Tracking the winter storm

Good Friday to one and all. After back-to-back record highs, a winter storm is moving across Kentucky, bringing significant amounts of snow and ice. This will lead to some nasty travel conditions as the day wears on.

Here’s a breakdown of how this might play out:

  • The temperature drop Friday is nothing short of astounding. As the front moves through, temps can drop 20 to 30 degrees in an hour or so.
  • Winds are going to be a big player through Friday night, with gusts reaching 30 mph or greater.
  • The transition from rain to freezing rain and sleet will work east, reaching Eastern Kentucky this afternoon. Here’s hoping for more sleet than freezing rain.
  • The transition to snow takes place early Friday in the west, reaching Central Kentucky in the afternoon, then Eastern Kentucky during the evening hours.
  • We are likely to see an area of enhanced snow setting up across the region from late afternoon into the evening. Areas under that may pick up snow at a rate of 1 to 2 inches an hour or so.
  • Snowfall totals will depend on how quickly the transition from freezing rain and sleet to snow is where you live. The quicker the transition, the more snow. The slower, the less snow.

Here’s my current call:

Much of that won’t fall until the evening hours, so be patient. Also, understand that the weather doesn’t follow lines or abide by what I think it should do. The lines and totals are a general estimate. 😉

I made that map Thursday afternoon, and it looks as if the new European model had the same idea:

Here’s the ice forecast from the Euro:

As always, I have the blog set up to be your one-stop shop for tracking tools:

Hamburg Area from WKYT Studio
Lexington

Fifth Third Pavilion Live Cam
Downtown Lexington

I-75 @ Newtown Pike
Lexington

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

US 60 @ US 127
Frankfort
US60 @ US127

US 60 @ Chenault Road
Near Millville
US60 @ Chenault Road

Louisville
Downtown Louisville @ 2nd & Broadway

Bardstown

I-65 MP 92.4
Elizabethtown

Louie B Nunn MP 3
Near Glasgow
Louie B Nunn MP 3

Natcher Parkway MP 5
Near Bowling Green
Natcher Parkway @ MP 5

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

I-64 at KY-801
Near Morehead

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

I-71/I-75 at Buttermilk Pike
Near Covington
I-71/I-75 @ Buttermilk Pike

I-71/I-75 at 12th St.
Covington
I-71/I-75 @ 12th St. in Covington

Winchester

Georgetown

Stay safe out there and make it a great Friday. Take care.

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Winter storm moves in Friday

Good Thursday, everyone. While we are flirting with record highs out there today, a winter storm is brewing and it is rolling our way in less than 24 hours. This setup goes from mild to wild in a hurry late Thursday night and Friday morning.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Highs Thursday reach the middle 60s, potentially setting another record high in Lexington. 66 is the number to shoot for.
  • Gusty showers and some rumbles of thunder will be possible.
  • Friday morning gets the winter party started. Cold air surges in from the west, with a 20- to 30-degree temperature drop in less than an hour.
  • Rain quickly changes to sleet, freezing rain then snow from west to east.
  • Significant amounts of snow and ice are possible from midday Friday through Saturday morning.

Here’s my current call for ice and snowfall:

Those numbers will be updated later Thursday, as I continue to get a better handle on how the storm looks to behave.

As far as models go, I like what the European model is doing. Watch the quick transition to ice and snow starting early Friday, with snow going through Saturday morning:

The freezing rain forecast from that model is impressive, especially across the west:

Here’s the snow forecast that comes on top of the freezing rain:

The NAM is similar to that, but isn’t as enthusiastic with the snow band in central Kentucky, The model is still spitting some hefty amounts:

The high-res NAM goes only through 7 a.m. Saturday, but you can see it picking up on the heavy snow band,  but just a bit west of the European model and the map from above:

That run of the NAM is trending eastward with that main snow setup.

Frigid temps come in behind this system over the weekend, with another snow maker quickly moving in Monday and Tuesday:

That has the potential to put down a few more inches of snow, with bitterly cold air settling in with it.

I will have another update later Thursday, so check back. Have a great day and take care.

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Update on the potential late-week storm

Good afternoon, everyone. I wanted to drop by for a quick update on the potential for a late-week winter storm to hit our region. This system will roll in Friday, with crashing temps and the potential for rain to change to ice and then snow.

There are a ton of uncertainties with this storm, including the track of the low and precipitation amounts.

My current thinking is that western and parts of Central Kentucky have the greatest risk on seeing significant amounts of snow (4 inches or more) or ice:

That risk is lower the farther east and southeast that you live. Still, it’s a fluid situation that is likely to change over the next day or two.

Enjoy the sunshine of Wednesday and take care.

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Watching a possible late-week winter storm

Good Wednesday to one and all. Milder air is moving in for a few days, but the main focus of the forecast is on a potential winter storm by Friday and Saturday. Depending on the track of this storm, it could bring significant amounts of snow and ice to parts of our region.

Before we get to all that, let’s quickly talk about the weather Wednesday. Highs will surge well into the 50s as southwesterly winds kick in. A few showers will be on the move:

Highs by Thursday could hit the 60 to 65 degree range in much of central and eastern Kentucky. Winds will gust as showers and thunderstorms develop.

This action is ahead of a modified arctic front moving in from the west. That front will slowly work across the state Thursday night and Friday, bringing a dramatic temperature drop from west to east.

At the same time, a developing storm system will be working northeastward along the front. That is likely to spawn significant winter weather across our region. Who has the best chance of getting in on the action? It’s early in the game, and the computer models are showing a healthy spread.

I’m going to show you each computer model, but I don’t want you to get too attached to any of them. Forecast models can exhibit wild swings from run to run. Also, these are not  a forecast from me. I hope to have a first call map out later in the day.

Let’s start with the NAM:

If this run of the NAM even comes slow to verifying, it’s a shutdown storm for much of the region. Significant amounts of ice and snow both show up:

Freezing rain

Snowfall

The new European model isn’t that far away from it. Watch the transition from rain to freezing rain and sleet, then snow:

That first image is Thursday night, with Saturday afternoon on the final image.

Here’s the freezing-rain accumulation map from that run:

And the snow map:

The GFS is a little farther east and colder with the overall setup. It takes the low toward West Virginia then seems to jump the low east of the mountains. Here’s the transition from rain to sleet and freezing rain then to snow:

The above images start Thursday night and end Saturday afternoon.

The precipitation on the GFS looks a little suspect and is probably underdone. Here’s what that run shows for ice:

That’s very disjointed and suggests that the model is having a few issues. The snow map from the same run has a significant hit for many areas, but nothing earth-shattering:

The Canadian model seems to have a similar line of thinking, with the low going from Tennessee to West Virginia, then jumping east of the mountains:

The Canadian keeps the ice threat in the west and far north:

Compared to the GFS, the Canadian is much snowier, but it also seems to be a little disjointed with the precipitation output:

I will update things later Wednesday, so check back. Make it a good one and take care.

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A wild setup on the way

Good Tuesday, everyone. We have a few milder days ahead of us, but some dramatic changes are on the way later this week into the weekend. That’s when we see another extreme-looking pattern settling into the region. This could bring everything from thunderstorms to snow.

Before we get to all that, we have some ugly weather out there Tuesday. Fog and low clouds will be stubborn, with areas of drizzle hanging around.

A few showers will then develop Tuesday night, as warmer air moves in from the southwest. Here’s regional radar to track whatever is out there:

The setup for later this week into the weekend continues to look pretty awesome for weather nerds. We have a significant trough digging through the region Friday and Saturday. Check out the negative tilt on this trough:

That setup will spawn a major temperature gradient and will fire up a big Ohio Valley winter storm.

Here’s the GFS for Thursday afternoon:

Temps then crash from west to east Thursday night into Friday. Here’s the GFS by Friday night:

That’s a 40- to 50-degree swing in roughly 24 to 30 hours.

This gradient is showing up along a modified arctic front, with low pressure developing along it. That low is likely to target the Ohio Valley for a winter storm Friday and Saturday. The exact track of this low will determine what happens in your backyard, and it’s too early to know how that plays out.

The latest GFS has a nice hit for our region:

The European model is the most wrapped up with this storm; therefore, it’s a little slower and farther west. However, we are seeing the model trend farther east with this storm.

If we look at the individual members of the GFS ensembles, we find many of them targeting the Bluegrass State:

It’s too early to tell just how much of an impact this will have on the weather where you live, but it’s not as if we are talking about a system a week away. This could begin as early as Thursday night.

Bitterly cold air comes in behind that system, with single digits possible again. That sets the stage for another possible system to throw some winter weather at us early next week:

Have a great Tuesday and take care.

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Winter weather tracker

Good Monday to one and all. A winter weather-maker is working across the state, leaving behind a mixed bag of weather. A combination of a wintry mix and frozen ground are making for travel troubles.

Here are some quick thoughts before we roll out your tracking tools for the day:

  • Freezing rain, sleet, rain and some snow are all possible across our region Monday, especially early.
  • With the ground frozen and road temps in the low 20s, anything that falls is going to create slick travel conditions Monday morning.
  • Even with temps above freezing, the frozen ground is going to make things icy. That’s especially true for untreated roads, sidewalks and parking lots.
  • This is not a major precipitation event, but the travel impact will be moderate to high.
  • Conditions should slowly improve in the afternoon as temps cause the ground to slowly thaw some.

Here are your trackers of the day:

Hamburg Area from WKYT Studio
Lexington

Fifth Third Pavilion Live Cam
Downtown Lexington

I-64 at KY-801
Near Morehead

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

I-71/I-75 at Buttermilk Pike
Near Covington
I-71/I-75 @ Buttermilk Pike

I-71/I-75 at 12th St.
Covington
I-71/I-75 @ 12th St. in Covington

US 60 @ US 127
Frankfort
US60 @ US127

Winchester

Georgetown

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

I-64 at KY-801
Near Morehead

Maysville

Jenkins

London

Pine Mountain

Bardstown

I-65 MP 92.4
Elizabethtown

Stay safe out there and take care.

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Winter weather advisory Sunday night and Monday

Good afternoon, everyone. I wanted to drop by for an update on the icy weather moving into the region later Sunday night and Monday. It’s not a major storm system, but it’s going to cause some significant travel problems.

A winter weather advisory is out for all of Central and Eastern Kentucky through Monday afternoon:

My thoughts on the setup haven’t changed over the past few days:

The impacts remain the same, with icy roads being the main problem.

Here’s regional radar to track the mess from the west:

I will have your full network of tracking tools with my overnight update. Enjoy your Sunday and take care.

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Winter weather moves in Sunday night

Good Sunday to one and all. Our record setting run of bitterly cold air comes to an end today, but Old Man Winter isn’t going away. We have a high impact winter weather maker moving in Sunday night and Monday.

Before we get to the winter weather potential, let’s talk about the historic cold wave.

Temps on Sunday morning are back in the single digits, marking the seventh straight day of singles or colder for Lexington. That’s the first time that has ever happened to open up a new year. It also ties February 1978 and January 1918 for the second-longest streak on record. Eight is the record, from January 1994.

Lexington has not been above freezing since Christmas Eve, 13 days ago. This is our sixth-longest such streak on record. There’s a chance that Sunday stays below freezing, bumping us up to tie for number three on the list.

As far as the winter weather potential is concerned, here are my latest thoughts:

  • A wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain develops from west to east Sunday evening into early Monday morning.
  • It is incredibly difficult to pinpoint any one precipitation type for any location. The same can also be said for the duration of each precipitation type.
  • Ground temperatures are well below freezing, so it won’t take much of whatever falls to create slick roads where you live.
  • The greatest travel impact comes early Monday morning.
  • Let’s clear something up… This does NOT look like an ice storm.

Here’s my current thinking on what to expect:

Things look a little wild later this week.

The late-week system continues to look pretty darn awesome and amazing. Let’s start with the temperatures on Thursday afternoon:

Fast forward to Friday night:

That’s around a 50-degree drop in roughly 24 to 30 hours. The Bold Prediction is watching this carefully. 😉

With that kind of a spread, there’s bound to be some action along the front. Sure enough, we have a thunderstorm to mix and snow setup on the models, with the potential for low pressure to develop on the front.

Here’s the GFS:

The Canadian is similar:

 

I will have another update coming your way later Sunday afternoon. Make it a good one and take care.

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A wintry mess possible by Sunday night

Good Saturday, everyone. We continue to deal bitterly cold temps to start the weekend, but a messy mix is on the way to end the weekend. That may create some nasty travel conditions by Sunday night and Monday.

Let us begin with today and roll forward.

Highs will only reach the upper teens and low 20s with a mix of sun and high clouds. Winds will add that extra chill to the air. Later tonight, temps make a run back into the upper single digits. That would give us single digit or lower temps in each of the first 7 days of the year. That’s never happened before in Lexington.

I have no changes to my thoughts about the late Sunday into Monday system. The models should continue to trend a little colder as we get closer, leading to more of a wintry mix than what they are already showing. All modes of precipitation are possible, and the frozen ground is a BIG concern of mine.

Here’s my current look of what to expect:

The individual threats look like this:

With the frozen ground, icy roads are pretty much a given from later Sunday evening into, at least, the first part of Monday.

If you plan on traveling during this time, you may want to consider altering those travel plans around the worst of the weather.

After that moves out on Tuesday, temps rebound a little with a modified arctic front moving in by Thursday and Friday. That slows down to our east, allowing for a wave of low pressure to develop along it, that may set the stage for a winter weather maker in the area I’ve outlined below:

The models are showing this threat. Here’s the latest GFS:

Have a great Saturday and take care.

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Winter weather dominates the weekend

Good Friday, everyone. We continue with bitter cold across the region, and this will carry us through the start of the weekend. The end of the weekend is getting more and more of my attention for the icy mix potential.

Let’s start with Friday. Temps will start near zero, with a wind chill well below zero. Highs in the afternoon are generally 15 to 20 degrees. I can’t rule out a few flurries or snow showers, especially across the western parts of the state:

The Sunday and Monday system continues to look very messy across our region, with a definite colder trend on the models showing up. I think that trend continues, leading to a wintry mess falling from the skies.

The European model continues to show all modes of precipitation:

With the models likely being just a little too warm, the frozen stuff might show up stronger and stronger in the coming days. With a frozen ground, icy travel is a strong possibility regardless of precipitation type.

A brief moderation in temps will show up by Wednesday or early Thursday, but the models are all showing another arctic front moving in, with a storm developing along it. Here’s the European model:

The GFS:

Make it a great Friday and take care.

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