Star Date 7 January 2016 Thursday

Captain's Log
The Midwest continues to deal the aftermath of the heavy rainfall in December which led to major and record flooding across several rivers and tributaries, including the Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, Arkansas, and Illinois Rivers to name a few. Rivers are beginning to recede in the middle portions of the Mississippi River, around St. Louis for instance, as the swell of high water heads downstream. Trouble will shift downstream to the lower Mississippi Valley with major flooding expected in the comings days. Flood conditions are expected to persist through at least the middle of January in the Mississippi Valley. Rain today and some stronger thunderstorms going into the weekend will not help the flood situation in the Mississippi Valley.

Farmers in the flooded areas have struggled with keeping livestock safe and there has been disruption to grain export shipments. Several grain elevators have been closed in response to the flooding. This has been some of the worst winter flooding for the Mississippi Valley region since records began in the mid-1800s.

Over the upcoming weekend we'll have to watch as the upper-level disturbance causing the messy weather in California heads east. This system is forecast to bring light to moderate accumulating snow from Kansas up through central and northern Missouri, Chicago, and into the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, areas farther east will be all rain with the exception of northern New England where wintry precipitation could mix in at the onset of the precipitation. Much colder air swoops in behind this system sending below normal temperatures down across most of the U.S. next week.