A wintry weekend ahead

Good Thursday, folks. Winter is back in the bluegrass state as cold temps and snow flurries continue. These flurries are the opening act to a much bigger system arriving this weekend, bringing accumulating snow and a messy mix to the region.

Let’s begin with today. Wind chills are frigid with high single digits to low teens to start the day, and low 20s to end it. Snow showers are putting down light accumulations across central and eastern Kentucky and that could cause a few slick roads early today.

Here’s your regional radar:

This is the opening act to our weekend winter storm. I’m still rolling with this general theme:

Again, all of that is subject to be moved a little farther north or south with future updates today and Friday.

Here’s a breakdown of how things stand:

  • This is a Friday night through Sunday night event that may actually include 3 different waves of precipitation.
  • The first wave arrives from west to east late Friday evening into Saturday morning and is mainly in the form of snow. This likely delivers accumulations to areas of western, central and northern parts of the state. Some of that may make it into the east and southeast.
  • That Friday night/Saturday morning setup has a chance to overachieve.
  • There may be a lull in precipitation for a time Saturday afternoon and evening, with mainly rain falling across the southern half of the state. That rain line may get as far north as the Interstate 64 corridor for a time.
  • As the second low passes to our southeast Saturday night and early Sunday, the next wave of precipitation really kicks in. This may still be in rain form across the southern half of the state, with snow across the northern half.
  • A third, weaker, system develops Sunday night into Monday with light snow across central and eastern Kentucky.
  • Given the fact this will be a roughly 3 day event, snow depth may never actually match snowfall. I haven’t even mentioned any kind of totals at this point, but should have a First Call For Snowfall around noon or so.
  • Moral of the story, the farther north you go in the state, the better the chance for several inches of snow. The farther south, that potential goes way, way down.

Let’s do a quick check of what the various computer models are showing. The European Model keeps spitting out a decent hit for much of the region, with the emphasis on the northern half of the state. Here are two different snowfall maps from the same run. One uses the standard 10 to 1 ratio while the other uses the Kuchera ratio:


Kuchera Ratio

Keep in mind those are snowfall numbers through Monday.

The Canadian Model is in very good agreement with the European:

The NAM is a funky model with snow setups like this because it loves to overdue warm air advection, which leads to anomalously high precipitation totals. The run only goes through Sunday morning, but fell in love with north central Kentucky:

Again, the NAM is VERY likely overdoing things and is the model voted most likely to have wild swings from run to run. 🙂

That brings us to the GFS, which seems to be having issues of the opposite kind. It continues to run much drier with this storm than every other model. It’s snow shield looks undercooked in all areas on the map:

Have a great day and take care.

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