Tracking Storms and Late Week Winter Weather

Good Monday, everyone. The holidays are now officially behind us and it’s full steam ahead into the new year. The weather pattern is kicking it up a notch or ten this week with thunderstorms giving way to arctic air and the potential for late week snow.

Let’s start with the threat for showers and storms out there today.

Winds will be very gusty from the southwest as temps surge into the 60s. Scattered showers will be possible with the main action coming this evening into tonight. That’s when thunderstorms flare up with high winds and heavy rainfall the primary threats.

Areas to our south may be in for a severe weather outbreak today, and a few strong to severe storms can reach Kentucky. The best chance is in the west and south…

Today’s risk area

Latest Day 1 convective outlook

Current Watches
Current Watches

Possible Watch Areas
Current MDs

Arctic air then moves in here Tuesday night into Wednesday as a front slams in from the northwest. Some light snows are possible just behind this boundary.

This is where things continue to get interesting. For nearly two weeks, I’ve been talking about the pattern targeting the lower Ohio Valley into the Tennessee Valley for winter weather in the first week of the new year. That certainly appears to be the case later this week into the coming weekend. The question is… To what extent? Some light stuff or a lot more? Both options are on the table.

Several days ago, the forecast models all had a threatening look. Those same models then lost the entire setup for a few days, even though I preach and preach how the models show something then totally lose it in days 4-7 then find it again. Sure enough, the models are doing just that.

Let’s start with the European Model as it keeps trending toward what it had a few days back. This model throws accumulating snow at us on Thursday, then brushes us with a bigger system it develops. Each passing run is stronger and farther north and west with the second system for Friday into Saturday…


Verbatim, that run shows a few to several inches possible from Thursday through early Saturday.

The Canadian model also shows the Thursday snow maker…


And, compared to earlier runs, is also going farther west and north with the Friday/Saturday system…


Man, the European and Canadian Models are very close to going big.

Speaking of going big, that’s exactly what the GFS did. It has a much weaker system for Thursday as it takes all the energy out at once, creating a much bigger storm for Friday and Saturday…


For fun, the snow map from that particular run…


The computer models and their snow maps will change a lot from run to run over the next day or so. We should start to see them figuring this out by Tuesday.

While I don’t put a lot of stock in any one model solution, it’s interesting to note how many GFS Ensemble members are “in the ballpark” with what he operational model has with this setup…


At this point, I cannot endorse any of the above models posted in this blog. We are having a discussion on each of them, but it’s really good to see the models showing winter weather in the exact areas I have been highlighting by looking at the pattern setting up.

We still have a bit before we know the extent of the winter weather. Will this become “threat” worthy? Possibly.

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

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52 Responses to Tracking Storms and Late Week Winter Weather

  1. SHAAK says:

    It’s great to see the models coming back to a bigger system for the weekend!

  2. which way is the wind blowing says:

    I am cautiously optimistic.

  3. Dale says:

    Really hoping for some snow!

  4. Christopher says:

    Thanks for your hard work Chris. The models tend to get us excited then disappoint us, then get us excited. You do an excellent job of encourging us not to get too hung up on them. The outlook certainly is looking more promising though. Here’s to snow and putting our new sleds to use!

  5. James says:

    Let’s play ball! We’re back in the game!

  6. Muddy says:

    Please !!!

  7. Bjenks says:

    Yawn! Nothing to see here! Will be rain all the way to Michigan! These Models are nothing to look at until a day before! We will get our normal back side flurries! Will end up being Cold and dry!

    • Prelude says:

      Bjenks, you to?? I expected more from you than that! That’s weak, come on!!

      • Andy Rose says:

        I’m not biting. This is why there should b e registration required to post

        • Bjenks says:

          Andy Rose, Sorry you didn’t get my humor. Just getting it out there so all the naysayers can’t say it first. You should know me, I want a big hit for all the state.

          • Andy Rose says:

            I figured it was an impostor that was the reason for my post. There is nothing that keeps somebody from hijacking a name.

      • Bjenks says:

        Just wanted to say it first. I am with that Blowing Wind handle up ☝️there and being Cautiously Optimistic. The set up is there for all players, rain/sleet/snow/ice, across a broad path of the South. Can we say NW trend and old skool on this one. Just love tracking the weather here in KY.

  8. Drew says:

    What does the timing look like for the first system on Thursday? Thursday morning, afternoon, evening, or night?

  9. Blizzardtim says:

    Dramamine please..Lol..So the 6z GFS has Atlanta GA getting a foot of snow ..Lol.. I’ll have maple syrup with my waffles this morning please..

  10. BubbaG says:

    Very surprised with the warm air battling, “other” forms of frozen stuff are not part of the potential. As long as none of that, a Win whatever happens.

  11. Cold Rain says:

    Para looks good..

    IF and a big if this second wave digs and becomes stronger then one would think a N/W track is possible and the ice word would come in to play..Think last night showed Atlanta with inch of ice..

  12. retro fetch says:

    Hey now! I like this serving of the model waffles. I’ll take mine with a side of snow. Sure do enjoy this time of year. So much fun to see how these systems play out. Chris, I really appreciate you showing all the different looks and explaining/mitigating the whole process.

  13. Not knocking on CB word, I’ve been watching the weather channel and get there 5 day forecast but no avail they haven’t heard said anything about long range forecast just curious what they may say

  14. msd87 says:

    I’ll take e13 or e14, thank you very much. GFS looks to be trending strong, 6z agrees along with para.

  15. MikeM says:

    Does Rolo still have a goat?

  16. Adrian says:

    It could go in threat mode can’t wait to see what happens

  17. Bjenks says:

    6z further South, IMO we should like that.

  18. EF5snowfall says:

    Local Mets here say all frzz. Rain for kentucky. Snow for southern ohio

  19. Winter Warlock says:

    Local Mets other the CB don’t want to be wrong and won’t start to talk about the potential till about 2 days out. Even then they are very conservative. Better to let people know what might happen so they can prepare especially older folks IMO.

  20. Cold Rain says:

    Newest para almost same as 6z….2-3 inches..Could see higher amounts in Southern and SE ky if GFS is right and a little shift NW..

  21. EF5snowfall says:

    Ok one local met here just said thinks the accumulating snow will be confined to northern Florida.

  22. Rodger in Dodger says:

    Models will continue to shuck and jive. Rodger would rather be north of the better hit on the models now and then let it strengthen and go more northwest in the last 12 hours. Potential is there. Would like to see GFS stabilize in today’s runs. Rodger in Dodger

  23. Winter Warlock says:

    Even the NWS is picking up on and mentioning the model runs from last night and that they might need to adjust the forecast. Will be intersting to see if the other local weather boobs even mention it on their noon forecasts.

  24. Troy says:

    Now looking like this might happen, though as I stated before…an extreme southern track usually stays southern (without much of a NW shift). I personally believe this will be a good hit for the Tennessee Valley, northern Georgia, North Carolina and possibly those of us in extreme southern Kentucky. If these models hold true through tomorrow, most of Kentucky will likely be left out of anything significant.

  25. msd87 says:

    The main concern here is the Euro. From what I can tell, usually if GFS doesn’t agree to Euro 5 days out, it will cave within three days. So until the Euro shows a much stronger system, I’m thinking this will still probably be a light snowfall for TN/KY.

  26. Terry says:

    The sun came out here around 10AM and has now topped 60 already at the house. With such high humidity, it feels like a late April early May morning. I will enjoy this subtropical winter warmth before January realty sets back in.

    Here’s to a nice day away from work and will be carefully watching for the potential of some ole school winter weather ‘acoming.’

  27. kywildcat says:

    New GFS runs look juicy for TN/SKY..who knows if and where it actually happens

  28. Cold Rain says:

    Nice run for Tenn..This is really starting to get interesting if the Euro hops aboard..

  29. EF5snowfall says:

    New Canadian suppress storm down to gulf coast.

  30. Mike S says:

    Hanging by every model run is like running after the wind…waste of energy.
    Models will not have a realistic grasp on that storm system until after this current storm system is outta here, the cold air begins its invasion, and then the advertised storm system can be sampled upon arriving ashore.
    We’re talking late tomorrow at the earliest. Till then enjoy the waffles and the entertainment value these models offer. And don’t get hung up on one particular run, or you may be hung out to dry.

  31. Blizzardtim says:

    Well the 12z GFS just buried my backyard here in SE TN in about 12-14″ of snow!..Lol..These poor people down here will absolutely mob the grocery stores if that were even remotely to come true..

  32. Rodger in Dodger says:

    GFS still looking good but other models are all over the place. Ugh! Rodger in Dodger

  33. EF5snowfall says:

    I personally believe the cold air will be to strong and prevent any storm at all from forming.

  34. Christopher says:

    Me thinks EF5 just likes to stir the pot. I’m still hopeful!

  35. Crystal In Pikeville says:

    Chris throw us a weather tweet update.Does this look like a milk and bread snow if it happens????

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