Updating The Christmas Eve Snow

Good afternoon, folks. Our heavy rainmaker is pulling away from the region, leaving behind several inches of rain and some flooding issues. As expected, this action is ending as a period of mix or light snow, but the main focus is on the light snow coming for Christmas Eve.

Here’s regional radar to track today’s system away from the region…

As far as the Christmas Eve light snowfall is concerned, things are still on course for a light snowfall just in time for Santa’s arrival in the bluegrass state.

The light snow shield is expansive, meaning everyone in the state should see, at least, some snow…

Temps early in the day will spike, especially in the east. That’s where a mix of rain and snow is likely at the start, before going over quickly to light snow. Winds are going to be very gusty as temps drop below freezing from northwest to southeast.

Snowfall totals on the models continue to increase each run. The latest GFS now has a 1″-2″ swath across the northern half of the state…

Notice how it takes accumulating light snows all the way into Tennessee.

The NAM totals have increased a bit from earlier runs, with it showing some pockets of 1″ snows…

The Hi-Res NAM is also on board…

My thoughts:

  • Melting flakes will be likely for many in the afternoon, but that quickly changes as we near sunset.
  • Those melting flakes will create wet roads, that can ice up as temps drop into the 20s.
  • It’s from late afternoon through the wee hours of Christmas morning that we have our best chance for accumulating snows.
  • This continues to look like a general coating to 1″ for much of Kentucky, but I’m probably going to add an area of 1″-2″ with my new call for snowfall this evening.
  • I’m increasingly worried we get ourselves into a similar situation to what we did a few weeks ago with snow and ice covered roads. Given all the rain, road crews haven’t been able to pretreat and we will likely see more snow than what we did a few weeks ago.
  • I firmly believe this to be a Winter Weather Advisory type event. It’s not a lot of snow, but it’s a busy travel day with wet roads and rapidly falling temps after dark. Impact should trump some made up criteria every single time.

Another light snow maker is likely to press in here Christmas night into Tuesday…

That may also put down some light accumulations.

That will be followed up by a much more potent system that may impact our weather as early as late Wednesday or Thursday. This signal has been showing up for a while, and it continues to do so as we get closer.

Here’s the European…

The Canadian is similar…

A similar system may follow that up right around New Year’s Eve.

As I said yesterday, we haven’t had a Winter Storm Threat in nearly 2 years. I think that changes soon.

I will have another update this evening, so check back. Make it a great day and take care.


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20 Responses to Updating The Christmas Eve Snow

  1. C in BG says:

    Thanks Chris! I`m hoping we can get in on the WST action next week.

  2. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks Chris! We will stay tuned, for sure.

  3. c-BIV says:

    Boom goes the dynamite! I’m still triple dog daring Mother Nature to give us everything she can…I don’t believe she’s got it in her. ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Rodger in Dodger says:

    Rodger just wants SNOW for Christmas and the New Year! Fingers and toes crossed! Rodger in Dodger wishing everyone a great Christmas!

  5. TeachLou says:

    Thanks for the update CB! Dreaming of a white Christmas here in east LOU! Donโ€™t need half a foot to make that declaration, just an inch (or so). โ„๏ธโ„๏ธ

  6. MarkLex says:

    WWA for Lex north.
    Something occurred to me today. I think I’ll share my thought. It may be nonsense, I don’t know. Anyway, you know how in the summer, when we have a LOT of rain and lush vegetation, and that keeps the temps from getting out of control hot as opposed to it being dry. This made me wonder if the wet weather we just had, ground totally soaked could have any type of effect on upcoming precip or temps?

    • msd87 says:

      Nice thought! I wonder if it means for example, that when the arctic air moves in, it doesn’t take as long to saturate before it rains/snows? Or does the front simply move away the humid air with it, and very little is left to make any difference?

      • MarkLex says:

        Exactly – that’s essentially what I was trying to say. If you have arctic air and a dry atmosphere, yet you just had recent rains, would the next storm be able to saturate the atmosphere more quickly due to the wet ground?

        • BubbaG says:

          Exception being if wind picks up. That basically helps dry out the surface levels- air and ground.

        • Stormscope says:

          I think that a moist ground only applies in summer where you have more of the moisture turning to water vapor. That is why we have so much humidity because the air is warm and can hold more hydrogen. In dry cold air, the air is more dense and has less vapor or less room to hold the hydrogen. Not certain but I think that is correct.

    • Andy Rose says:

      I thought it was supposed to be most the region.

  7. Mike S says:

    Good call by NWS. Amounts not significant but travel potentially impactful. Hopefully, other locations will be added, ahem hint hint ILN NWS.

  8. Rodger in Dodger says:

    Rodger suggests snow lovers go read the Louisville NWS afternoon discussion. As Mr Bailey’s been alluding to, we COULD be entering a very snowy ten-day period – potential is there. There’s nothing better than Christmas and New Year’s snow! This is Rodger in Dodger!

    • BubbaG says:

      Snowy is a relative term ๐Ÿ˜‰ We could get festive flakes and an inch or two total over ten days and that would be snowy. Over twice as much as all last year though.

      • Andy Rose says:

        Your right standards have dropped when it comes to terms like wintry and snowy.

        • Terry says:

          LOL….with only a 1/4 inch season-to-date in Harlan (valley) we can keep the standard low and still likely beat last season, just need less than 3 more inches by March. Surely a decent trough next week plus a more active southern branch will help raise the bar a little:)

          • Andy Rose says:

            You must be living right to get that 1/4 of an inch

            • Troy says:

              lol. No snow for you Andy but don’t worry, Terry and I will be right there with you!!! Seems we are the triad area (Middlesboro, Barbourville/Corbin, Harlan) to always get shafted with 33 degree rain, virga snow, or ground too warm for snow to lay.

  9. Stormscope says:

    Thanks Chris, you have been on this for over a week and itโ€™s occuring as you predicted. Very important and helpful for those who are traveling.

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