Winter Storm Threat Continues

Good Sunday, everyone. On the day we “spring forward”, nothing about the forecast looks much like spring. A developing storm system will bring rain and snow across parts of Kentucky late today into tonight. A band of heavy wet snow has the chance to put down 4″+ in some areas and that’s why we are in Winter Storm Threat Mode.

For those new to the game. this is a heads up to the POTENTIAL of 4″ or more of snow falling in parts of our region. If confidence increases, we go to an Alert. If confidence decreases, we scrap the Threat and go along our merry way. I prefer the downgrade, but Mother Nature doesn’t care about what I want.

This does NOT mean you yard will pick up 4″ or more of snow, but it does mean some areas of the state can certainly pick up those totals. Here’s the area most at risk…

Please pay close attention to the headlines I’ve included on that map. With a system like this, there are a lot of variables at play that can alter placement of the heaviest snow, and the totals it produces.

This action is coming from a coma head of precipitation rolling from west to east across the state. The models disagree on exactly where that happens. The NAM has been farthest south, but the new GFS is targeting areas much farther north..

The snowfall map from that run really drops the hammer on central Kentucky…

The Canadian Model is very similar to the GFS…

The short range Canadian Model continues to drift north and has a heavier shield of snow than earlier runs…

Keep in mind, there will be a VERY sharp cutoff to the northern edge of the precipitation shield.

Winds will also be very gusty as this system rolls in, with those winds becoming much colder in the coming days. A strong northwesterly flow will be accompanied by a clipper-type disturbance diving in here late Tuesday and Wednesday. That should produce widespread snow showers and squalls, with some accumulation possible…

#teamspring continues to take a beating here in March. However, that may change late next week into the weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised to see temps REALLY take off and for some strong storms to come calling.

Back to today’s system, I full expect Winter Storm Watches/Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories to be issued early today. The map below should update with the latest…

Multiple updates are coming your way today, so check back. Have a good one and take care.

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40 Responses to Winter Storm Threat Continues

  1. Dr WX says:

    Probably this event all or nothing for the remainder of winter one last gasp so to speak. Given the way the models handled our last event Friday night, confidence is guarded on amounts and locations a few miles tracking North will certainly make the difference. The waiting game begins,….

  2. Virgil E. says:

    All I needed was to hear warmth and strong storms and Im back to being in spring mode.

  3. Lisa May says:

    If I am not mistaken on the actual day but on March 11, 1993, Kentucky was hit with a hefty snowstorm. I definitely do know that there was 6+ inches on the ground in March 12, 1993.

    • TennMark says:

      Hard to believe the 25th anniversary of the epic Blizzard of 1993 is upon us. I was a nine year old in Morristown TN which had almost two feet of snow with drifts near window level. BTW, my family and I were hunkered by the fire in the seldom used fireplace (no power, no central heat) with a battery radio listening to the 1993 SEC Mens Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena.

      The Blizzard of 93 brought very heavy snow from Alabama to the interior northeast. For the first time in recorded history, parts of the Florida panhandle met the criteria for blizzard conditions. Tornadoes and huge storm surges struck the rest of Florida and even into Cuba.

  4. nasdaq says:

    Just when you thought we had model consensus, The euro throws a wrench. Euro is almost money this close in…But it didn’t even pick up the storm until yesterday. GFS has been all over this for some time now.

  5. TennMark says:

    Also on today’s date in history was a likely F5 tornado back in 1923 at Pinson TN which is near Jackson TN. One of only two F5s in Tennessee…..the other was the so-called “Forgotten F5” in southcentral TN on April 16 1998.

    No recorded EF5s in the Volunteer State since the switch from the F to the EF scale in 2007, although the April 26 2011 tornado at Ringgold GA which then just missed Cleveland TN was a high end EF4.

  6. Mike S says:

    I wonder if the models above are using the 10:1 ratio for a wet snow event when in actuality the ratios should be more like 4:1 or 5:1 or less.
    Still, 2-5″ of heavy wet snow can still cause serious issues, especially the 4-5″ amounts can affect evergreens and make for a slop fest on the highways.

  7. Mike S says:

    I am not trying to make fun of NWS protocol for issuing advisories and watches/warnings here, but the language from the NWS Louisville that I read should favor a Winter Storm Watch for many areas in the Advisory, more so since random or variable banding of a quickly accumulating snow could occur in a VERY SHORT period of time, which could lead to a Warning status. I say issue the Watch for the POTENTIAL, then downgrade to Advisory as needed.

    • Rodger in Dodger says:

      NWS almost always plays it conservatively. It’s odd to see Louisville NWS say up to 6″ in a narrow band but not issue a Watch. However, given the nature of this event, going conservative probably a good idea. Warm ground should limit travel impacts anyway. Rodger in Dodger

  8. nasdaq says:

    and the 06z gfs pushes the heavy snow to the northern part of the state, what a forecasting headache this will be…

  9. Mike S says:

    One more rant, then I’m done. Often, NWS offices like to follow some rigid time frame for issuing Winter Storm Watches, like at least 24 hours out, then upgrade to Warning if it seems likely within 12 hours. But, if there is the potential for rapidly changing weather conditions in a shorter period of time, say within 12-24-hours, a short term Winter Storm Watch could be issued and would now closely resemble what our friends do at the Storm Prediction Center when issuing Tornado/Severe Thunderstorm Watch products at least 6 to 8 hours in advance. Rant over.

    • LOUTeach says:

      I agree with you. Once this begins conditions will deteriorate rapidly. It will be interesting to see what NWS LOU does over the next several hours.

    • Prelude says:

      Mike S, this is unusual but SW Jefferson County in Louisville is actually in the somewhat low end sweet spot for snow this go around.

  10. Schroeder says:

    Thanks Chris, but to tell you the truth, I am really getting tired of the various weather models you present on your weather blog. On this impending late winter snowstorm I’m going to wait till it gets light and make some observations, such as cloud identification, amount of area sky coverage, direction movement of the clouds ( clouds moving from east to west would indicate a major snowstorm ) and also cloud color. I’ve found out in past that a greenish cast to the clouds would also indicate abundant moisture moving into the upper levels. If this snowstorm pans out I will post my snow accumulations from my back yard tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a major snow event ( twelve plus inches ) Have a great Sunday everyone.

  11. Brenda Thorpe says:

    Good morning Chris. My favorite weather dude!!
    Thank you for always keeping us informed about the possibility of some measurable snow in eastern Kentucky. I always look forward to your blogs.
    Why not have one good snow to end the winter of 2018!!
    Take care

  12. BubbaG says:

    CB, I think because the NWS are concerned with melting/mix offsetting totals, the they created a new term- hedge your bet forecast with “Highend” WWA. The comma could be more like a question mark 😉 Seems like more warm air than the times we have had March surprises before. Two years ago as example.

    • Terry says:

      We just can’t buy snow in far SE KY. The sad thing is the fact that I am ready for spring now but still hate the feeling of “being left out.” I hope the statement “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a Lamb,” will hold true this year and stay at least average warm in April and let this second consequently miserable winter die! Yes, I am cranky this morning

      • BubbaG says:

        Based on model performance on Friday, I’m siding with the low end for the models. They got a D- for Friday, and that’s with generous curving.

        • Terry says:

          D- average for the whole season is generous. I think last week’s performance of the GFS keeping the flooding rains south of KY WITHOUT THE NW SHIFT was the best and only good model performance in a very long time.

  13. Cold Rain says:

    Just what my old clunker needs, more salt or whatever they use now..Some strong stuff..Slowly becoming a rust pile..Hopefully this little snow nuisance will be the last as we wait on flooding rains again..

  14. Prelude says:

    NWS in Louisville stating a potential upgrade to a Winter Storm Warning for central parts of Kentucky is becoming a strong possibility. Storm track is still shifting north so the WWA that’s already in place may also have to shift north to cover the Ohio River counties in north central Ky.

    • c-BIV says:

      Shocker…seems to be a good bet this target area will get shifted North. The trends are there. At least the NWS is acknowledging this, whereas some of the others don’t seem to be.

      • BubbaG says:

        Seems the flow makes more sense for more south and then a hockey stick handle shooting up to the NE. Then again that would make the snow less and more time for convective cooling to get the snow primed. Good luck to CB figuring it out.

  15. Crystal In Pikeville says:

    Well it looks like Pikeville isn’t in at all.

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