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.

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48 Responses to All Eyes On The Christmas Holiday

  1. Mike S says:

    When the upper air data is finally sampled with real data, I’ll be jumping all over those top 15 analogs…would not be surprised to see a January 1994 one listed….

    • Prelude says:

      The Winter Storm of 94 that was one of the most impressive snow’s I have witnessed. One of the super rare times I’ve witnessed thunder snow. Yet that storm for whatever reason gets forgotten. That storm shut the Louisville area down for a week. If memory serves me correctly Louisville ended up with close to 14 inches of snow. The snow fell in a short order and a all time record low air temperature the following night of -22 below zero. That storm hit the Louisville area around 7:30 pm with moderate freezing rain all the way up to 11:30 pm. After that from 11:30pm till 6am freezing rain changed to snow and literally was snowing around 2 inches an hour for the entire event. Quite the impressive storm. Every snow plow Louisville had except for 3 was either stuck or broke down by 3am.

      • Schroeder says:

        Thanks for bringing that 1994 winter event up. I remember that quite well. I was in Evansville, Indiana at that time where I had my nursery/ landscape business. The storm started as freezing rain at first and quickly turned to heavy snow that night. Thunder and lighting woke me up in the early morning hours and the snow was very heavy. We ended up at a foot before it ended. If memory serves that was in January 1994 on a Monday ( Martin Luther King Day. )

        • Prelude says:

          Yeah that sounds about right the storm hit on a Sunday evening and continued through the night.

        • Oh Hail No! says:

          I remember that storm very well. I lived just across the river from you in Henderson, KY. I was in 5th grade and I was sick that day and could only stare at the snow out the window while I watched the news about a 7.something earthquake that hit LA that day on MLK day.

  2. which way is the wind blowing says:

    Festive flakes is a good bet.

  3. Jamie says:

    Don’t envy the task you have trying to figure this one out, Mr. Bailey. But I know you’ll do fine because it’s so obvious you care very much about what you do. I know we don’t really know what’s coming for the big weekend yet, but I’m looking forward to reading every update. Thanks again for keeping us informed.

  4. Prelude says:

    I just saw where the WPC for the first time this year has placed western, north central, and central Kentucky in a low end potential winter storm risk for next weekend.

  5. Schroeder says:

    Thanks Chris, I think it’s a good idea to use both the computer model runs along with the old fashion weather forecasting methods. But I have a feeling we are going to have above normal temperatures for Christmas Day with a very little chance of rain, which we really need. Too bad we lost the clipper pattern, as this would keep the ice away, but keep the cold in place. Would make for a better feeling Christmas without the snow. As always look forward to your continuing weather updates.

  6. Tyler says:

    06z run of GFS kept a colder scenario and a white chistmas over the Ohio Valley, including all of Kentucky. Freezing Rain moved from SEKY to Western, Central an Northern Kentucky and Southeast Ohio. Should be fund to watch this play out and evolve.

    • Cold Rain says:

      Guess where the boundary set’s up will tell the tell..Should have a few waves riding the boundary..Unless the Euro is right..Then cold and dry..Although it did give far SE Ky some snow..Right now just looking at the trend’s it trying to get colder..SE Ridge is taking some shot’s..Which one do we root for..Cold and dry or snow with the possibility of serious ice..Guess if you like winter weather it don’t matter what form of frozen you get..Then again according to Schroeder it could be sunny and warm..

  7. Lotsasnow says:

    Like I said before I completely believe this storm will be surpressed to our southeast. Cold will overwhelm our state. However if a nw shift occurs that would be a moderate snowfall for ky.

  8. Schroeder says:

    It’s just a hunch, don’t everyone get upset. I predicted that because I’ve been around longer than most of you all. Chris in his winter outlook did mention that it would warm up in February and March. I just think that we have already seen all the winter we are going to get and the mild prediction is going to be early. Hopefully wet too.

  9. Rodger in Dodger says:

    Rodger’s educated guess: 45% chance we get mostly rain, 45% chance cold wins out and pushes precip south, 10% chance we see a good snow event. The 2004 event was great! Heavy sleet then heavy snow. Very rare event. This is Rodger in Dodger

  10. Schroeder says:

    Boy! that’s really depressing. I want to clear things up with my knowledge of meteorology. I really don’t know how to use the internet like all of you. I don’t know as much as I lead you all on. I just like talking about the weather in simple terms. Those models I really don’t understand and I don’t have any business discussing them. I like to look at the water vapor loop and the satellite images and accuweather. My prediction for Christmas Day or any other weather prediction is nothing. Just what Chris said back on Palm Sunday about my post on El nino that what I said was nothing. Now you got the truth about me.

    • Prelude says:

      So you lied, (which I suspected all along) you said a while back that you have learn meteorology from the best and you have studied the upper air patterns for many years.

      • Schroeder says:

        Right a big fat lie. Never study one map till this year, but I am finding out that meteorology is a very difficult subject for me to learn. I’ll stick to weather observations and watch the local ( Louisville ) stations, which are the closes to me. However, I have Chris Bailey to view on Hulu.

    • Jeff Kidd says:

      You said you knew more about weather than any of us, yet you look at and study nothing online other than two simple maps. You always use the ole I’m older than every one here, so because of that I know more than you. Schroeder probably just walks outside and looks up and makes his prediction, but he’s smarter than Chris because he’s been around longer. So everyone on here please take Shroeder’s prediction as the written word because he’s older than all of us.

      • Schroeder says:

        Jeff, I am not better than anyone on here. I came across that way because of all the BS. I would say that most of you are light years ahead of me on any subject. It’s true I do have a degree in Agriculture from Murray State University. I actually failed in the nursery business but that’s a long story that I wish to forget.

      • Schroeder says:

        Jeff, I have actually done that, go outside and look up at the type of clouds that are present and check the barometer to see if it is falling and see if the temperature rising or falling and from there I made my prediction, which was usually right.

        • Jeff Kidd says:

          See there you go again Schroeder. In one statement you say you don’t know that much and in the next you say you are always right. That’s why you a frustrating to read as a poster on here.

  11. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks Chris. I’d love to see some snow for Christmas, but if it doesn’t appear….. oh well. Not feeling good today so I will wish everyone a great Saturday.

  12. Jimbo says:

    I figure one of two things will happen. A lakes cutter putting us in the rain and 50 degree temps. Or another storm that goes by to the south then turns up the coast and misses us to the east.

  13. Prelude says:

    If the 12z GFS is remotely correct talk about a devastating hit for Kentucky. It will change, but my oh my that will get all the non believing pessimistic nay sayers to not say another word all winter long.

  14. Bernard P. Fife says:

    Thelma Lou is more nervous than a long tailed cat in a roof full of rocking chairs. She’s about ready to buy a generator here in southern ky. She said icy Christmas chance 61.3%

  15. Tyler says:

    12z Canadian model is still showing a blowtorch.

  16. Ecmwf says:

    12z of Euro will be interesting. At the moment you have Canadian showing torch Gfs showing snow and ice and Euro suppressing storm to South with a glancing blow of snow to the southeastern counties. Models will swing back and forth with the axis of heaviest precipitation as the models figure out how far the attic air can push back the southeast ridge.

    • Tyler says:

      It will be interesting to see. I think the overall trend is apparent for the cold to be strong. But obviously the question is how strong. especially with upper levels. I love winter weather and typically I’d welcome all forms of wintry precip. At this time I’d rather have a cold rain than snow and ICE. With the magnitude of the ice potential it’s scary especially for Christmas. Any other time I’d be all for it.

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