5 to 7 inches of rain possible this week in region
As of last week, the spring flood potential for the Mississippi River along Union County's border was forecast to be average or normal.
The outlook was issued by the National Weather Service office in Paducah.
And while spring doesn't arrive until March, flooding already is a concern in the region.
At the same time, the weather service was looking at a forecast which called for the possibility of a "prolonged period of wet weather to set up over the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys" this week.
As of last Friday, the weather service had posted on its website that "the potential for flooding will need to be monitored in the coming days as we gain a better idea of where and exactly how much rainfall may occur."
By early this week, the region was on alert for the possibility of very heavy rain which could add to concerns about flooding.
The weather service forecast posted early Tuesday morning was calling for the possibility of two periods of heavy rain this week.
The first round was expected to begin with heavy rain arriving late Tuesday night and continuing into Wednesday night.
Another round of heavy rain is possible from Thursday night (today) through Saturday night.
A map posted on the website for the weather service office in Paducah showed that rainfall totals ranging from 5 inches to 7 inches were possible in the area which includes Union County.
Flooding is possible along the area rivers and their tributaries.
In a hazardous weather outlook for Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky, the forecast called for "rounds of widespread showers and a few thunderstorms...producing multiple periods of heavy rainfall across the region Thursday night through Saturday night.
"The flooding concern will increase with each round of heavy rainfall, culminating with the cold frontal passage Saturday night. A few strong storms cannot be ruled out Saturday."
The spring flood potential outlook issued by the weather service covers the time period for late February through late May.
The outlook includes the mid-Mississippi and lower Ohio rivers and their tributaries in Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and West Kentucky.
Union County is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River.
Part of northwestern Union County is bordered by the Big Muddy River, which is a tributary of the Mississippi.
The flood potential is seen as average or normal for the Mississippi River north of the confluence with the Ohio River and for its tributaries in southwest Illinois and Southeast Missouri.
Flood potential is forecast to be above average or above normal for the lower Ohio River and its tributaries in southeast Illinois and Western Kentucky.
As of early this week, a flood warning was in effect for the Ohio River in Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky. The river was expected to continue to rise through much of this week.