An upper low means ugly weather for us

Good Thursday, everyone. We have a big upper level low moving into the region and it’s going to be a very slow-mover. That means a lot of ugly weather for central and eastern Kentucky. Heavy rain and gusty winds will combine to bring the gloom.

A shower or two is possible out there today as this system slowly works in from the southwest:

We’ve talked about this big upper low moving in, and you can see what I’m talking about in this animation…

There’s nothing to push it along, so it has a mind of its own and meanders through here. That leads to a lot of ugly weather taking shape from later Thursday through Saturday. Rounds of rain and rumbles of thunder will be common, and some hefty totals should show up. 1″-2″ amounts may be noted:

GFS

Canadian

Winds will be gusty during this time as temps hang around or just above average. A seasonal chill moves in behind that, but temps quickly moderate next week.

As we have been talking about, changes begin to show up late next week into the weekend before Christmas. A couple of system dive in from the northwest, but they don’t have a ton of cold air with them. Here’s the Canadian for the end of next week:

The European is similar:

It has the next system quickly following by the weekend:

The setup for Christmas week continues to favor deepening troughs swinging into the country as blocking starts to go up near Alaska and toward the North Pole. The Ensembles have been showing this for a while and now the operational models are going in that direction:

Enjoy the day and take care.

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One more nice day before another change

Good Wednesday, everyone. It’s another very nice day taking shape across central and eastern Kentucky. Temps continue to climb to just above normal as a few clouds increase. These clouds are ahead of a storm system rolling our way for later this week into the start of the upcoming weekend.

That system shows up differently on the all the models because we are dealing with a big upper level low. That system will fire up a lot of wind and rain for our region, with the chance for some wraparound flakes on Saturday. The flake thing isn’t a big possibility as of now, but it’s something to watch for.

Watch how the models differ on how they handle this upper low and surface storm system.

GFS

The GFS isn’t nearly as strong with the surface low as a few of the other models. The end result is a lot of rain and zero snows anywhere:

Contrast that with a much stronger and farther north low from the Canadian:

Notice how the heaviest rains are a bit north and west, but check out the snows:

My thoughts are probably much closer to the GFS, but the chance for a stronger system like the Canadian cannot be ruled out. As I’ve said, these strong upper lows have a mind of their own.

This continues to be a milder overall pattern into next week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get cold shots and snow chances. That said, the main change back to the colder than normal pattern shows up in the days leading up to Christmas and into Christmas week. LOOK OUT BELOW:

Make it a great day and take care.

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Calm before a late week storm

Good Tuesday, folks. We have a very nice little break taking place across the region, but another storm system targets the region late this week. That looks like a big rain and wind maker for our region as the active 2018 pattern rolls on.

Temps today start around 20 and end in the 40-45 degree range with a mostly sunny sky. Wednesday’s weather looks mainly good with some late clouds moving in. I can’t rule out a light shower Wednesday night, but I’m not too excited about that possibility.

We have a big upper level low slowly working across the region for the second half of the week into the start of the weekend. These systems have a mind of their own because they’re cut off from the main flow.

The theme of the models is the same, but big differences show up in how they handle the actual powerhouse low pressure.

The GFS only gives the chance for some flakes on the backlash moisture, but has a clipper with snow following that up:

The Canadian has much more wraparound snows behind this storm, but does not have the GFS clipper:

The ICON is more in the mindset of the Canadian:

All of this is in an otherwise milder overall pattern across the country. That starts to change later next week as blocking shows back up. That’s likely good news for Christmas week as the pattern trends colder, with some snow chances trying to show up, too.  I’m dreaming of a… Ok, I won’t sing, but I bet you are now.

Have a terrific Tuesday and take care.

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Another busy weather week begins

Good Monday, folks. Our weekend winter storm didn’t disappoint for southern and southeastern Kentucky. Significant ice and snow accumulations hit many in these areas, causing power outages and forcing many school systems to cancel.

That system is now moving away, but the overall pattern remains super active for the week ahead.

Before we take a look down the road, let’s briefly talk about some lingering light snow this morning for a few areas. The best chance of seeing this is across the far southern and southeastern counties of the state:

A seasonal brand of cold is with us to start the week, with a big system lurking for the end of the week. Sandwiched in between is a sneaky little system that may try to bring rain and snow in here at some point Wednesday:

That’s the European Model and that action is on the leading edge of some milder air pushing in ahead of the big rain and wind maker late Thursday through Saturday. This comes via a monster upper level low that will likely spin overhead. This is a setup that has the potential to go from thunderstorms to snowflakes:

The overall pattern for the week ahead SHOULD be very mild, given the setup across North America. One way you know when you’re in for a good winter is when cold still finds a way to show up in these types of patterns, like what we are seeing on the above maps.

Things remain super active into the following week as mild air starts to get pushed around. Watch how the Ensembles go toward a deepening trough during this time:

See those higher heights starting to pop around Alaska toward the North Pole? That blocking then tries to really get established Christmas week. Look at that thumb ridge going up in those same areas in the days leading up to Christmas:

If you want the potential for a white Christmas, you want a hemispheric pattern similar to the one above.

Have a great Monday and take care.

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Tracking a winter storm for some

A Winter Storm is working across parts of the bluegrass state, bringing freezing rain, sleet and heavy snow. The majority of this action is across the southern half of the state, with southeastern Kentucky being especially hard hit.

Let’s start this out with a current look at the Winter Weather Alerts:

Significant amounts of freezing rain are very possible in some of the counties across the south and south central. That’s before some of these areas go over to snow. Power hits are possible in some of these areas.

Given the sleet and freezing rain issues, the snow forecast is a tough one. Obviously, areas seeing more freezing rain will get much less snow. That said, for those areas getting more snow… look out. A heavy, wet snowstorm is likely in those spots and that could also cause some tree and power issues. This will NOT work out perfectly because of the mixing issues, but it’s what I’ve got to show:

I do want to take a quick look at a few models that are throwing some big numbers out there for both snow and ice.

NAM Snowfall

NAM Freezing rain forecast 

Hi Res NAM snowfall forecast

Hi Res NAM freezing rain forecast

Here are your Sunday tracking tools:

Fort Campbell

Kentucky/Tennessee border on I-65

Bowling Green

Pine Mountain

Jenkins

Mountain Parkway near Slade

Richmond

South Lexington

Morehead

Make it a good one and take care.

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Winter Storm Warning Southeast

Good evening, folks. A developing winter storm continues to take aim at areas of the bluegrass state. This will bring snow and ice to many tonight, but it’s still a fine line we are walking across the northern half of the state. North of the line is pretty much nothing, south of the line you can get a lot of snow and ice.

We finally have a Winter Storm Warning for far southeastern Kentucky with a Winter Weather Advisory for many other areas…

The Advisory should be a bit farther north in the east and we should have more counties under a warning in the southeast.

A mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain will roll into these areas later this evening, with the bulk of the winter weather arriving late tonight into Sunday. Given the mixed precipitation types, it makes it difficult to talk specific snow totals. Areas that get more freezing rain will obviously come in on the low end of the snow totals. On the flip side, those who get less freezing rain will have quite a bit more snow on the ground.

As mentioned, it’s a VERY fine line between no precipitation and the band of moderate to heavy wintry precipitation. These lines are not the end all be all of where this thing winds up, as everything could shift a little farther north or south. Here’s my updated call…

I will get a final call out later this evening as I get a better handle on just how far north this may or may not get.

Here are your evening tracking tools:

Enjoy the evening and take care.

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Winter storm to hit parts of the region

Good Saturday, folks. We have a winter storm targeting parts of Kentucky later today through Sunday. While the bulk of the action will be in the south and southeast, there’s some wiggle room to get this thing to come a little farther north and west before all is said and done.

I would expect for Winter Storm Watches and Winter Weather Advisories to go up for parts of the region. That may happen pretty early today. Here’s your map to check those out:

I made a First Call for ice and snowfall last night on WKYT-TV. This was before the full suite of late evening models was in…

Do NOT get attached to those numbers and lines as I will be moving them around a couple of times today as I get a better handle on how this shakes out.  Some issues I foresee:

  • Freezing rain and sleet will complicate the snowfall part of the program. Areas that get more freezing rain or sleet will obviously get less snow and vice versa.
  • There is likely to be a super sharp cut off on the northern and wester edge of snow and freezing rain shield. I’m not exactly sure where that set up, to be honest.
  • Precipitation may try to creep in a little early today in the far south and southwest. As precip moves in, temps come down quickly.
  • The whole mess has a window of opportunity to keep edging farther north and west and, as I said on Thursday, that is a concern of mine.
  • None of this is set in stone. (DRINK!)
  • Please don’t pay attention to automated forecasts such as those that appear on apps. They have no human input and will have wild variations from hour to hour.

Let’s get you caught up on the latest computer forecast models. As of this writing, many of them continue to trend back toward what they were showing a day or two ago. That’s why I didn’t make knee jerk reactions when they temporally jumped ship on Friday.

The new version of the GFS is  farther north and west with the precip shield:

Here’s the snowfall map from that run:

You can also see the fairly expansive area of freezing rain it has:

The Canadian Model is very similar:

The snow map has more widespread action that gets pretty far north in the east:

The short range version of the Canadian was the lone model to not go jump ship for a time early Friday. It was the first to show a more north and west system and it hasn’t faltered:

That model has a little less snow than the main Canadian Model, but has much more freezing rain:

That freezing rain signature also shows up pretty strong on the Hi Res NAM across the south:

I will have updates later today, so check back. Until then, here are your radars to see the action developing to our south and southwest:

Have a good one and take care.

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Weekend storm targets the southeast

Good Friday, everyone. Much colder than normal air continues across the region on this Friday and the strength of the cold may play a role in our weekend winter storm potential. This system continues to target mainly the southern and southeastern parts of Kentucky.

The high to the north is so strong that its forcing the storm on a far southern track. That makes it tough to get precipitation too far north into the bluegrass state, but exactly where that snow and ice line get’s remains to be seen.

The greatest threat for snow and ice continues to target areas of the southeast. Farther north, I’m leaving open some room in case this system drifts back to the north:

This system hasn’t even formed yet, so the models are still struggling with how to put all the storm ingredients together.

The two heavy hitters in the modeling world are the GFS and the European Models. They are giving only far southern and southeastern Kentucky some snow action, and it’s much lighter than the other models. You can see this well on the GFS:

As of this writing, it’s those two models against the rest of the modelling world. The NAM continues to be north and west with the snow and freezing rain shield:

That particular run put a hurting on southeastern Kentucky:

The Hi-Res NAM only goes through daybreak Sunday, but is even farther north and west with the storm system:

Here’s the snow forecast from that same run…

Both of the NAM models are spitting out some freezing rain accumulations, too.

The new version of the GFS is more similar to the NAM fam than it is to the GFS and Euro Duo:

Have a great day and take care.

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All eyes on the weekend

Good Thursday, everyone. We have another light snow maker rolling into town this evening, but the main focus of the forecast continues to be on a possible weekend winter storm impact to parts of the state.

Before we get to that potential, let’s talk about the light snow maker diving in here from the northwest. It’s along and just behind another cold front. That can put down light accumulations into parts of the region from late this evening into the wee hours of Friday morning.

Here are your radars to track the late day action:

As we inch closer to the weekend and a possible winter storm impact, I was hoping for a little more help from the computer forecast models. Sadly, that’s not the case. The overnight runs are giving us the biggest model fight of the event, so far.

In terms of the weekend winter storm potential, I will keep this map going for the time being:

The GFS matches up pretty well with that:

Here’s the snapshot of that model run for snowfall:

Freezing rain forecast from that particular run:

The Canadian Model is a smidge farther south, but is also similar:

Here’s the snow map from that particular run:

The new version of the GFS had been super consistent in how it was handling this storm system. The latest run took a little stroll to the south:

The European Model also took a south stroll, but it really looks to be having some big issues again:

The Euro has been the most inconsistent of all the models to this point and that’s sad to see.

When we find operational models in disagreement, it’s always good to look at the Ensembles. They are made up of many different runs that show an average. The GFS Ensembles are holding serve from what they had earlier:

As you can see, nothing is set in stone with this system and we have a lot of details that still need to be worked out.

Have a great day and take care.

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Tracking light snow and a bigger system

Good Wednesday, folks. We continue to see rounds of light snow and snow showers working across the state early today. This is dropping some light accumulations, leading to slick spots on area roads.

This may wind up being an appetizer to a bigger storm system trying to target parts of the state this weekend. I’ll get to that in a moment, but let’s begin with today’s light snow.

A Winter Weather Advisory is out for parts of Kentucky into the early afternoon. Light accumulations range from a coating to as much as 1″ in a few spots. This action will diminish from west to east during the morning.

Here are your light snow tracking toys:

Hamburg Area from WKYT Studio
Lexington

I-75 @ Newtown Pike
Lexington

I-75 MP 127
Georgetown

I-64 at KY-801
Near Morehead

I-64 MP 97
Winchester
I-64 WB @ MP 97

Mountain Parkway @ MP 36
Near Pine Ridge

Florence

No image available.

Covington

No image available.

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Louisville

No image available.

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E-town

No image available.

Another weak system dives in here late Thursday into Thursday night. This should have a band of light snow with it, and some light accumulations are possible:

As far as the winter storm potential is concerned for the weekend and early next week, with each passing day, confidence increases of some kind of impact on our weather. If you’re a regular reader, this is a storm signal we have been talking about on the blog for more than a week already. The signal is the easy part… pinpointing the details is the hard part.

Let’s begin with the area of greatest potential. This is a map I put together for WKYT before the latest computer model runs:

That’s a rough outline that will be adjusted several times in the coming days.

As expected, the latest models are beginning to shake off their respective biases and are coming more into line with one another. The European Model is ridding itself of the convective feedback issues and is now showing a farther north and west storm system with a big hit on our region:

That’s a slow-moving storm system that would last from Saturday through early Tuesday. The end result:

The average snow map from the GFS Ensembles has been hinting at a more widespread and farther north solution for days now. The latest run is no different:

The most consistent operational model has been the new version of the GFS. It has had this similar solution for days now with very few hiccups:

The GFS is finally coming around to this same look:

The Canadian has it too:

What is the takeaway from where we are right now? It’s looking more and more likely that a winter storm will have an impact on Kentucky’s weather. The extent of that impact remains to be seen and I’m still not sure where that greatest impact winds up. That’s going to be my focus of the next few days.

Enjoy the day and take care.

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