Winter Storm THREAT Friday and Saturday

Good evening, everyone. It’s been a few years, but the blog is back in Winter Storm THREAT mode. This is for our developing storm coming our way Friday and Saturday. We still have several questions that need to be answered about the storm, but confidence is high that a winter storm will impact our region.

The questions with our storm are the typical ones… Where does low track exactly? How strong does the storm get? While I’m not expecting this to be a system that features MAJOR deviations , we still have the usual wiggle room with track and intensity.

Let’s start the Threat out with a general risk area…

For those new to how we do things on KWC… A threat means there is an increased risk for significant amounts of snow (4″ or more) or ice (.30″ or greater). If confidence increases as we get closer, we upgrade to Winter Storm ALERT. If confidence decreases, we downgrade to “what could have been”. 🙂

As we get closer, I will hone in even more on the greatest risk area. For now, I feel good that a large chunk of our region will get in on a substantial hit from this winter storm. It’s a winter storm that can put down significant amounts of snow and ice. At this point, I cannot tell you what that means for your backyard specifically.

The intensity of this storm is ramping up a bit on the forecast models, especially the European and NAM. Both models show a POTENT upper level system closing off to our southwest, then lifting northward into the region…



That allows for a tremendous amount of lift and develops a stronger surface low. That low should track from east Tennessee into West Virginia.

The European Model has a lot of precipitation, with a quick switch from rain to ice and snow taking place from west to east. This sequence starts Thursday night and ends Saturday evening…

The NAM only goes through 1am Saturday, but has a similar look…

Since both models show a strengthening low, they are increasing the potential for high winds. The European Model wind gusts for Friday night…

If the NAM and European Models hold, it’s a major winter storm impacting much of Kentucky and surrounding areas.

The GFS had been similar earlier, but the late afternoon run came in with a weaker system…

That is still a good hit for our region, but is much weaker than the other models. If we keep getting agreement from the European and NAM over the next few days… Look out.

We are still more than 48 hours away from the first winter weather impacting western parts of the state, so changes to the forecast are very possible. It’s way too early to talk specifics or to put out any kind of first call maps.

After lingering snow showers into Sunday, another threat level system may impact our region from later Monday through Tuesday…

I may throw you another update before the evening is finished. Make it a good one and take care.

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98 Responses to Winter Storm THREAT Friday and Saturday

  1. Kimberly S says:

    come on snow!

  2. Joyce says:

    Super excited for threat mode! Bring on the snow ⛄️ snow ❄️. No ice!

  3. B H says:

    Why other forecasters aren’t talking this up like Chris is beyond me.

    • Rodger in Dodger says:

      NWS offices are very conservative and likely won’t issue Watches until Thursday afternoon. Often times, that’s the wise approach as we all know many of these systems don’t pan out. This one will hopefully be a different story. Rodger in Dodger

  4. which way is the wind blowing says:

    I like we’re I sit here in Louisville, right in the middle.
    I am not greedy I hope everybody has a chance to receive an accumulating snowfall.

  5. Drew says:

    Someone give me confidence in the Ashland area:( lol

    • Troy says:

      Give me confidence for Middlesboro…I’ll give you confidence for Ashland! I have a feeling neither of us could do that with a straight face and no laughs! lol

    • Snowteach says:

      If you get some in Ashland send it easy to Putnam County WV please and thank you!

      • Jimbo says:

        I am in Putnam also and I think maybe with enough “Dreaded Backside Flurries” we can bring our season snow total up to 1 inch.

        • Terry says:

          I need over half an inch yet in Harlan just to reach an inch for the season. Maybe this storm will be strong enough to produce (strong flurries) from the Great Lakes…LOL!

        • Bobbo says:

          An inch of snow will bring our total to 1 inch in Taylor County!

  6. BubbaG says:

    Ice…. Ten year anniversary of the last big one. Ruh roh!

    I did not expect this forecast, but CB is a real met and I’m not anything near it. I expected most snow more western, NW impact for KY…… Unless that is the snow and the rest of us get more ice. Neither shovels or brooms work for that.

  7. B H says:

    I’m in the high risk area also but we shall see.

  8. Andy Rose says:


    • Troy says:

      Andy, at least we can share a few backside flurries, after areal flash flood warning of course! lol

      • Bobt says:

        Yep. Most people don’t realize it but the dome probably still exists where Andy and I live. None of the big snows from a couple of more years ago had as big of an impact in our part of the state. Look to be outside of Major precipitation again. Oh well.

    • BubbaG says:

      Given the only other event this winter thankfully underperformed (two degrees from disaster on all roads) good luck mapping totals for this. Still seems snow favors west of I64 and north. Interesting stuff.

    • Terry says:

      Maybe, we can get enough lake effect from the strengthening low to make up that inch-to-date seasonal total for poor ole SE KY….stinks:(

  9. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks Chris. Time will tell…..But it’s looking like there will be snow on the ground somewhere in Kentucky. Hope my part of the state gets in on it.

  10. Ruth says:

    Looks like a bust for the SE part of the state, as per usual, UGH!

  11. Dreary says:

    Is it possible that there will be an eastward shift in the models allowing for a greater chance of far Eastern Kentucky getting in on a thumping snow? Have we seen this happen in the past? I sure hope it does! We would like to get in on the action, too. 🙂

  12. Melva says:

    Huntington/Ashland area always misses out on the goodies! No snow treat for us with this threat, but those of you in the risk areas.. enjoy!!!

  13. Lucy says:

    Hope for a big snow. Ordered my daughter some new snow boots.

  14. Tim says:

    A Louisville met said we could expect rain changing to a little light snow, so we`ll see what happens. Its been my experience, of watching snow systems only, that when a low travels from East Tennessee to the West Virginia area, Louisville gets “hammered” with snow. I`m wanting a huge snow, so I hope it arrives this weekend.

  15. A-Rod says:

    Let it snow Let it snow Let it snow!!!!❄ ❄ ⛄ Ice stay away!!!!

  16. c-BIV says:

    693 Days and counting since last Winter Storm Watch…will 695 days be the end of streak??

  17. Prelude says:

    Accuweather which I never take seriously is calling for 3-6 inches of snow for Paducah, 2-4 inches for Louisville to Cincinnati, 1-2 inches for Bowling Green and Lexington. Southwest Indiana 3-6 inches and Indianapolis 4-8 inches. Not much of anything east of Lexington. No worries that forecast will change several times between now and Friday.

    • BubbaG says:

      Normally don’t buy into them, but that’s about what I was thinking in general in regards to stuff accumulated. Lower end though, for areas east of 64. Issue being the stuff will probably not be all snow.

      CB seems pretty bold with his map, but it is really no big difference from the afternoon one. Still a chance map and not really a forecast yet.

  18. Michael Carson says:

    If this storm system is going to be ice; then it can torch. 2009 is too fresh in my memory.

    • Adrian says:

      Amen to that 2009 ice storm was a nightmare

      • TennMark says:

        I was in Evansville IN in 2009. The ice was bad enough in Evansville, but it was even worse further south. The tree damage was unbelievable in Madisonville KY as I later drove by Madisonville to visit my folks in Tennessee.

        My future wife experienced as a kid in Bowling Green KY the 1994 ice event and that was also a bad mess.

    • BubbaG says:

      I thought it was 2008…. It was not fun regardless.

      • Miss Kate says:

        It was 2009. I was pregnant with my 4th. Power went out the first night and we didn’t get it back for 9 days. Bless my parents for putting up with our tribe for that long!

      • TennMark says:

        Perhaps you are thinking of the Feb 2008 “Super Tuesday” tornado outbreak. I was a WKU senior at the time.

        After college, I got a job in Evansville IN where I endured the 2009 ice event.

  19. KAinEKY says:

    I never want to be in the “sweat spot” this far out. It always changes. Hoping for that rare SE shift.

  20. Crystal In Pikeville says:

    Thanks Chris

  21. Carlene Abner says:

    hoping for a little shift to include southeast ky!

  22. Debbie says:

    Welp, I’m in Bardstown, so I’m calling it. Ice Storm- and everyone in a 12+ mile radius of me will have a nice deep thumper. That’s how it goes.

    • SHAAK says:

      Nah, we got it good with the last 3 snow storms we’ve had.

      • Debbie says:

        You’re right. Maybe I’m having PTSD from none recently? I keep reverting back to Dec. ’04 when all we got was ice and once you got past Rooster Run and on north, nearly a foot of snow. I think we will do pretty well with this one, too, in all honesty. I’m still trying to get a broken hip from May mended here, so def not wanting the dreaded ice!

  23. Drew says:

    When do the newest models come out?

  24. JJTeach says:

    REALLY hoping that the 0z models shift east some. I know that no major shifts will occur in the models, like Chris said. But a 50-75 mike shift easy would bring much more wintry weather further into the state with higher totals. I don’t want Indiana and Ohio stealing all of our big time totals! They already had several decent snow systems this year.

    • C in BG says:

      Hope your right. Very interested to see what the new runs say especially NAM and Euro.

    • Mark says:

      Not in Cincinnati! We’ve had 2 inches at most all winter so far. We are overdue! Its been since 2007-2008 since we had a storm over 8 inches of snow.

      • Oh Hail No! says:

        I moved to Covington last year and I have been disappointed with the snow situation up here. I lived in Bowling Green, KY most of my life and we had a storm drop 12″ in 2015 and another one drop 12.5″ in 2016. We totaled around 24″ of snow in each of those two seasons. I think we had about 4 inches total all winter in Covington last year. I expected more snow when I moved a lot further north, hopefully this one shifts a little east and gets us.

        • Mark says:

          I hope so too Oh Hail No! Its been too long here in Cincinnati. I am 20 miles north of the city and we have not seen much snow the last 2 winters. I’m waiting for a big snowfall over 1-2 inches that we have had this winter lol

    • Lucy says:

      Southern Indiana has had no snow.

  25. Virgil says:

    Team #WhatCouldHaveBeen

    • BubbaG says:

      Speaking of, that has to be the worst final two minutes in Wildcat history. How the ref missed the foul at the very end is dumb luck.

  26. SHAAK says:

    The NAM isn’t done loading yet, but if I am reading it correctly so far, it has come more east.

  27. BubbaG says:

    FYI. CB tweeting bad words like Ice.

  28. Prelude says:

    NAM crushes Kentucky

  29. corey says:

    I.mean obliterates Kentucky…it is only 3 days out so its not like were that far away hopeful …….right…lol

  30. C in BG says:

    The NAM went BAM! still too far out to take completely verbatim. But wow!

  31. Tom says:

    Hurrah to western half of Ky! Maybe tomorrow it will be the eastern half or the central half. The NAm run is quite impressive.

  32. Msd says:

    Wow, two feet of snow for some! Even with half that this would be a shutdown storm.

  33. Sean says:

    Storms like this is when I turn into a weather geek (no offense Cris). Lol! I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I’m really hoping for a huge storm. I live in Louisville so we’re right in the middle of this bad boy.

  34. Cold Rain says:

    Did anyone follow the low..Looked bizarre..Like it jumped to South carolina but ended up in the same spot as past runs..Ice map

  35. Cold Rain says:

    Probably overdone but still would be crippling with the snow..

    • Prelude says:

      It better be overdone at least one would think

      • Cold Rain says:

        Wonder if would start out as a heavy wet snow..

        • Prelude says:

          See there’s another issue. I’m thinking it will but for how long? With temperatures tanking I’m wondering if the wet snow will transition to more of a powdery snow if that happens your snow ratios go up. Maybe that’s what the NAM is detecting. Thus the insane snow totals the NAM keeps putting out

  36. Sherman Mooneyhan says:

    Let’s get it !!!!!!

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