Chris Bailey's Kentucky Weather Just another Blogs weblog Wed, 22 Nov 2017 06:58:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tracking the busy travel day weather Wed, 22 Nov 2017 06:58:21 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Wednesday to one and all. It’s here! The busiest travel day of the year is underway, and the weather looks to cooperate for most folks. Mainly dry weather is joining a big blast of cold air to kick off that long Thanksgiving holiday period.

A cold front is pushing through early in the morning, knocking temps into the 20s to begin the day. Wind chills could flirt with the teens early on. Highs on Wednesday are generally in the upper 30s and low 40s:

Thanksgiving Day will feature temps in the 20s in the morning and 40s in the afternoon. That’s colder than normal, but nothing we can’t handle. There will be a mix of sun and clouds.

Black Friday shoppers appear to have nice weather, too. The morning starts with temps in the upper 20s and low 30s, and in the low 50s in the afternoon. Winds will gust during the day.

Those winds will really crank Saturday as a weak cold front drops in from the northwest. Gusts could reach 30 mph at times, and I can’t rule out a light shower.

Colder air moves in for Sunday and Monday, with the mainly dry weather rolling on.

Speaking of rolling on, I have you all set to track the travel weather across Kentucky:

Hamburg Area from WKYT Studio

I-75 @ Winchester Road
I-75 @ Winchester Road

I-75 @ Iron Works Pike

I-75 @ Clays Ferry Bridge South
Between Lexington and Richmond

US 60 @ US 127 Frankfort

US60 @ US127

US 60 @ US 460
US60 @ US460

US 60 @ Chenault Road
Near Millville
US60 @ Chenault Road

I-75 MP 127
I75 NB @ MP 127

I-64 MP 97
I-64 WB @ MP 97

Mountain Parkway near Slade

I-71/I-75 at I-275
Near Covington
I-71/I-75 @ I-275

I-275 at Mineola Pike
Near Covington
I-275 @ Mineola Pike

I-275 approaching KY 20/Airport
Near Covington
I-275 East of KY 20/Airport Exit

I-65 MP 32

Downtown Louisville @ 2nd & Broadway
Downtown Louisville @ 2nd & Broadway

I-64 @ I-264
I-64 @ I-264

I-264 @ Freedom Way
Near Louisville International Airport
I-264 @ Freedom Way

I-75 at MP 36
I-75 @ MP 36

I-75 at MP 23

I-75 @ MP 23

I-24 MP 7 @ US 62
I-24 MP 7 @ US62

I-65 MP 36
Near Bowling Green
I-65 MP 36

Have a safe travel day and take care.

Two cold shots on the way Tue, 21 Nov 2017 06:20:18 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Tuesday, folks. Our long Thanksgiving holiday weekend is just about to kick off, and we are tracking two cold shots. These blasts of chill look to bookend the big weekend, but will they bring any kind of precipitation? Let’s get after it and find out.

Highs Tuesday reach the low 50s on a gusty wind from the southwest. This is ahead of our first cold front, arriving later Tuesday night. This front might touch off a light shower, with a snowflake mixing in, across the north:


Temps take a dive behind the front and are back in the 20s by Wednesday morning. Highs on the busy travel day will be way below normal: upper 30s and low 40s:

Thanksgiving Day is very cold to start, with temps deep into the 20s. Afternoon highs reach the 40s with mainly sunny skies.

Black Friday looks windy, with lows in the upper 20s in the morning and highs of 45 to 50 in the afternoon. Clouds will increase ahead of our next cold front, which arrives Saturday. This front will bring a gusty line of rain with it:

Once again, temps tumble behind the front on a strong northwesterly wind. The GFS gets those winds in good shape to deliver some snow showers and flurries from Lake Michigan on Sunday:

That’s a darn cold air mass showing up in the eastern part of the country late this weekend and early next week:

Make it a great Tuesday and take care.

A colder-than-normal holiday week Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:15:52 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Monday, everyone. We have made it to Thanksgiving week, and our weather pattern continues to look colder than normal. I’m tracking two shots of cold that try to bookend the long holiday weekend.

Our Monday is a chilly but dry one. Morning lows are in the 20s, with a wind chill in the teens. Afternoon readings will rebound into the 40s with a mix of sun and clouds.

Another cold front arrives Tuesday night, bringing a blast of cold for the busy travel day Wednesday. The European model even shows a slight chance of a rain or snow shower behind the front in Northern Kentucky:

The air behind this is much colder than normal for Wednesday. Several models keep the highs in the mid- and upper 30s:

Winds will be gusty, so it will feel quite a bit colder than that,

Thanksgiving looks mainly dry, with lows in the 20s in the morning and afternoon temps from 40 to 45. Winds will still be rather gusty, adding a bit of a chill to the air.

Temps for Black Friday shoppers will be in the 20s for the wee hours of Friday morning.

The numbers briefly return to near normal to start the weekend, but another cold front moves in from the northwest. The GFS ensembles have done a fantastic job showing our “bookend” cold shots for the long Thanksgiving weekend. You can see both showing up on this animation:

The operational models continue to be confused by exactly how to handle those shots, so you’re going to get some big swings. I recall saying the same exact thing a week ago about the big storm system that just moved through here. Remember how many of them lost the intensity of the storm and the cold coming behind it? You just have to realize operational models are going to do that. It’s the nature of the beast, and that’s why it’s so important not to waffle with each run.

Have a wonderful Monday and take care.

The winter forecast Sun, 19 Nov 2017 07:08:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Sunday, everyone. With colder winds blowing, and a few snowflakes flying around, it’s a good day to focus on the upcoming winter. Will we see another mild and snowless one? Will the pattern revert back to the one that produced the huge snows a few years ago?

Let’s get into it.

The first thing you need to know is, this will not be a repeat of last winter. This November is a little colder than normal, standing in stark contrast to the blowtorch November from last year. That’s likely giving us an indication of where the winter is going.

Here’s are the headlines for the winter ahead:

Much of my forecast comes from a combination of analog years I’ve put together. These come from looking back at years that produced similar conditions to the current year we are about to wrap up, and also looking at the global signals. I then look to see how those following winters turned out to get an idea on where this one may be going.

The global signal that I like to look at comes from the equatorial Pacific. This year, we have a weak La Nina developing. This is where waters are a little colder than normal. This year’s La Nina is east based, just off the coast of Peru:

The east based La Nina signal is typically a colder look for us in the eastern half of the country.

I also look well to our north to see what, if any, blocking is setting up. Blocking high pressures over the arctic, Greenland or Alaska can often send cold air from Canada into the eastern half of the country. We are likely to see these blocks developing on occasion:

The overall temperature signal is normal to slightly colder than normal for the winter ahead:

That said, there is nothing “normal” about the temperatures I expect this winter. More on that in a moment.

What about snows? La Ninas usually average normal to slightly above normal around here. But, how do we get these snows?

It’s been several years since we have had true “clipper” systems diving in from the northwest. These are usually light snowfall makers around here and I think we break our clipper drought this winter:

The other signal for the winter is for a above normal precipitation across our region. That doesn’t mean it comes as all snow or all rain. This wetter than normal setup should increase as the winter wears on, with low pressure systems coming at us from the Gulf of Mexico. Some can bring rain, some can bring snow, and some can bring ice:

Each of those systems will be handled on a case by case basis. It’s all about the track of the low when determining what type of precipitation we get.

Snowfall numbers are a little above normal, but not by much:

Normal for Lexington is approximately 15″. If that forecast is going to bust, there is a greater chance for more snow than forecast than less snow than forecast.

Here’s your month by month breakdown:

Notice how I’m expecting a milder end to winter in relation to normal. Many of the years I’ve looked at had an early start to spring. Obviously, that has not been the trend of recent years, but this one may buck the trend. That could also set the stage for an early start to the severe weather season to go along with a flood threat.

Last year broke my streak of hitting three consecutive bold predictions. Here’s the call for this year:

Some dramatic temperature swings are likely for the upcoming winter.

Make it a great Sunday and take care.

High winds hit the region Sat, 18 Nov 2017 05:57:03 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Saturday to one and all. A powerful storm system is crossing into the Ohio Valley today, bringing high winds and thunderstorms. This system will also bring a touch of winter behind it for Sunday.

Here’s a breakdown of how the weekend unfolds:

  • Winds today will gust to 40-5mph at times. Those gusts may be even higher along and just ahead of the front this afternoon.
  • A line of strong thunderstorms impacts the region this afternoon and early evening. Those have a chance to go severe, with damaging winds the primary threat.
  • Temps today hit the low and middle 60s ahead of the front.
  • As the front sweeps through this evening, temps drop through the 40s and into the 30s.
  • A few snowflakes may mix in with the departing rains later tonight.
  • Sunday will be very windy and cold with a few flurries around. Highs will only be in the 30s, but wind chill numbers are in the 20s all day long.

I have you all set to track the action:

Current watches
Current Watches

Possible watch areas
Current MDs

Make it a great Saturday and take care.

A wild weekend of weather ahead Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:10:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Friday, everyone. We are rolling our way into a wild weekend of weather. A potent storm system cranks up as it moves into the region on Saturday, bringing everything from strong storms to a few snowflakes.

The storm today is developing out in the plains states and will work toward the Great Lakes this weekend. This will give us mainly dry skies today, with a mix of clouds and sun. Temps start cold, but moderate into the 50s this afternoon.

Those numbers will rise tonight and Saturday as the storm approaches from the west. This front then slams in here later Saturday with a line of showers and strong storms:

Winds are going to be cranking and can reach 50mph with gusts Friday night and Saturday.

In addition to the high winds, a few of the storms may even go severe. Here’s the latest from the Storm Prediction Center:

Temps hit the 60s in ahead of the front, then crash 20-30 degrees behind it. That may lead to some wet snows mixing in with the rain by Saturday night. The NAM keeps showing this:

The simulated radar from the Hi Res NAM even shows a little comma head of snow dipping into northern Kentucky:

Strong northwesterly winds then kick on for a cold Sunday. This should be able to deliver some snow flurries to central and eastern Kentucky. The far east may see some out and out snow showers:

It continues to be interesting to see the operational models going toward what the GFS Ensembles have been showing for a while now with the late weekend flake chances:

Have a fantastic Friday and take care.

Some big changes for the weekend Thu, 16 Nov 2017 06:59:25 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Thursday, folks. Our weekend is just around the corner, and things are looking very interesting. We have a strong storm system ready to blast into the region, bringing everything from strong storms to the chance of some snowflakes.

Before we get to that system, we have a chilly wind blowing out there Thursday. Skies will feature a mix of clouds and sun, with highs in the 40s.

The arrival of our weekend storm has been pushed back a few hours, with the bulk of the action coming Saturday. Watch how this system really cranks up across the Great Lakes:

We might see a low-topped line of strong thunderstorms racing across the region Saturday. With our without the storms, we will have a high-wind threat. Gusts of 40 mph to 50 mph will be possible:

This storm is just getting to within the range of the NAM, and the model is showing a little wraparound mix of rain and snow developing late Saturday evening:

The GFS ensembles keep spitting out the chance of a few snowflakes in the east for Sunday:

Thanksgiving week is likely to throw additional cold shots our way, with the next shot arriving by the busy travel day Wednesday:

That’s a cold look, with more cold likely showing up later Thanksgiving weekend. Could we get some snowflakes to go along with that? That’s at least a possibility.

Have a great Thursday and take care.

Our busy pattern gets started Wed, 15 Nov 2017 07:06:17 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Wednesday, folks. The active weather pattern we’ve been touting, gets started with a cold front moving in. This looks to be the appetizer to a much bigger storm system rolling into town this weekend.

As our cold front moves closer Wednesday, rain will arrive from west to east. The greatest chance of rain comes in the afternoon and evening, along with very gusty winds. Temps could spike into the 50s ahead of the rain, then drop into the 40s as the drops kick in:

Thursday finds us fighting lots of clouds with a chilly wind blowing. Temps could struggle into the low and middle 40s in many areas.

That brings us to our weekend storm system.

This will be a very strong storm system, but it’s not looking like the powerhouse it was a few days ago. Winds are going to be the main problem around here, with gusts of 40 mph or greater from Friday evening through Saturday morning. That’s when the front slams in with showers and some low-topped thunderstorms:

That strong northwesterly wind really kicks in for a very cold Sunday. Depending on the exact direction of that wind, a few flurries will be possible, especially in the east:

Wind chills with this could drop into the teens at times late Sunday and Monday morning.

Another cold shot then shows up by Wednesday into Thanksgiving Day of next week. We are about a week away from that cold shot, so the delivery method of that cold will change. The latest GFS shows some cold turkey:

This particular model run has some frigid wind chills to start the big holiday:

I mentioned earlier how the European model seems to be having trouble in how it’s handling the pattern over the next week or so. It was a model that was the first to show the upcoming cold shots, then all the others came aboard. Now, the Euro has really scaled things back.  Normally, I side with the European, but drastic changes in a model family tend to make me a little skittish. Plus, the troughs ejecting from the southwest would seemingly play into the bias of the model.

To illustrate the point, compare and contrast the snowflake potential from the ensembles over the next 2 weeks:



Have a great day and take care.

Things are about to get very busy Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:18:45 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Tuesday, folks. We have a seasonally chilly air mass in place across the region, but it’s the weekend taking center stage. This is when a potent storm system moves our way with some wild weather.

Let’s start with Tuesday.

Highs will be in the upper 40s to low 50s in many areas, with a mix of sun and clouds.

Those clouds will quickly thickenWednesday as rain returns during the afternoon and evening. Those showers should be able to put down a quarter of an inch in some areas:

Temps behind this front will take a bit of a dip again Thursday. Highs from the NAM show this well:

From there, it’s all eyes on the big weekend storm system. The GFS now seems to have a very good handle on the evolution of this bad boy:

That’s trending more toward the Canadian model in terms of intensity and the winds behind it.

Behind that weekend storm system, northwesterly winds might try to produce a few snowflakes around here into early next week. The exact wind direction will come into play on this, but it’s something to watch for. The GFS ensembles show this potential:


The GFS then shows our next plunge of cold coming Tuesday night and Wednesday next week:

The GFS ensembles have been very consistent on the weekend cold leading us into a very cold Thanksgiving week. Check out the temperature anomalies through the holiday weekend:

The same model run does show an increase in the flake potential during the same time:

Make it a terrific Tuesday and take care.

A busy pattern before Thanksgiving Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:22:16 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Good Monday to one and all. We have a very busy pattern taking shape this week, and that’s likely to roll into Thanksgiving week. This setup take on more of a winter look before the big day arrives.

Lots of clouds will be with us Monday with highs on the seasonal side. That seasonal brand of chill carries us through the middle of the week, when another shower-maker arrives. The greatest chance of rain is on Wednesday.

All eyes continue to be on a potent storm system rolling our way for Friday and early Saturday.

This one has the looks of a big-time wind maker across our region, and it might even throw some strong storms our way:

A big temp spike ahead of that front will be followed by a big temp drop behind it. The real cold lags just behind the front and arrives Saturday night and Sunday:

If a true northwesterly wind develops Sunday or Sunday night, then some snowflakes will be possible. Some of the recent models have been showing this possibility:

That might be a huge lake-effect outbreak following this storm.

The various operational models will have the usual wild swings on how the pattern looks. You will see big changes from run to run, because that’s what operational models do from this far out. The ensembles are made up of dozens of individual runs, spitting out the average from each. Granted, the data is smoothed out, but it’s a good indication of where the pattern goes.

The GFS ensembles show a healthy cold shot late this weekend, with cold digging in for Thanksgiving week:

Those same “smoothed-out” ensembles are also showing snowflake chances late this weekend through Thanksgiving weekend:

Even individual runs of the operational members show the wintry potential from time to time. The GFS shows this for Thanksgiving:

The Canadian model also is showing some wintry potential in the lead-up to Thanksgiving:

Make it a great Monday and take care.