Time posted: 8:02 pm

Wrapping Up The Weekend

Good evening, folks. Our half and half weekend is drawing to a close with a lot of ugly out there. As we look ahead to the next week and change, there’s a lot more ugly on the way. This all takes us up to a very complicated forecast for our Christmas weekend.

There are some complications before that, and they may have implications on how all that plays out. Confused? Me too.

Low clouds will spit our a few showers over the next few days, but a much stronger system shows up by Wednesday. The European Model has been all over this for a while, but the other models have been hesitant to bring this wet weather maker into Kentucky.

The European Model shows heavy rains across the southern half of the state on Wednesday…

The NAM has been similar in recent runs…

The GFS wants no part of bringing rain into Kentucky…

The GFS Ensembles don’t even agree with the operational GFS, instead, they look more like the European and NAM for Wednesday…

I’m showing all this because, even in the shorter term, we are finding the models having a tough go at figuring out what to do. If we can’t get them to agree on the Wednesday system, how on earth do we expect them to figure out Christmas weekend and Christmas week? The answer to that is… I don’t.

That’s why you are getting zero forecast flipping and flopping from me, because every single run of every single model looks drastically different from the run before.

For fun, here’s the latest GFS…

That looks exactly ZERO like the run from 6 hours earlier, which looked ZERO like the run 6 hours prior to that.

I like to look at every available piece of model guidance for any forecast, not just in the winter. Sometimes the more obscure models can offer some trends or lend support for other models. One of the models I look at is the JMA. Christmas Day is just now within the window of the model, and it shows a major arctic high invading the country, with a wave of low pressure riding up the eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains…

You’re looking at barometric pressure and not temps on that map.

I will keep with my original thoughts that are now a week old: Every mode of precipitation is on the table for Christmas weekend into early Christmas week. Rain, snow, ice or a combo of the three are all possible. Your Christmas may be wet or it may be white, or you may get both. It’s still way too early to tell.

I will have my normal update later tonight so check back. Have a great evening and take care.

Leave a comment

Time posted: 2:21 pm

Sunday Afternoon Update

Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a dreary day across the bluegrass state, with chilly showers dotting our sky. The leading edge of the showers even had a little sleet thrown in for good measure. The active pattern leading up to Christmas is still the top weather headline, but the final headline is a long way from being written.

This afternoon’s showers continue to press through here and are pretty light…

Isolated showers will hang around over the next few days, with our middle of the week system continuing to trend wetter.

The NAM has now joined the European Model in showing a healthy rain event for parts of the region on Wednesday…

Similar to today, the northern edge of that may begin and end as a touch of sleet.

The Christmas weekend systems continue to show up differently with each computer forecast model run. The past two runs of the GFS show this point well. The 6z run trended colder with the initial system Friday into Saturday, then showed our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day system coming together as a snow maker…

Check out that 1064 arctic high showing up behind all that. Wow.

The GFS from 6 hours later looked totally different, even losing the big arctic blast behind it…

The Canadian Model has been lost in the woods with it all, but is, at least, getting the trend right of two systems…

The European Model also continues to bounce back and forth between extremes. The last run had the cold overwhelming the pattern, killing any kind of storm system. The new run holds some energy back, leading to a prolonged period of heavy, overrunning precipitation…

That’s likely keeping the cold too far to the west, but still results in this for Christmas Night and Tuesday…

The low-level cold air is typically shown too far west on forecast models.

Regardless, you’re seeing the back and forth on all the models as they continue to try and figure out exactly what to do.

I’m still riding this almost week old map and think it’s in excellent shape…

Looking farther down te road… The CFS 5 day temperature anomaly maps (In Celsius) show one heck of a push of cold that hangs tough into January.

Here’s the period for Christmas week…

Here’s the 5 days around the New Year…

It stays cold deep into the New Year…

I will have another update this evening. Enjoy this fine Sunday and take care.

18 Comments

Time posted: 1:58 am

An Action Packed Pattern For Christmas

Good Sunday, folks. Light showers are working across the state today, kicking off a very active setup for the coming few weeks. This action packed pattern is likely to really kick it up a few notches as we head into Christmas Weekend and Christmas week, with winter weather very possible.

Let’s begin with today’s showers, then begin our look ahead. This isn’t a lot of rain working across Kentucky, and it may only dampen the ground for some areas. Still, it’s likely to be a rather gloomy Sunday…

The threat for showers continues for the next few days, with temps at or a little above normal. There’s a stronger system across the south by the middle of the week, and the European Model brings this right into our region…

That looks a little too wound up for my taste, and may be a product of the European being too slow with energy ejecting from the southwest.

The pattern after that will feature a strong cold front rolling into the region on Friday. This will unleash a pattern that can feature waves of low pressure developing and rolling northeastward along a stalled out boundary. Exactly where that boundary sets up is still a mystery.

That scenario can bring rain, snow, ice or a combination of the three from Friday through Christmas Day. I’m going to continue to ride this map I put out last Monday…

I’m hopeful to be able to get a little more specific with that map later today or Monday.

The GFS wobbles from run to run on exactly how everything shakes out, but it continues to bring a significant winter weather threat to our region. The model is settling on two waves of low pressure. The first coming along the front on Friday with rain to some snow. The next wave comes Christmas eve and Day, with the current run showing snow across the east…

Here’s the snow map from that run…

The ice map is significantly lower with this run…

The European Model is similar to the GFS with the Friday system, but can’t seem to find the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day system. The setup on the model appears ripe for much more moisture than it’s currently showing. Just look at the bitter cold coming in, with the mild air across the southeast…

I highlighted the area where the Euro should be showing more precipitation.

Regardless, The European and GFS show the bitter cold taking control of much of the country Christmas week.

The Canadian Model continues to be on its own and has no idea what to do with any of this…

Again, these models will continue to flip and flop with each run for the next few days. One run may show a foot of snow, followed by the next run showing all rain or vice versa. I still cant tell you if your Christmas will be white, wet or both

Updates come your way later today. Have a great Sunday and take care.

54 Comments

Time posted: 12:26 pm

Saturday Afternoon Update

Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a gorgeous day across the bluegrass state, but chilly showers are set to move in for Sunday. This sets off a very active pattern, leading to the potential for a widespread winter weather event across much of the country for Christmas weekend.

Last Monday, I put together a map to show the potential pattern I was seeing two weeks in advance…

Since then, the computer forecast models have been going back and forth on how to handle the pattern. Now that we are a week away, the GFS is trying to show a little consistency in the overall look of the setup. It continues to press a strong cold front through here on Friday, then slowing it down to our south and east with waves of low pressure working along it. With such a strong temperature gradient present across the country, the possibility is there for a ton of moisture to develop.

The new GFS continues to be all about that significant winter weather threat setting up right on top of us Christmas weekend into Christmas week…

Here’s the snow forecast from that run of the GFS…

The ice forecast…

None of the above maps are a forecast from me, I’m simply giving you a look at what the models are showing. Please keep that in mind. I continue to maintain that all modes of precipitation are possible during this time, but it’s too early for anyone to get more specific than that. Your Christmas could be as white as it is wet or vice versa. There are a lot of variables at play, and we are still a few days away from having a better handle on how this all plays out.

By the way… the GFS unleashes the frozen tundra behind that mess…

The Canadian model continues to rain on your White Christmas parade…

Considering how that model is taking a weak low directly into a 1045mb arctic high, I’m gonna say it’s having some issues.

Trust no single model run for the next several days… It doesn’t matter what it shows for your backyard. I’m still going with my map I put out on Monday. Every precipitation option is on the table.

My evening update may be much later than normal, but I will try to get it on. Enjoy the day and take care.

57 Comments

Time posted: 1:59 am

All Eyes On The Christmas Holiday

Good Saturday, everyone. Today is shaping up to be a really nice weather day across the bluegrass state, but some rain is on the way for Sunday. While the weekend setup is always important, I’m sure most of you are here to talk about the potential for next weekend. That just happens to be Christmas weekend, and there’s the potential for winter weather.

Before we get to all that, let’s talk about the current weekend. Temps today are very pleasant, but you will notice some clouds rolling back in later today. That’s ahead of a system zipping in from the southwest, bringing a few showers for Sunday…

That’s a chilly rain with upper 30s and low 40s out there.

The setup into early next week will feature quite a few clouds to go along with a few showers possible. The shower chance may increase a bit Tuesday and Wednesday, as a cold front drops in from the northwest. That will knock the temp down a few degrees for the middle of the week, but a big mild up is likely Thursday.

That will be ahead of a strong cold front rolling our way by Friday…

The GFS has this coming through and ending as a bit of frozen precipitation…

The setup for Christmas weekend into early Christmas week continues to be a very changeable one. It’s one that can put our region in the line of fire for a healthy winter weather event. The models continue to flip and flop with each run showing something different from the prior run, with no two models handling things the same way.

We can easily see all types of precipitation during this time. From rain to snow to ice to a combo… all options are on the table. Your Christmas can be white or it can be wet… It’s just way too early to get a firm handle on how this extreme looking scenario plays out.

The latest GFS is a Bing Crosby special, with Vanilla Ice in a co-staring role…

The model then follows that system up with another winter look a few days after Christmas…

For fun, the snowfall map from that run of the GFS…

Here’s the ice look…

This run of the GFS looks very much like the European Model from Friday afternoon. To further illustrate my point of the models being all over the place, the new run of the European Model overwhelms the pattern with cold air, with a smaller storm just to our east…

On the other side of the model spectrum is the Canadian. It’s the rainiest of the entire bunch…

As I said when I made this map on Monday…

I will use good old fashioned pattern recognition instead of relying on the back and forth of computer models. 😉

Updates will come later today, so check back. Make it a good one and take care.

48 Comments