Winter Rolls Back Into The Bluegrass State

Good Monday, folks. The first full week of December is kicking off with much colder air pressing in from the northwest. This air grows colder as over the next few days as periods of light snow and flurries settle in. All of this is ahead of a southern stream storm system that may impact our weather late Friday into the weekend.

As mentioned, colder air is pushing in today with highs generally in the upper 30s and low 40s. A shower or two will be noted and should be mainly rain, but a few flakes will be possible during the evening…

Periods of light snow, snow showers and flurries  then work across the region over the next few days. Light accumulations are a good bet, especially Tuesday night and Wednesday. That’s when we have a chance at delays and cancellations.

Can a few areas pick up an inch or so total from the next 2 days? Yep and the models are getting closer. The Hi Res NAM only goes through Tuesday night…

The new version of the GFS


Another weak system brings some rain and snow our way late Thursday into Thursday night. That’s a fast mover and looks fairly light.

That brings us to our developing winter storm and the potential impact on Kentucky. Like with any storm… It’s all about the track of the low, but we are still a few days away from being able to say with confidence where that will be.

The latest Canadian is a big hit across the bluegrass state…

The new version of the GFS has a similar hit…

The GFS impacts the southern half of the state…

The bias of the GFS is for such systems to be too flat and too far south and east. Of course, that doesn’t mean it will correct north and west, but I’m pointing out the well documented bias of the model.

The European Model went from being the farthest north of the models, to being the farthest south on Sunday. The latest run adjusts to the north and west, but it still has some very obvious issues. Convective feedback has been a problem with the Euro all year and it’s showing up in the initial stages of our storm developing across Texas. Convective feedback is when a model develops spurious thunderstorm clusters that show up as bullseyes of heavy rainfall. You can see those diamond shape issues on the first three panels I’ve highlighted…

The model gets confused by the false convection and jumps the low near or under where that spurious thunderstorm action is. It also typically slows the overall progression of the system on that particular model. Look at the fourth panel above and you will see the model is losing the feedback issue. Now, watch how quickly the Euro then tries to correct itself north and west…

Even with the convective feedback issues, it still manages to bring hefty snows into areas of central and eastern Kentucky.

There is still a lot of model shaking out to do in the coming days. You’re still gonna see some wild swings until about Wednesday. That’s when things should settle down, with this storm much more in focus for the models.

That said, I’m probably going to put out an “outlook” map later today, so check back. Make it a great Monday and take care.

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19 Responses to Winter Rolls Back Into The Bluegrass State

  1. John-Austin says:

    Excellent explanation CB of the typical biases of each model and how that is effecting how they are handling this particular storm for the weekend. As much as I’d love a good snowstorm here in central KY, I love the tracking and model watching just as much. You do the best job of anyone out there explaining what all this means to weather weenies like myself. Looks to be a fun week of tracking!

  2. Terry says:

    I so just have the feeling that Chris’s outlook map has SE KY left out as more cold rain while central and northern KY will be smiling in the main target…lol….nothing suppressed about the current runs compared to yesterday afternoon…shifting back NW. This is SE KY cold rain fear!

    • nasdaq says:

      Always on the edge down here. Its all or nothing, whats usually good for the rest of state dont apply down here, or vice versa. Being in snow starved SE KY, you gotta like what the models are spitting out on this setup. Long week of model watching.

      • Terry says:

        It is interesting, especially if some version of the EURO actually plays out. Obviously, the EURO has feedback issues but a track that throws moisture back into SE KY would be great.

  3. MarkLex says:

    Watching YouTube vids last night and I ended up accidentally getting into the dark side of YouTube videos about how we are entering another ice age and that the planet is not warming at all but cooling. Something about a grand solar minimum or sunspot activity.

    • B says:

      Thats what the trends seems like.. the solar activity til around 2012 was very high and thats why temps were so warm.. right now the sun is predicted to drop into at most a maunder to dalton minimum state. NASA has said the upper atmosphere is already cooling at a record pace and they’ve talked about solar minimums. Funny thing is volcanoes and quakes pick up during solar minimums and have you noticed anything about that? I have.. some people think we enter a super minimum ladt 300 years..

      • Jamie says:

        If we are entering a cooling phase, I think it may take several years before we notice real temperature differences. The oceans retain heat well, and release it slowly.

        • B says:

          I think we starting to see some changes. It has already snowed twice in November as well as being 13 degrees one morning going to work.. in only November.. i have family in houston and it snowed there in November also. I know its only small things but its looking like a trend

          • Joe DeRosa says:

            Check out the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) site, and select the Sunspots section:
            This is how the sun has looked for the past several months. I know that we’re in the minimum phase of the 12 year cycle, but there’s usually 1 or 2 small spots during the Min period.

    • BubbaG says:

      I have been posting that here off and on for years. Kentucky would be the frozen tundra area for a mini ice age. Just like the fence for snow events, also the fence for a mini ice age 😉

    • ACHLOU says:

      Interesting stuff! Sounds like The Day After Tomorrow theme. My dad is a retired Met, and was never sold on the ‘global warming’. Our most recent ice age ended about 11,000 +- years ago, right?

  4. Drew says:

    Will the light snowmaker Tuesday night into wednesday be similar to the light snow maker we had last week that caused so many travel issues? Anyone?

  5. DH says:

    Thanks for the update Chris! Looking forward to the outlook map. Looking for a big snow up here near Cincy.

  6. BubbaG says:

    Seems if the flow was flat like the GFS, that would create a very intense storm for the boundary area, to create that much suppression to go due east like that. Snow might be the least of worries for that scenario.

  7. Cold-Rain says:

    Euro shows 1.5 of precip for parts of SE Ky..If system keeps moving NW may get close to two..That would be a thumping..Course temps are always an issue seem’s like in the SE..Anyways a lot can change but the Euro and new GFS is liking the SE..

    • BubbaG says:

      GFS seems too flat though. That could be an intense event for the boundary area if panned out.

    • Terry says:

      It is fun but wish the NW shift was within 3 days prior. The Thursday night system though is looking a bit more stout and may play a big factor in keeping this weekend storm from going too far north….going to be long week!

  8. ACHLOU says:

    Interesting stuff! Sounds like The Day After Tomorrow theme. My dad is a retired Met, and was never sold on the ‘global warming’. Our most recent ice age ended about 11,000 +- years ago, right?

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