A busy pattern for Christmas weekend

Good Tuesday, everyone. Christmas is fast approaching, and we have a true winter weather threat lurking for the big weekend. It’s a very active and cold-looking setup evolving this weekend into Christmas week.

Between now and then, we have a lot of weather to track.

It all starts with a southern storm system coming at us for Wednesday. This is a system that will throw heavy rain into the southern half of the state, with the potential for a few flakes to mix in on the northern edge of the rain.

Here’s the future radar from the hi-res NAM:

Here’s where that run thinks has the best chance of seeing the snowflake action:

The new GFS is similar:

I’m not sold on the flakes, but the chance is increasing as we inch closer.

Our strong cold front then arrives Friday with a wave of low pressure riding along it. This should bring heavy rain across Kentucky, with cold air trying to catch the back edge by Saturday morning. That could mean a switch to a mix of some snow.

That front then slows down over the weekend, with another wave or two of low pressure developing along it. The European model continues to edge all this a little farther east, as it slowly loses the bias of holding too much energy in the southwest:

Taken verbatim, that run shows rain to ice to snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:

Here’s the snow map from that particular run:

The new GFS is much flatter with that setup, as it now shows bitterly cold air crushing the pattern. Still, the model has a swath of light accumulating snow for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning:

Once again, the bias of that model is to be a little too far east and flat with such systems. That said, the above scenario is certainly plausible. I’m more concerned about the cold pushing systems to our east, than any system wrapping up and going to our west.

I want to be clear, these are only models we are looking at, and they will all change from run to run. It’s still way too early to give anything specific on what kind of precipitation or how much. All I’m doing is breaking down the models and showing how they are looking a lot like the pattern we’ve been talking about here.

Look at the low temps coming from the GFS for Christmas night:

That basically shows a repeat of Christmas week 1983.

It’s interesting to note, the European model has similar lows just a few days later:

Make it a great Tuesday and take care.

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