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Monday's forecasts promising, but rain threat exists

Staff report
updated: 8/18/2017 2:56 PM

Now comes the big question: What about Monday's weather?

Three forecasters -- the National Weather Service, AccuWeather and the Farmer's Almanac -- all say Solar Eclipse Day in southern Illinois will start out dry and sunny. By 1 p.m., though, our area is in danger of potential thunderstorms.

National Weather Service, Paducah: Forecasts a largely dry and sunny weekend, followed by a mostly sunny sky and high around 90 degrees on Monday. The early forecast notes "a slight chance" for storms after 1 p.m. Monday. Totality occurs around 1:20 p.m. in all parts of southern Illinois. Winds are forecast to be light.

Current NWS models predict possibly lingering showers in southeast Missouri Monday morning, with a more than 25 percent chance of rain along a line running from Paducah, Ky. to Pinckneyville.

"We may only see pockets of showers and thunderstorms," the NWS report reads. "However, given the flow, this could still spread a measurable opaque cirrus cloud deck downstream across the rest of the forecast area."

Farmer's Almanac: Illinois may see a few isolated thunderstorms in the area around Carbondale, but with luck, most of southern Illinois will just experience partly cloudy skies instead. Specifically, afternoon showers and thunderstorms are possible. Highs in the upper 80s and lows in the low 70s.

AccuWeather: Southern Illinois has a "fair" chance of seeing the solar eclipse. The same is true throughout Missouri and in western Kentucky, but in mid-Kentucky and Ohio the chances improve to "good."

"The plains states (including southern Illinois) commonly generate cumulus clouds that can grow in to thunderstorms late in the afternoon," Accuweather's website says. "It is possible, however, that the eclipse itself as it progresses may cool the air slightly thereby reducing the chances of these storms from developing. Weather prospects across this whole region are still pretty good."

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