The top 10 weather events for 2016 in Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, Western Kentucky and southwestern Indiana included, in order:

Record flooding on the Mississippi River, Jan. 1-3. 

A Jan. 22 winter storm in Western Kentucky.

Severe weather on April 26, mainly in Illinois and Indiana. 

Severe weather on April 27, mainly in Kentucky.

An EF-3 tornado in Mayfield, Ky., on May 10. 

Severe weather on May 11, mainly in Illinois and Indiana.

Severe weather on July 6, mainly in Missouri and Kentucky. 

Flash flooding on July 6-7 in Western Kentucky.

August flooding in Illinois and Missouri which led to one fatality. 

Fall warmth and drought throughout the region.

The weather service noted that 2016 “was noteworthy for the large number of heavy rainfall events that occurred.”

Major Flooding

The year kicked off with major flooding along the Mississippi River. The flooding brought record high river levels to the Cape Girardeau area.

People in the river bottomland communities in western Union County again had to deal with flooding concerns in January of 2016.

Early in the month, some people moved out of the bottomlands. Farm equipment was moved to higher ground. 

Wet Summer

The summer of 2016 was unusually wet. The weather service reported that a number of cities in the region recorded more than 20 inches of rain, making it the wettest summer on record for about a dozen cities.

Fifty weather observing sites picked up at least 20 inches of rain during the summer. A couple of locations recorded more than 30 inches of rain.

To put the totals into perspective, normal precipitation for a whole summer is around 10 inches to 12 inches.

Local weather observer Dana Cross recorded nearly 20 inches of rain in Jonesboro during the summer months of June, July and August.

Precipitation measured 2.93 inches in June, 7.71 inches in July and 9.33 inches in August, for a total of 19.97 inches during the three-month period.

August Downpours

Heavy rain fell in Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri during the period of Aug. 12-18. Many areas saw 8 to 12 inches of rain. Isolated locations in Carter and Wayne counties in Southeast Missouri had 15 to 17 inches of rain.

Unofficial totals showed 9 inches of rain in Wolf Lake and 8.25 inches in Cobden. Rainfall in Jonesboro totalled 6.13 inches.

The weather service reported that many areas picked up between three and five times their normal August rainfall in under a week. Normal rainfall amounts for the locations is about 3 inches.

Numerous roads in Illinois were covered by water for at least short periods of time. Some roads were closed or impassable at times, and a few small bridges were washed out. A small bridge near Alto Pass was washed out.

Persistent Warmth

Last year also was noted for its persistent warmth. Every month except May averaged warmer than normal at Paducah.

Temperatures during the summer in the region generally were around 2 degrees above normal, which was good enough to rank in the top 10 warmest summers on record in Paducah and Cape Girardeau, the weather service noted.

On July 21, the high temperature in Jonesboro reached 97 degrees. When the heat was combined with high humidity, the heat index reached 121.3 degrees.

Fall: Warm, Dry

Fall was “abnormally warm and dry” in the four-state region.

Temperatures generally were 4 to 6 degrees above normal during the fall, which included the months of September, October and November.

Paducah and Cape Girardeau both had their warmest fall season on record. 

Very warm, even hot, high temperatures were recorded during September, October and November in Jonesboro.

September’s high temperature was 95 degrees. The high for October was 89. The high peaked at 82 in November.

After a very wet summer, much of the region saw below normal precipitation during the fall. Paducah had its second driest fall on record. 

Rainfall amounts in Jonesboro for the period included 3.33 inches in September, 1.40 inches in October and 4.16 inches in November.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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