Author Archives: Chris Bailey

Time posted: 2:16 am

A Heck Of A Pattern Taking Shape

Good Thursday, everyone. Arctic air continues to press into the bluegrass state from the northwest. This will knock our temps way down, but may just be a small preview of what’s to come. This pattern setting up across the country has a little “Wow” factor to it.

The artic air pours in from the northwest today and carries us into the start of the weekend. A few snow flurries will be possible tonight into Friday as the northwesterly flow kicks in.

From there, we are seeing more than the normal amount of model variance in regards to the late weekend system. To be honest, this has been the case for the past week, and looks to be the case for next week. Why is this happening? It’s likely because of the extreme cold air that’s engulfing North America. Models don’t handle extremes very well and can give us some pretty substantial swings from run to run.

The changes for the Sunday-Monday system include a much weaker Sunday system and a stronger system arriving Sunday night into Monday. Under that scenario, the best chance for snow and winter weather is across the northern parts of the state.

Here’s a snapshot of where the GFS thinks the snow falls Sunday into Monday…


The Canadian Model is singing a similar song, but is all strung out on steroids with the totals to our north…


You can clearly see a west to east moving system instead of one cutting into the Great Lakes. How far south that can come is the question and one the models won’t fully figure out for another day or so.

If we take the above model runs at their word… the heaviest snows stay just to our north with some snow across northern Kentucky, with a mix to rain in the south.

We are also seeing some changes with how the models handle the arctic outbreaks moving into the country next week.

The GFS went from a weak system introducing the arctic air, to something much stronger…


That model run sets off one angry temperature drop from Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning. The numbers below are over a 12 hour period…


That’s impressive to say the least.

The same run of the GFS then did this a few days later…


The temps behind that were even colder…


The exact evolution of all this remains to be seen, but there is no denying the potential for much of the country to be in the deep freeze as we go through the rest of December.

Snow threats should be there during this time, but again, specifics will be worked out as we roll ahead.

Speaking of snow threats… the GFS Ensembles continue to do their thing over the next 2 weeks…


For fun, the overnight operational run of the GFS decided it wanted in on the Ensembles fun…


And for the record… none of the above maps should be taken as anything other than what they are meant to be used for… Guidance. They are snapshots in time of what particular computers think will happen. The specifics of each model run change, and can change drastically with each update.

That said, the trend on the “guidance” is now matching what the analog years have been suggesting across the country for December.

I will hook you up with updates later today. Make it a good one and take care.


Time posted: 6:41 pm

Wednesday Evening Update

Good Evening, gang. We have a weather pattern locked and loaded with harsh winter weather for much of the country. Several of my analog years featured harsh December weather (1983 for instance), and those appear to be leading the way.

Let’s talk quickly about the first arctic front moving in tonight. This won’t have much moisture with it, but can spit out a flake or two as you sleep. The really cold air is lagging behind this just a bit and filters in here later Thursday. After a brief taste of the sun, clouds will quickly fill back in on a northwesterly flow. Low-level moisture into Friday can spit out some snow flurries.

You can see all the widespread moisture courtesy of this Relative Humidity map at 925mb…


Highs will be in the 20s but it will never feel that “warm”.

The late weekend system continues to look like a winter weather maker for our region. The European Model has gone back to a scenario of a very strong storm system over our heads. I don’t think that’s correct as the Euro has had a rough go of late in overdeveloping these kinds of systems.

Still, if the European is correct, things would start wintry before going to rain and then ending as snow.

The Canadian Model has also gone to a stronger storm system, but it’s keying more on the southern side of things. Instead of showing a potent low cutting into the Great Lakes, we have a Tennessee Valley system bringing snow to our region…


If we take that verbatim, the Canadian shows a big snowfall for Kentucky.

The GFS is more of a compromise with a weaker system…


If we take the GFS as shown, its snow and a wintry mix with some accumulations a good bet.

Next week will feature a major arctic attack for much of the country…


That is one ugly looking air mass that will likely be introduced by a snowfall across our region.

Speaking of snowfall, the GFS Ensembles continue to have “that look” over the next 2 weeks…



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


Time posted: 2:01 am

Winter Weather Possible This Weekend

Good Wednesday, everyone. We have an arctic front ready to blast the bluegrass state tonight and Thursday, and this looks to unleash a pretty stout winter pattern around here. The system coming behind this for the weekend continues to take on a colder look, leading to an increased threat for winter weather.

I’ll start with a quick recap of the arctic front moving in tonight…

  • There will be a few flurries behind this front late tonight and early Thursday.
  • Temps drop Thursday as the cold air crashes in from the northwest.
  • Northwesterly winds will bring clouds and some flurries in here into Friday.
  • Highs by Friday stay in the 20s with lows Friday and Saturday mornings deep into the teens.
  • Wind chills will be a big player and could reach single digits during the morning hours. Ouch.

The trend on the weekend system is for a flatter and colder solution on most of the models. We have talked about this being the likely scenario, and the models are going back toward what they had several days ago. Remember me talking about how they sometimes lose things in the 4-7 window, then bring them back under 4 days? That looks to be happening again.

The GFS has a messy setup with snow, rain and a mix from Saturday night through Monday morning…


The snow map with the GFS continues to edge southward…


The Canadian continues to be weaker and colder…


The snow map from that particular run…


The European Model continues to be too strong with this system, but is trending weaker and colder. The model shows a lot of Ohio Valley accumulation, but can overdo that if there’s a mix.


Don’t get too attached to any snowfall map from this far out. All I can say is, we have an increasing chance for winter weather this weekend and it could put some snow on the ground for some areas of Kentucky. If I can get more specific later today, I will. Since when am I a winter weather wimp? 🙂

In about a week from now, a massive arctic outbreak may engulf the country. It could be introduced by some snow…


Check out back to back morning temps behind that front on the European Model…


The GFS sees the brutal cold, too…


It also sees another massive shot coming a few days after that…


With all these massive arctic shots showing up, one could assume some decent snows would fall across much of the country and into our region. The Individual runs of the GFS Ensembles say you would be correct. 21 different model runs go into making up the Ensembles run. It then averages those out for one forecast. The folks at WeatherBell have given us a look at what each of the 21 runs shows individually. Check out the individual totals over the next 2 weeks…


It’s awesome to see this December pattern go toward what we have been talking about for the past few months. Now, let’s see what all it can actually deliver.

I will have another update later today. Make it a good one and take care.


Time posted: 7:03 pm

Thoughts On The Pattern

Good evening, folks. Drizzle and showers and finally pushing out of the region and now it’s time to focus on a pattern loaded with arctic cold shots in the coming weeks. Snow chances will likely show up, potentially sooner rather than later.

We know all about the arctic front moving in here tomorrow night and early Thursday. My thoughts have not changed at all.

The late weekend system continues to trend colder as we get closer. The GFS is now giving us a decent shot of wintry weather…


Notice how the GFS snowfall forecast has shifted farther south with this…


The European Model is also trending less amplified with this system…


Speaking of the European Model, it’s backing up the GFS and all the Ensembles with the arctic air for next week. It brings a couple waves of snow to the region…



The surface temperature anomalies for the middle and end of next week are insane…


Enjoy your evening and take care.


Time posted: 12:35 pm

Early Afternoon Update

Good afternoon, gang. We have a very ugly day in progress across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Many areas will end the day with better than an inch of water since last night. Not too shabby! Now comes the arctic cold fronts that take center stage over the next few weeks.

The first arctic front moves in Wednesday night with the potential for a shower ahead of it and a band of flakes right behind it. As winds become northwesterly Thursday into Friday, watch for some flurries or a light snow shower. The cold temps sink in through the day Thursday.

What do we do with the weekend system? Outside of the European (which isn’t exactly acting like the European anymore), most models are trending flatter with the weekend system.

The Canadian brings a light mix…


The GFS is a bit stronger with a mix to rain to light snow setup…


That’s likely overplaying the northern low, so let’s see if that trends weaker and colder in the coming days.

You will notice the cold surging in behind that, and that’s leading the charge for a stronger arctic plunge into the country…


That’s the operational GFS which now matches the Ensembles. Again… the Ensembles are kicking the snot out of the operational models.

Here are the temps on that run…


The same model run loads up another arctic front a few days later…


I’m not saying the numbers play out exactly as shown, but it’s good to see the operational models matching what the Ensembles have been showing for a while now. Go back and look at the post from a few days ago with me showing how the Ensembles had Alaska and western Canada sending shots of cold deep into the country. You will find the above maps similar to that.

I will hook you up with another post this evening. Until then, track some rain…

Take care.