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.

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22 Responses to A Heck Of A Pattern Taking Shape

  1. which way is the wind blowing says:

    What a surprise the models have all the snowfall north of the Ohio River shocking. Lol.
    I will be shocked if any measurable snow falls in Kentucky.

    • MarkLex says:

      Yea – you’re not wrong – we actually shouldn’t complain if a snow pack develops north of here. So we actually should NOT be bummed if we are snow lovers if it plays out this way.

      Not to mention the fact that we are still weeks away from January.

      • JimCVG says:

        And from what I recall, northern Kentucky was the only part of the state to not see more than a couple inches of snow with any single storm last winter. At least the rest of y’all had a big snow maker. My kids didn’t get the sleds out once last season.

      • kywildcat says:

        Yeah we need snow on the ground, even if it is to the north

  2. Todd says:

    Well Chris, if nothing else a major snow pack will develope just north of us, that is a good sign for a winter storm in KY.

  3. corey says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw a slight shift south… If the system is east to west..we will see

  4. retro fetch says:

    Man those GFS ensembles look great-thanks!

  5. Keavyman says:

    After the past 2 winters much of Ky has had, give us “UNDER THE SNOW DOME” snow lovers a nice winter such as your all’s past 2 years. Before that, I lived in Keavy and couldn’t get a snow fall to save my life.It has been 6+ years since I have seen anything worth measuring. So quit complaining abut “north of us” and let me get my snow. Last major snow I have seen in my yard was February of 09′ YES I AM CRYING. LOL

  6. Rolo says:

    if u don’t get snow during the nest 3 weeks, Jan will warm up and not much snow shots thru start of a early spring end of Feb and march.

  7. bm says:

    Stay positive people!!!

  8. Keavyman says:

    How ya doing Rolo. Long time no see.

  9. Christopher says:

    I see a snowy few weeks ahead. With some ice. And some cold rain. And some cold temperatures. Maybe even some dry days inbetween.

  10. Ed says:

    Lots of internet news stories about Polar Vortex for next week.

  11. kywildcat says:

    Things looking ICY

  12. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks Chris! Sounds like I am going to need to drag out the long johns even earlier than I had anticipated! But I cam also drag out the heavier sweaters, and turtlenecks, and such as well! So there is always an upside…just sayin.’ IF we can get a little snow to go with the cold closer to Christmas, I will be a happy camper. Butif we just have the cold, I will be a happy camper! Have a great rest of your Thursday everyone!

  13. 3789N8436W says:

    NWS-Jackson is piloting ‘a new way to forecast snow’….look at the site


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