Updating The Winter Storm Threat

Good afternoon, folks. It’s a gorgeous day for many in the bluegrass state, but that changes in a hurry over the next few days. We continue with our Winter Storm Threat for much of the region, but I wanted to try and get more specific with the greatest areas of impact.

Let me start by saying this is still a fluid setup, with the track of the low and precipitation amounts still in question. Here’s my current thinking…

I will be updating that map, making changes as I get more confident in precipitation amounts and the exact track of our storm.

A First Call For Snow/Icefall will be coming your way on WKYT-TV starting at 4pm.

Let’s do a quick check of the midday model runs to get you caught up on the current model trends.

The NAM takes one low toward West Virginia, then develops another low just east of the mountains, riding it up the east slopes of the Appalachians…

The NAM has had some pretty big swings in precipitation amounts and placement with the last few runs. The 6z run of the NAM showed a ton of ice…

It also produced a crushing band of snow…

The 12z run didn’t have as much precipitation. Here’s the Ice forecast…

And the snow forecast…

The higher resolution 3km NAM only goes out through 60 hours (7pm Friday), but shows a VERY healthy band of snow and ice sweeping across the state…

The GFS is starting to get better looking with the precipitation shield, but is still a bit disjointed…

GFS Ice Forecast…

GFS Snow Forecast…

The Canadian Model takes a slightly stronger low into West Virginia and then northeast, giving a much more solid band of snow and ice behind it…

Here’s the Ice forecast from the Canadian…

And the snow forecast from the same model…

I will get that First Call map out on WKYT at 4, then update it throughout the evening and the next few days. Yes, I will post it here on KWC, too later today.

Make it a good one and take care.

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193 Responses to Updating The Winter Storm Threat

  1. SpaceGhost says:

    The tri-state dome holding strong…

    • Josh M says:

      Lol we can’t get a snow!! Even if I called jb hunt to deliver 4,000 loads of snow to us they would be stopped at Huntington wv and diverted around ashland

  2. WestKyGuy says:

    Oh it is going to finally snow, Rollo is back!!
    Hope no Ice though, had enough of that to last a lifetime in 2009.
    Thanks for all you time Chris. It is very much appreciated.

  3. Spencerlady says:

    Told my hubby to check the snow blower tonight….need to be ready for whatever comes our way.
    Thanks, Chris!

  4. Tom says:

    It is a great compliment to Mr. Bailey that so many of us are addicted to this website to see the latest, greatest computer runs, commentary, etc. Thanks for all the charts.

    • BubbaG says:

      Not as “fun” though for us in CB’s TV viewing area, since probably not in the storm πŸ˜‰ Seriously though- Ice mixed with snow and teen temperatures is not fun. More like cement. Hopefully not a power outage event for folks west of us πŸ™‚

      Treat the models from previous days not as Lucy’s football, but a warm soft cute puppy to cuddle. Ice & snow is a nasty mix.

    • Stormtracker_WV says:

      Well-said Tom, thanks for this! Can’t thank CB enough for all that he does!

  5. Miranda Swafford says:

    I knew this storm was too good to be true! It’s taken a westward track now I feel bummed! I didn’t want the ice but the snow would be amazing! I live in Lewis County Ky and it seems like it’s another bust! Looking forward to the other updates to see how well it holds together! Thanks for the update CB keep up the great work!!

  6. Formerly from KY says:

    Looking at the maps central Ohio is going to be enjoying the brunt of the snow.

  7. B H says:

    Well at this point Chris moved my area in the Risk area about a county away from the High risk area. There are still to many ways this thing can go judging by the models.

  8. J. says:

    Thanks for the update, Chris! Still hoping southeastern Kentucky can see some snow out of this… I still check the blog often, even though I rarely comment anymore due to… circumstances. Congrats on the upcoming anniversary!

  9. Lillian says:

    I should’ve known better than to get my hopes up…

  10. Jason says:

    Well, looks like it going west for most of KY. On to next weeks storm!

  11. Drew says:

    Can’t wait to see the EURO.

  12. A-Rod says:

    Bummer, looks like the hopes of getting dumped on are fading for Central Kentucky.

  13. SHAAK says:

    It looks like the intensity of the storm has backed off. Can we say it’s a bust yet? I don’t want it to ruin my weekend plans

  14. Joyce says:

    If it can just move to the east just a little bit ! I would like Mercer and Boyle in the snow zone !

  15. Bernard P. Fife says:

    For our little part of the world around Monticello Thelma Lou says nothing to see here.

  16. Adrian says:

    Will this be a shutdown snow anyone?

  17. A-Rod says:

    Bummer, it looks like the chances for Central Kentucky to get dumped on are quickly fading.

    • BubbaG says:

      We did not really seem to have a chance unless we cherry picked models and go by the Monday & Tuesday ones. That said, 56 implied a chance at 10PM for a storm in the Lexington area, but that seemed to take the meaning of chance to the far level.

  18. UltimoG says:

    I would like some snow but no east shift in that ice if it happens. I really do not wish that on anyone. That would be a disaster with the snow and cold on top of it. This close it seems like there is increasing confidence on one of those types of events most do not want.

    I just pray everyone can stay safe if this event pans. Really looking forward to the next few updates. Thanks Chris.

  19. MarkS says:

    Am I looking at the maps wrong? When did 2 – 4 inches of snow start qualifying as a Winter Storm??

  20. B H says:

    Chris is going to update again later in the evening. Those lines can shift one way or the other some. That is his thinking as of now.

    • BubbaG says:

      The main models keep tweaking the solution west. Seems Lucy has claimed too many victims already and she should put her football up πŸ˜‰

  21. Lindsey says:

    Thanks Chris!! I’m hoping it will come back eastward and we will get some good snow in Somerset. My 5 year old is dying for it to snow! Thanks for the update! Can’t wait for the next one! πŸ™‚

  22. Andy Rose says:

    NWS in Jackson forecasted less than an inch for my area nothing expected so no disappointment there.

  23. Joey says:

    blah blah… another system another disappointment for us in Central Ky. Nothing to see here unless you live close to the Ohio River or along I-65 west. Like Jason said on to the next. If there’s going to be a next.

  24. Drew says:

    I have finally figured out how to check the GFS on model runs. Would anyone care to explain how to watch see the EURO models? Or can I access those?

  25. Jonathan Coomer says:

    Nothing is a bust because nothing has been forecast yet….just shared models

  26. B H says:

    Chris said earlier that there could be thunder storms in some places ahead of the cold coming. But he hasn’t said much more about it. If you get a thunder storm to roll your way while its snowing you can get hammered. Plus see lighting while its snowing, I’ve seen it several times living in Southern Ohio. Also there is something a lot of you young folks haven’t seen and that is snow rollers. I’ve seen them 2 or 3 times in my life time. They roll up and have a hole that goes all the way through them. Some of them get pretty big.

  27. Tom says:

    The new euro (to me) looks slightly weaker and holds on the east course. Ideas?

  28. SnowLover13 says:

    Adair Co. now in the risk area. That stinks. We want where the good stuff is at.

  29. GerryCombs says:

    In other words Western Ky and Ohio get bopped….viewing area gets zilch. Wake me in April……

  30. Dawnp007 says:

    Ah, I’m so disheartened! I’m needing this baby to trend east! I’m not giving up, yet. Fingers still crossed that my neck of the woods here in Jackson Co. will get a good snow thumping!!

  31. corey says:

    Euro holds course in a way…weaker however

  32. Drew says:

    Euro stays East but much weaker. Is this a sign that other models may start trending eastward?

  33. Matt says:

    Meanwhile, we are crushing record highs today in southeast Ky.. Looks like we may get into the 70s in spots. Man does it feel good!

  34. Virgil E. says:

    Team #WhatCouldHaveBeen

  35. C in BG says:

    This seems to be looking more and more like a WWA event instead of WSW.

  36. Josh Vervoren says:

    These runs just seem weird.. Losing QPF which a storm streaming up moisture from the gulf.. Just doesn’t make sense whatsoever!

  37. Drew says:

    As CB tweeted earlier, is it possible for these totals to continue to increase?

  38. leeannie444 says:

    Huntington/Ashland area? Always the bridesmaid….sigh…

  39. Scott says:

    Looks like West Virginia is going to get missed again. I am feeling very left out. I want snow and lots of it.

  40. Tom says:

    Lunch is over. My wife fixes the best salads ever. In looking further at the euro it shows a forecasted barometric pressure reading of 950…that’s not a bomb of a storm but it’s certainly enough to give a 2-6 inch snowfall across much of Ky….and WV. There are reasons why it is best to use the AVERAGE of models rather than one particular model or one particular model run (like last night’s nam). Chris let’s use see models which are too good to be true…and we have done this long enough we ought to know they’re too good to be true. It’s one thing to get excited about potential…another to be realistic. After all, we don’t have many two foot snowfalls in Ky!

  41. ECMWF says:

    Interesting run of Euro. East, less QPF. Follows suit of less moisture but not west.

  42. Josh Vervoren says:

    I’m throwing that run in the trash… Waiting on the NAM and 3k NAM tomorrow morning!

  43. Drew says:

    At what times does the NAM run?

  44. MelT says:

    “The Weather Channel” mentions Blizzard.

  45. which way is the wind blowing says:

    The euro is by itself
    Hey I live in Louisville I will take any accumulation more than an inch.
    That would be more than I have seen in almost two years.

  46. JaredKY says:

    Where is Prelude and his analysis πŸ˜€

  47. Bobt says:

    Just give me a week of today’s weather and you can have the 1-2 inches of snow.

  48. November girl says:

    Louisville Mets are either strangely quiet or all over the place in their predictions. At this point I am prepared for anything.

  49. Jimbo says:

    I liked that map this morning showing the Huntington tri-state area with 12 inches. But I know that was a dream. That being said, I would settle for something on the order of 3 or 4 inches. That would exceed my total from last year and so far this year. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be another clipper/northwest flow type weak system.

  50. Drew says:

    TWC saying 3-5 inches for the Ashland area Friday night. Interested to see CB’s first call map

  51. T_Lex says:


  52. Dee says:

    Will this precipitation be coming from the west or sout? Lots of times, SE Ky gets dumped on when they’re from the south.

  53. B H says:

    The computer model pages should have in there header.
    ( For entertainment purposes only.) Lol.

  54. Lotsasnow says:

    Ok accuweather just moved area of significant snowfall east by at least 70 miles now I’m a little confused

  55. Mike S says:

    While this could still be our heaviest snowfall since Jan 2016 for some locations, some of the expected snow totals have come down some ( better sampling) and may be affected by a slower transition to all snow because of track of low introducing freezing rain and some sleet. I’m still expecting Winter Storm Warning criteria for at least Louisville for possible icing and snowfall combined. Interestingly, while some will be enjoying very mild weather Thursday, Winter Storm Watch products will already be out for Fri/Sat time frame.

    • BubbaG says:

      Ice might be more than expected in the mix as well. None the less, anybody that gets the main stuff when the colder temps settle in are dealing with white concrete. Not many snow men with this stuff. Heck, snowballs would be lethal weapons πŸ˜‰ Really.

  56. Josh Vervoren says:

    NAM rolling in.. Only at hour 39 now… I can say the precip is back.. Like I said I’m not buying the EURO.. losing precip with gulf moisture streaming in..

  57. Sean says:

    Winter Storm Watch is about to go out- per Louisville met Brian Goode

  58. Oh Hail No! says:

    NAM up to hour 51, about 3pm Eastern Time Friday, already shows huge amounts of slow and sleet. http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/namconus/2018011018/namconus_asnow_seus_18.png

  59. Bjenks says:

    So I am suppose to be coaching volleyball in Nashville this weekend. Teams generally travel Friday afternoon and into the evening. I have already communicated the possible storm with my parents. Several have responded with the new said it would be that bad. I just sent them all a link to the KWC. LOL

    • which way is the wind blowing says:

      I like the path of the storm the NAM is predicting.
      I cannot accept the amount of snow accumulations.
      The barometric pressure is going have to be extremely low.
      But hey I not an expert by no means.

  60. Cold Rain says:

    Man..If Nam is just half right Western ky will be in the dark ages for a while..Up to 2 feet in spots..with copious amounts of ice..Amazing

  61. BengalFan says:

    im trying to be number 100!!!

    all I know is let it snow baby!

  62. Sean says:

    Jesus…If that model verifies Henderson KY and Evansville will be buried.

  63. Kim Curtsinger says:

    Hoping the whole thing misses Central Kentucky.

  64. SHAAK says:

    The NAM goes HAM.

  65. Ruth says:

    Oh wow, EKY gets 1 inch…ugh…

    enjoy the blizzard western ky!

  66. Rodger in Dodger says:

    Rodger lives near Henderson. He’d be happy with a fraction of that, which is probably what will happen. Thoooooo … he did get 23″ in his backyard from the Dec 2004 pre-Christmas bomb with a similar setup. Rodger in Dodger

  67. Jimbo says:

    It is currently 69 degrees in Teays Valley WV. Don’t know if that’s a record. Probably not since 70 degree or higher is not uncommon in the Huntington/Charleston area in the Winter.

  68. Rolo says:

    Anybody that roots for the NAM to be right needs to be put in Eastern State. That said most of the VIewing area going see a sharp cutoff here. That said this is a system that screams BUST all over it as far as models go. Meaning any bit of a change with the track can change the cold air we’re it sets up and could move the winter weather east or west. Remember the 98 I think dusting. just saying Bailey not upgraded to ALERT speaks volumes. Maybe it’s because the viewing/blog area not looking good for 4 plus inches on the models.

  69. Tracie says:

    Looks like Letcher County isn’t getting much at all

  70. Sean says:

    I used to live in Henderson. I moved back to Louisville in 2003 so I missed out on the 2004 Snowstorm. I think I’m Louisville we got about 3 inches of sleet and 10 inches of snow on top of that. I remember Milltown IN which is just west of Louisville got over 30 inches of snow.

  71. Tracie Day says:

    Looks like Letcher County isn’t going to get much

  72. Lori says:

    NWS out of Wilmington Ohio just issued a WSW for parts of Indiana and Kentucky just west of Cincinnati. Reading the forecast discussion, they say they doubt this system will meet warning criteria for the rest of the forecast area, but will likely issue WWA’s. They have dropped the snow amounts as well. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this one pans out!

  73. BubbaG says:

    CB still keeps saying Region…. What up with dat?

    • Jamie says:

      Central Indiana to the southern border of Tennessee. Someone in there is going to see winter this weekend. I have my snow shovel ready here in central ky but I’m not making a bread n milk run.

    • Bobt says:

      Didn’t someone say that the Euro is the most consistent? That may be why? It has it right smack dab in the middle of Kentucky.

  74. SHAAK says:

    Any new info? I’m starved for information.

  75. Andy Rose says:

    Didn’t see a 1st call all I seen was model maps

  76. SHAAK says:

    He tweeted GFS keeps moving heaviest snow

  77. corey says:

    Gfs has heaviest snow now in ne ky LOL

  78. C in BG says:

    Right now the NAM seems to be the most consistent. Doesn`t mean it`s not consistently wrong though.

  79. Mark513 says:

    GFS is garbage I think.

  80. Mark513 says:

    The NAM is consistent every run it seems like. Why are the other models struggling and jump all over the place? Is the NAM onto something the others are not or just being overdone too much?

    • Brandon says:

      1-4 inches tops out of this storm. The NAM is way over done.

      • AC says:

        Besides its usual bias of overdoing precip you think?

        If a model predicts 30 inches of snow, nobody wants to hear it. Odds favor it not happening, sure, but who in their right mind would ever forecast that much? Did they forecast 22 inches of snow in western Kentucky in 2004 two days before the event?

        I love those snow totals…hate the ice ones.
        But even 20 inches of heavy wet snow can cause dangerous conditions for roofs.

        Look up the December 22, 2004 storm from western Kentucky. It has snowed that much before.

  81. C in BG says:

    It`s strange. Basically most the Short range models are in agreement with something along the lines of what the NAM is showing (some more robust than others); however, the Medium range (Euro, GEM, GFS) seem completely lost.

    • SHAAK says:

      I think the NAM is on to something.

      • C in BG says:

        I personally think so. Maybe not quite as robust, but I think it has a much better handle on the system. At least its consistency and support from the other short range models would suggest that. IMO

        • AC says:

          Three runs in a row with high precip output somewhere means the NAM is catching on to a piece of energy somewhere that is enhancing precipitation. They’re calling for a strengthening low to move northeast, yet buying into the models that call for less precipitation. The only way this can happen is if thunderstorms to the south rob us of our precipitation…..which has happened before. We’ll need to keep an eye on the severe potential to our south to see if this is a limiting factor.

  82. Lotsasnow says:

    Yes gfs run is garbage

  83. Mark513 says:

    FOX19 Cincinnati has totals. GFS near 6.8 inches where I live. EURO near 5 inches. NAM near 16 inches. RPM Model was near 7 inches. Does Chris use the RPM model? What model is that? It’s used all the time I hear on the local weather here.

  84. Debbie says:

    Looks like every met in the Ville has a different slant on things. One says the worst is NW, one says N, one says N/NE and I gave up on Eddie Munster when he began the forecast by slamming “model pushers” (or “goons” as his morning buddy called them this a.m.) I think we should just give the models a few more runs to see if we get any agreement at all, or just do like everyone else here with Doctorates in the AASM (“Armchair Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology”) and offer up our usual outlooks and wait for Chris to be right! Sounds good to me!

  85. Cold Rain says:

    Don’t have a clue on whats going to happen..But the Euro came in flatter,less amped..Now the GFS is less amped also..Trend maybe??Not a good day if one wants lots of snow..Suspect the Nam will come around to it’s big brother soon..Hope i’m wrong..Would love to see the Nam get one right..Would rather see someone in Ky get mauled than on the coast..

  86. which way is the wind blowing says:

    I guess we head to the 5th set of model returns.
    I will be back to around 9:30 to see if the nam can hold serve.

  87. Drew says:

    TWC says Ashland gets 3-5 inches. What models are they using?

  88. Drew says:

    What are the next models to run?

    • Dreary says:

      All of them at midnight. GFS, Euro, NAM, Canadian. The key player will be the Euro to see what it does with the main axis of snow.

  89. Bobt says:

    Lol. If it doesn’t show what we want to see throw it out. I will wait on the next Euro since it seems to be the most accurate most of the time. I’m afraid that it’s going to be a bunch of hype over nothing if it trends the way it is going .. let’s hope the precipitation amounts increase regardless of track. That’s what seems to be going down the most according to the Euro and the GFS and if that happens it want matter what track it takes. 2-4 inches in the sweet spot of it and around 1 everywhere else.

  90. SHAAK says:

    Chris, please don’t starve us. We need an update.

    • Elvis says:

      He is live on the TV broadcast between 5-7pm, usually updates around 7:30 or so.

    • Bubba says:

      What’s the difference? Seems the bog remains in selective model syndrome. The one that is still storm wins!

      • Troy says:


      • AC says:

        If it’s only going to snow 1-2 inches and less than .10″ of ice, they need to stop throwing the word storm around on television and hyping things up that aren’t going to happen.

        • AC says:

          However, being in this situation before they’re safe to start with lower amounts–since there’s little room to go back down, and you usually only go up as time closes in. Doesn’t always work that way, but that’s the safer bet.

          Evil dry slot starting to show up too…in a flatter storm, I’m not buying into that solution as much.

  91. Kyle Spaulding says:

    I hope someone here gets a nice snowstorm. I haven’t lived in Kentucky for 3 years but still follow this blog every winter. Colorado doesn’t have a met like Chris that I’ve found so have to come here to get my fix. Lol.

  92. KeavyMan says:

    Some Mets in Cincinnati area is saying we might get from 5 – 8″ or possibly 12 – 18″ of snow……………………BRING IT!!!!!! Models keeps looking favorable for this storm to produce major a snow. Saying WINTER STORM WARNINGS likely for areas around Cincy.

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