Winter Storm Threat Northern Half Of Kentucky

Good Thursday, folks. It’s a full blown Winter Storm THREAT for the coming weekend as a messy/snowy system rolls into the region. The THREAT simply means there is the potential for several inches of snow to impact parts of the region, especially the northern half of the state.

Before we get to that system, our day is starting with snow showers across central and eastern Kentucky. Light accumulations are being noted, causing some slick travel conditions. A few delays or cancellations are very possible as this action develops on a northwest wind…

I made a map last weekend that outlined our northwest flow event for this week. A cold northwest wind off Lake Michigan is a snow shower and flurry maker in our region.

This is the opening act to our weekend winter storm. I’m still rolling with this general theme…

Again, all of that is subject to be moved a little farther north or south with future updates today and Friday.

Here’s a breakdown of how things stand:

  • This is a Friday night through Sunday night event that may actually include 3 different waves of precipitation.
  • The first wave arrives from west to east late Friday evening into Saturday morning and is mainly in the form of snow. This likely delivers accumulations to areas of western, central and northern parts of the state. Some of that may make it into the east and southeast.
  • That Friday night/Saturday morning setup has a chance to overachieve.
  • There may be a lull in precipitation for a time Saturday afternoon and evening, with mainly rain falling across the southern half of the state. That rain line may get as far north as the Interstate 64 corridor for a time.
  • As the second low passes to our southeast Saturday night and early Sunday, the next wave of precipitation really kicks in. This may still be in rain form across the southern half of the state, with snow across the northern half.
  • A third, weaker, system develops Sunday night into Monday with light snow across central and eastern Kentucky.
  • Given the fact this will be a roughly 3 day event, snow depth may never actually match snowfall. I haven’t even mentioned any kind of totals at this point, but should have a First Call For Snowfall around noon or so.
  • Moral of the story, the farther north you go in the state, the better the chance for several inches of snow. The farther south, that potential goes way, way down.

Let’s do a quick check of what the various computer models are showing. The European Model keeps spitting out a decent hit for much of the region, with the emphasis on the northern half of the state. Here are two different snowfall maps from the same run. One uses the standard 10 to 1 ratio while the other uses the Kuchera ratio…


Kuchera Ratio

Keep in mind those are snowfall numbers through Monday.

The Canadian Model is in very good agreement with the European…

The NAM is a funky model with snow setups like this because it loves to overdue warm air advection, which leads to anomalously high precipitation totals. The run only goes through Sunday morning, but fell in love with north central Kentucky…

Again, the NAM is VERY likely overdoing things and is the model voted most likely to have wild swings from run to run. 🙂

That brings us to the GFS, which seems to be having issues of the opposite kind. It continues to run much drier with this storm than every other model. It’s snow shield looks undercooked in all areas on the map…


So, the European and Canadian Models are very similar to one another, while the American models look nothing alike. Maybe that whole government shutdown thing really is impacting the American models?

I will have another update later today, so check back. Until then, have a good one and take care.

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35 Responses to Winter Storm Threat Northern Half Of Kentucky

  1. BH says:

    I guess I have to get my snow shovel ready.

    • Jim B says:

      If you’re in NORTHERN Ky, southern Ohio, yes, it’s looking that way… a broom will suffice in most other areas, and a pair of rain boots haha

  2. Farmer 43 says:

    Like forest gump would say this storm system sucks like a vacuum cleaner looks like the rain train for most of Kentucky but like I said before I didn’t really expect anything else cold air is marginal u want a good snow it isn’t usually predicted a week out it just shows up at last minute. Snow predictions NEVER work out they just don’t if you hate snow Kentucky is a great place to live

  3. Farmer 43 says:

    Get on the rain train Choo choo

  4. BubbaG says:

    I thought the trend was not more north? Seems so with this forecast. Ankle biter seems the average for most…. unless north.

  5. Schroeder says:

    I appreciate all your hard work Chris. The impending winter storm has yet to form and yet you get nothing but negative comments on your blog about how the storm is on the fence, cold rain, etc. and I’m not without negativity either and I’m sorry for this. All those weather models cause this to occur. I hope the storm does pan out for all the snow lovers out there, and I hope it’s a block buster of a storm ! Just not in my county of Taylor as I can’t handle a major snow or ice storm anymore.

  6. Troy says:

    If Vegas were betting on this I’d go all in on the GFS.

  7. Russell says:

    WKY on the rain train….I’m still saying no sig snow for us…

  8. Cold-Rain says:

    Make American Models Great Again..

  9. WM says:

    My area is on the fence for snow or rain. I’m hoping the storm doesn’t trend more north because I do not want to see any more rain, especially freezing rain!

    Thanks for your updates, Chris. You are the only one to trust when a storm is on the way.

  10. Winterlover says:

    Ready to bring my snow shovel out.

  11. RJIII says:

    IF you had over 100 head of cattle to take care of (vegans save your comments I don’t care) or if you had to work out in the weather you may change your view on the snow. Chris does an outstanding job forecasting and giving “possible” scenarios as to what may or may not happen. The information he provides (along with Dr. Judah Cohen) is most valuable when you have animals that depend on you during the winter months.

  12. Bryan says:

    Great time to live in Illinois, parts of Indiana then over to Ohio. Energy appears to transfer to eastern Low, with not much in the way of phasing. South never was in the game, and north is looking very iffy.

  13. Dr wx says:

    Im gonna blame it on the government shutdown

  14. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks Chris. Looks like somebody is going to get a decent show out of this thing. I would prefer that we in southern KY get nothing as opposed to a cold rain. WE have had plenty of that, but oh well. WE will get what we get and take it. Have a great Friday Eve everyone.

  15. Jimbo says:

    Rain anyone???

  16. Mike S says:

    Earlier CB, you basically implied the NAM was a bit aggressive with a high precipitation-warm air advection bias, almost as if it should be an outlier. Now, though in a recent tweet, compared to the Euro run, it’s now ok? Looks just aggressive as before if not more to me.

  17. Mike S says:

    WPC shows a general 0.5″ to 0.75″ of liquid precipitation nearly statewide over the next several days. According to this source, then, even if all snow falls, 4-6″ total through Sunday. But, temperatures will not support a 4-6″ snow depth. It’s really looking like a super messy yuck storm, as my inner child would call it.

  18. Drew says:

    First call map will be interesting to see.

  19. Schroeder says:

    One of these years we WILL have a winter that will have extremely cold air that won’t go away till late May and this will be followed by a very hot dry summer. It might be this year ? Until then I’m enjoying the sunshine today.

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