Author Archives: Chris Bailey

Time posted: 12:26 pm

Thursday Afternoon Thoughts

Good afternoon, folks. It’s a cloudy and cold day for much of the region, as our cold December rolls on. A few flurry or two will also be spotted from time to time, but it’s the active pattern ahead getting all the attention.

Let’s skip ahead to later this weekend and the chance for rain moving in. Chilly showers will move across the state from southwest to northeast on Sunday…

That’s some pretty light stuff, with temps in the upper 30s and low 40s.

Another shower maker then moves in from the same direction by Tuesday. This one will be able to tap some colder air behind it…

From there, we continue to see pattern setting up a battleground of wintry precipitation across our region as we head into the Christmas weekend. The operational models will continue to go back and forth on exactly where this sets up. Don’t get caught up in any one model showing snow, ice or rain for our region. Just don’t. All three modes of precipitation are VERY possible around here.

Here’s an animation of the GFS from late next week through the following week. It’s already much different with the initial system moving in on Friday of next week, but continues to indicate the Christmas mess with another system behind it…

The Canadian Model doesn’t go out as far as the GFS and only gets to Christmas Eve morning. It does show a similar evolution but with a much colder look…

You can clearly see how both models have a similar idea, but differ on placement and the depth of the cold air. True arctic, like what is forecast to invade the country, often presses farther south and east of what the models suggest. In addition, this has not been year or fall of a strong southeast ridge. Trends, folks.

The CFS 5 day temperature anomalies in Celsius look similar to my map from earlier this week…

I will see you guys for another update this evening. Make it a good one and take care.

15 Comments

Time posted: 1:59 am

Breaking Down The Busy Pattern Ahead

Good Thursday, everyone. Colder winds are back and blowing across the bluegrass state today. This is behind a front that dropped through here overnight.  This is part of a pattern that has been very busy and is about to get even busier in the run up to Christmas.

Temps out there today are in the 30s for highs, but gusty winds will make it feel like the 20s for most of the day. A few clouds will be noted and some of these clouds may spit out a few flurries or an out and out snow shower in the east…

Another weak system passes across the Ohio Valley on Friday and may spit out a few flakes. Highs are back in the upper 30s for most areas, which is still several degrees below normal.

Saturday looks like the best day we will see for a while. Temps in the west and south make a run at 50, with 40s for the rest of the region. Winds are gusty with some clouds increasing late in the day.

Those clouds are ahead of a shower maker for Sunday…

That’s a cold rain, too. Temps are in the upper 30s and low 40s for most of the day.

Another system will come out at some point early next week, but the focus is on what comes after that. The pattern continues to suggest one heck of a battle taking place right on top of our region from late next week into Christmas week. The GFS continues to show this with a slightly different orientation of the battleground.

The latest run is not shy on precipitation, nor precipitation types…

The amount of liquid precipitation on that particular run…

Don’t take that run seriously… I’m only showing it, like all other runs, to establish a trend. The operational runs will vary greatly from run to run.

Several days ago, I posted this map showing my thoughts on where the pattern was going by Christmas weekend…

Compare that to the latest GFS Ensembles 5 day average temperature anomalies centered on Christmas…

THAT is a heck of a match to the map I’ve had out for a while.

What about the wintry look on the same GFS Ensembles. Here’s the average snowfall through Saturday, December 23rd…

Let’s take that same map and add the next 5 days to it…

The only thing to take away from all of the above maps is this: The pattern is conducive for winter weather in our region from late next week through Christmas week.

I will have additional updates later today, so check back. Make it a good one and take care.

34 Comments

Time posted: 7:10 pm

Wednesday Evening Update

Good evening, folks. Gusty winds continue to blow as a cold front settles into the region. We’ve already had a few reports of sprinkles, flurries and sleet falling, and another round of that is possible later this evening, with flurries by morning.

The best chance in the action this evening is across the north and northeast…

Colder winds will blow into Thursday with another flurry maker arriving on Friday.

Saturday continues to look good, with our next system coming in two waves. The first arrives Sunday with chilly showers…

The next one comes out late Monday into Tuesday and taps a much colder setup behind it…

Behind that, the GFS continues to bring in the winter charge as we head toward the end of next week and into the start of Christmas weekend…

Here’s the animated version of the GFS that goes through the rest of the Christmas holiday…

That’s a lot of arctic cold showing up….

The GFS Ensembles are also VERY cold during the same time period. Here’s the 5 day temperature departures in Celsius…

If may have noticed I haven’t shown much of the European Model over the past few weeks. That’s because the model has been having all kinds of issues with what to do with troughs coming from the west. The bias of the model is to keep WAY too much energy in the west as it suffers feedback issues with the Rockies.

To illustrate why the model has some issues, let’s take a look at the past 2 runs at for the end of next week.

Last night’s run had a deepening trough across the eastern part of the country and a huge ridge in the west…

12 hours later, the model totally reversed the pattern with a big ridge in the east and a trough in the west…

While I expect to see all models show some occasional big changes from run to run, that’s pretty extreme and it’s something the model has been doing a lot of lately.

I will see you guys later tonight. Make it a good one and take care.

9 Comments

Time posted: 12:16 pm

A Quick Update

Good afternoon, folks. I wanted to drop by for a very quick midday update on where this pattern is going for the rest of the week and in the run up to Christmas. I don’t have much time, so let’s get busy.

Winds are going to increase this afternoon and evening and may hit 40mph in some of the gusts. This happens as a strong clipper works by just to our north. That’s where the accumulating snows will be, but a few flakes or sprinkles may sneak into the north and northeast this afternoon…

Overnight, the front drops in with a few flurries or maybe a light snow shower. The best chance is across the east.

Another flurry maker moves in on Friday as temps stay well below normal.

The system coming in later this weekend appears to be splitting into two systems. The first part arrives on Sunday with chilly showers…

The second part comes out by Monday night and Tuesday and keeps trending much colder…

The colder trend continues to show up, as expected, on the operational models. While they offer big swings from one run to the other, the trend for cold and wintry continues to be there as we get closer to Christmas.

The GFS by the end of next week into Christmas weekend…

With arctic cold taking over much of the country, a southeast ridge is going to try to fight with it. That spells a very active setup across the eastern half of the country, with storm systems rolling between the cold and mild. You can see the theme of this pattern on the new GFS through Christmas week…

Don’t take individual systems and timing to heart, I’m just showing that to illustrate the overall pattern.

Oh, and the cold is impressive…

What a far cry from the last 3 Decembers around here!

I will update again this evening. Enjoy the day and take care.

16 Comments

Time posted: 1:48 am

Active Pattern Takes Shape As We Head Toward Christmas

Good Wednesday, everyone. It’s a day full of gusty winds as another clipper drops into the Ohio Valley. This may unleash a few snowflakes to the region by Thursday, but the majority of the snow stays just to our north and east. In the longer range, it’s one active looking setup taking shape for Christmas weekend into Christmas week.

Let’s begin with today and roll forward. Winds out there may reach 40mph or greater at times this afternoon and evening. Those winds are head of our clipper, which brings heavy snows for areas to our north. As it moves east of us early Thursday… a few snowflakes try to press in…

Here’s regional radar to track this system…

Another system moves across the region on Friday bringing the potential for some flurries or light snow showers. Winds will be gusty with the cold air remaining.

That cold air gets pushes out on Saturday as temps soar deep into the 40s and flirt with 50. Then, a southern system moves in  with rain by Sunday…

That may end a bit of a mix later Monday as colder air scoots back in. The GFS then shows the cold digging in for Tuesday and Wednesday…

Yesterday, I made a map showing the potential for a wild and wintry setup for Christmas Weekend into Christmas Week…

The latest GFS jumps right to that solution…

That setup can put our region in heart of the winter weather potential, just in time for Christmas. Watch how the bitter cold presses in and slows down…

Let’s talk about the Madden Julian Oscillation and the potential impact it has on our weather. The MJO is basically an index tracking the tropical precipitation anomalies, generally in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The placement and intensity of the MJO plays a big role in the overall weather across North America. The current MJO forecast is for it to enter into Phases 7, 8 and 1 over the next 2 weeks…

Those phases offer a very cold look in our part of the world…

If you’ve followed me for years, you know my affinity for following the Eastern Pacific Oscillation (EPO). It really helped me nail the 2013-14 winter, and it’s showing a similar look to that winter, which was one of my analog years. The current EPO is forecast to become so negative, it’s off the chart…

A negative EPO is usually a very cold signal across the eastern half of the country. That’s about as negative as you will ever see a forecast for it.

I will have additional updates later today. Make it a wonderful Wednesday and take care.

13 Comments