Bitter Cold Continues

Good Thursday, my fellow weather weenies. We have bitterly cold air and snow showers headlining this 4th day of the year, with even colder weather for the next few days. This bitter period will be followed up by a very messy system moving in for late Sunday and Monday.

Let’s start with a breakdown of what to expect from today through Saturday:

  • Snow showers and flurries will continue across parts of central and eastern Kentucky. Light accumulations will be possible, leading to a few travel troubles.
  • Temps today will generally range from the mid teens in the north to the low 20s south. Wind chills will make it feel close to zero at times.
  • Brutally cold temps show up for Friday and Saturday mornings. Lows range from -5 to +5 with wind chills dropping into the -5 to -15 range. Those numbers are into the danger category.
  • Highs Friday and Saturday are mainly in the teens.

This historic run of bitter cold has left our ground frozen solid and that’s a major player for the Sunday/Monday system moving in here. The models continue to trend a little colder with air temps, and I still think that trend continues as they sense the low-level arctic air in place.

Still, the current setup takes temps to freezing or above, leading to a nasty mix of precipitation. The European Model…

The Canadian Model…

The individual members of the GFS Ensembles are showing the winter weather potential…

Again, the exact evolution of this system remains to be seen, but we are likely to have, potentially significant, travel issues developing. That frozen ground means we could ice things up pretty good, even if temps go above freezing. I’ve seen situations like this cause all kinds of problems in the past.

After that system rolls through, temps take a big tumble, but another system is likely to move in here a few days later, bringing another winter weather threat…

For model watchers, the setup for later next week is not a good one for the models. They are going to struggle with systems ejecting from the west.

Overall, the extreme cold is going to relax, leading to much better storm threats for our region.

Let’s get back to tracking the snow showers out there today…


Hamburg Area from WKYT Studio

Fifth Third Pavilion Live Cam
Downtown Lexington

I-275 approaching KY 20/Airport
Near Covington
I-275 East of KY 20/Airport Exit

I-71/I-75 at Buttermilk Pike
Near Covington
I-71/I-75 @ Buttermilk Pike

I-71/I-75 at 12th St.
I-71/I-75 @ 12th St. in Covington

US 60 @ US 127
US60 @ US127

Downtown Louisville @ 2nd & Broadway
Downtown Louisville @ 2nd & Broadway

I-64 at KY-801
Near Morehead




I will have updates later today, so check back. Make it a good one and take care.

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36 Responses to Bitter Cold Continues

  1. M. Arnett says:

    Thanks for always keeping us in the know!!! So love your page and forecasts ❤️❄️

  2. B H says:

    If the cold relaxes is it the January thaw? What a muddy mess it will be.

  3. Bobt says:

    Temps came in quite a bit above projected last night. 21 degrees in Barbourville right now. Looks like the Bubba rule back in effect. 32 and below dry or festive flakes and above 32 here comes the moisture. Not looking forward to the mess coming up. Especially after dealing with all this cold.

  4. Schroeder says:

    Thanks Chris, The developing Nor’Easter is very impressive. This is the first well defined storm of this winter season. This is what happens when you have a very cold upper level system combining with a surface low pressure system just off the southeast coast in the Atlantic. Currently, here in central Kentucky the temperature is nine degrees and is very windy, cold and dry. We have yet to see any snowflakes so far this winter season. I expect a January thaw starting about mid- month.

  5. which way is the wind blowing says:

    I am ready for some cold rain.

  6. Jimbo says:

    The headline should read “The Cold Relaxes” leading ro better rain chances.

  7. Cold Rain says:

    Cold/Dry..Warm/rain..That’s how we roll in Ky..Oh how i hope the GFS is right for a change in the long range.No cold to be found in the good ole USA..60’s would be lovely..70’s would be awesome..

  8. BubbaG says:

    How the mighty blog has fallen. It was built on big snow talk, and we got some over performing clippers with decent snows. Then 2015 and 16 we actually got real big snows. Now for the past two winters, we went from big snow talk to talking about the cold, and one week or more out models that have panned out zero times for the second winter now.

    Even Rolo does not post, since the outlooks and trends are not worthy of even opening the Rolocoaster for business.

  9. Mike S says:

    Euro last night continues to trend colder, even introducing accumulating snowfall for north central Kentucky along with a prolonged period of freezing rain with some ice accumulation.
    Teleconnection signals I follow also are trending up to moderate confidence of a significant winter weather event for this region.

  10. LOUTeach says:

    Had about 1/4 inch in my neighborhood this morning. Then drove the 9 miles to my school, and no flakes. It was pretty, but with the frozen ground made for a slippery ride out to the main roads. Thanks for the updates CB! It will be interesting to see how things play out for LOU with the weekend mess. Fingers crossed for snow!

  11. Mike S says:

    Last night’s run of NAM shows cyclogenesis of storm system near TX/OK border to affect our region late Sunday into overnight Monday.
    All eyes will be monitoring this model on future runs.

  12. Concerned Citizen says:

    We gonna see “Wind Chill Advisory” posted for Central Kentucky tomorrow morning? With the wind I hope schools don’t risk sending kids to school.

  13. nancy barger says:

    Mother Nature certainly has my attention now! Cant help it y’all, snow makes me giddy!!

  14. Prelude says:

    12z GFS and 12z Canadian still saying rain 12z Canadian is also trending colder. The low is actually well south of Kentucky on all models where a day or two back the low was well north. The GFS and the Canadian are struggling to see the amount of cold that will be trapped at the surface. The NAM is more of a high res model so it can detect the amount of cold at the surface much better than the GFS or Canadian models. The GFS and Canadian as usual will play the game of catch up and will see the amount of cold air at the surface and probably will be at the last minute.

  15. Schroeder says:

    All weather models are a day late and a dollar short when it comes to forecasting any weather events, especially in the Ohio River valley. This has been a tough winter for meteorologist. We need to give them all a break, when weather events don’t pan out.

  16. WM says:

    You would think Mother Nature could throw us a bone and give us some snow after dealing with this ridiculous cold for so long. But noooooo…..we get cold rain instead.

  17. Jimbo says:

    Cold air trapped is no match for a southwest wind in my area. Back in 2015, I had a low of -12 on Feb 20th the temp kept rising until I hit 40 in under 24 hours. Once it topped freezing mark, the rain started. I always say never under estimate the power of a southwest wind.

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