An Update From The Frozen Tundra

Good afternoon, everyone. Today has been about as harsh of a winter weather day as you will ever find across the state of Kentucky. Snow and blowing snow, temps from -5 to 5 above and wind chills that almost hit -30 in a few spots.

Wind chills continue to run way below zero through tonight as the current band of light snow pushes away. Another batch of light snow then moves into western Kentucky tonight and can cause a few travel issues.

The Polar Vortex pulls away from the states late Thursday and into Friday. That allows temps tp climb as moisture overruns the region from the southwest. This has a freezing rain signature for Friday. I say that for 2 reasons.

  1. The models are always too fast in moving out low-level arctic cold air.
  2. The ground is frozen solid and road temps are well below freezing. Even if air temps are a little above freezing, as the rain hits the frozen ground and roads, it freezes.

Temps behind this take off for the weekend and early next week. This is a very mild setup that can boost our temps toward 60 degrees. It’s also one that won’t last very long as arctic air crashes back in for the middle and end of next week. This transition is likely a soggy one, with winter weather potential later in the week.

Bitterly cold temps will engulf much of the nation, again. Watch this through the middle of February…

Moral of the story, after a few muddy days to thaw out, winter returns to the region. It’s a setup that may also give us the sequel to the Polar Vortex as the southern jet starts to crank again. There are a lot more snow days waiting in the wings with this pattern.

I’m back on WKYT starting at 4 today and will have another KWC update this evening. I leave you with your tracking tools…

Hamburg Area from WKYT Studio

I-75 @ Newtown Pike

-75/I-64 Southern Split Lexington


I-64 at KY-801
Near Morehead

I-64 MP 97
I-64 WB @ MP 97

Mountain Parkway near Slade

Pine Mountain



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Bowling Green


Have a good one and take care.

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49 Responses to An Update From The Frozen Tundra

  1. Andy Rose says:

    The temp here is 23 not unusual for January wind chill is currently 8

  2. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks Chris. Ya’ll did well with that snow last night! We probably would ha e if the winter weather advisory had not been issued. It always jinxes is. 😉 But the cold is sure here! And of course when you say warm up and rain, that never misses, it seems. Please stay in our off the weather and stay warm. And watch your pets. Have a good afternoon.

  3. Formerly from KY says:

    Euro showing same Arctic vortex for end of next week that might have little more staying power than the current Arctic votex.

    • BubbaG says:

      Seems the cold overall is not as much as expected and still no big snow chance talk, even for end of next week. Soggy and cold is a funky mess theme for next week, but is what it is 🙂

      At least I got to be in one big snow in Ontario last week- I’ll pretend it was here 🙂

  4. Lucy says:

    4 here with wind chill of -15. Brrr

  5. MarkLex says:

    You know this is strong arctic air when the temperature drops even during full sun.

    • BubbaG says:

      Yeah, I was thinking the main cold was this AM- wrong!

    • Andy Rose says:

      I’m glad its not as cold down here temp has creeped up a little.

      • Cold-Rain says:

        Really odd..I can step outside for a few minutes and feel a warm breeze for a few seconds when the wind cranks up..Were just doomed in the SE when a polar vortex starts blowing warm air at us..LOL

        • Prelude says:

          Feel a warm breeze!?! Are you insane??? I don’t care what part of Kentucky you’re in there’s no none zero zilch nothing of any warm breeze outside. Only breeze your feeling is the warm air from your home escaping your front door as you step outside.

          • Andy Rose says:

            The temps down here wasn’t all that bad we got to about 25 degrees. The wind did drop the wind chill down to 4 when the temp was 22. My low temp for this year is 6 degrees I wonder if it will be beaten tonight.

          • Cold-Rain says:

            Wow..The blog has retorted to people being called insane you’re saying with all the wind and happenings in the atmosphere you cannot get a burst of warm air to ground level..

  6. Todd says:

    6 degrees in Frankfort, hep, Im ready for 60

  7. msd says:

    Don’t look at the FV3 GFS for late next week.

  8. Jimbo says:

    He had me fully buying into this update until he said ” A lot more snow days” ahead. That is just a limb too far to go out on. Especially given the track record this Winter. I just see more up and down temps with rain to flurries. If he said a lot more flurry days. That would have more believable.

    • UPSLOPE says:

      Hey jimbo …did ya end up with anything this morning …looked like the huntington area got a little bit anyway…here in beckley when it moved this way….rds were awful …sun has been out for a few hrs now and the rds are still snowpacked

      • Jimbo says:

        Just a little sugar coating. Sun has been out since 11am. Even though it stayed around 12 degrees, most of the snow is gone. Just a little left in shady places. Snow usually misses us and what little bit does make it, doesn’t stay around very long.

  9. Mike S says:

    Last time Louisville had a high temperature less than 10 degrees was in January 1994, during that brief stretch of record cold and snow. The daytime temperature today does not look like it will exceed single digits; however, the high for the day was at midnight when the temperature was 21 or 22. Maybe next time, PV.

    • Mike S says:

      Also, the -21 wind chill earlier this morning is the lowest since January 1994…Thanks Belski

    • TennMark says:

      Besides this particular polar vortex making relatively limited inroads further south, a fair amount of the snow cover in parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio had melted before cold conditions returned. Perhaps this also lessoned the cold wave at least somewhat for our area.

      Anyway, Nashville’s wind chills have so far stayed just above zero. Still, my heavy winter apparel this morning to the office included heavy work boots. Normal thin dress shoes just don’t cut it in these conditions. 😉

      Needless to say, could be worse. Lexington and Louisville have all time record low maximum temperatures (not including wind chills) a few degrees below zero while Knoxville and Nashville have recorded high readings a few marks above zero. A sample of all time record lows are Louisville -22 (Jan 1994), Nashville -17 (Jan 1985) and Memphis -13.

    • BubbaG says:

      Wuh? Its been single digits and below zero many multiple times since 1994 in Richmond….. what is this force protecting your area?

  10. Russell says:

    Snow continues to be AWOL

    • Jeff Hamlin says:

      Maybe in some areas.

    • TennMark says:

      With some mostly minor exceptions. Minimal snow cover showing on some of the above Kentucky webcams. Knoxville somehow got about two inches yesterday, even more in higher elevations. But only a few flakes in Nashville around sunrise this morning as the more frigid air was arriving, the ground remains bare.

  11. Rodger Dodger says:

    Reality is we still have 6-7 weeks of potential good snow events. One or two hits would make most of us forget the misses. Rodger in Dodger

    • MarkLex says:

      I remember several times where he had virtually no winter then Feb/March made everyone wish for warmth and no more snow. It’s just that you NEVER KNOW! We could continue on this path with dustings OR get caught up in some big snows. I can’t remember but there was one year where the complaining was really hard on this blog like it has been recently, then when the big snows hit, when I came to the comments section, I remember thinking where are these people that complained all winter? No comments from them – or most of them. I also remember thinking it was weird that the comments section wasn’t lit up. I mean, there were comments – just not what you’d expect with 18 inches of snow on the ground.

      • Bobt says:

        Most of the comments probably came from the people in the SE part of the state. Didn’t get a significant snow the year you are referring to and not had one in the last 20 years. Had one storm model one day out in December showing a pretty good storm and got barely a dusting. Had one earlier this week showing 3+ inches less than 24 hours out and didnt even get a dusting. No wonder people in this area doesn’t think it’s going to snow

      • TennMark says:

        March can sometimes be a big wildcard. Sure there can be severe weather outbreaks such as the March 2 2012 tornadoes. But my greatest winter experience by far was the March 13 1993 blizzard.

        The biggest two snowstorms in Memphis (17 and 14 inches respectively) and several other snows within their top ten list have all happened in March which is rather surprising for a more southern city.

    • BubbaG says:

      Yes, but the need to rationalize the remaining time is not really a good sign 😉

  12. Kris Stone says:

    -4 this morning around 10:30 in Northern Kentucky (Florence- Union), afternoon high has been 2 degrees so far (almost 3:30). We had about 1 inch of snow last night.

    For the month of January, we’ve had 16 inches of snow, so not so bad in the extreme north of the state. LOL You guys need to move up here if you want snow, it’s a different world!

  13. Shawon says:

    I have read every comment posted to this site so far today and not one person has commented on the freezing rain event that is being mentioned for tomorrow night and into Friday.

    • feederband says:

      Waiting on model runs to see how they handle the precip and how much.

    • Prelude says:

      Not much to say about it for what I’m hearing it looks very light more of a nuisance if it even does develop. I guess if you live in northern Kentucky it might be a issue for a time. Temperatures are suppose to warm way above freezing region wide on Friday. Being that said with the ground being frozen I guess if precipitation does develop it could get a little dicey.

  14. Jim B says:

    Consecutive days without rain, I will take it haha

  15. Tim McHenry says:

    No one mentioned that before NWS was not calling for another shot next week, but some Mets and Chris were, some comments on here expressed confidence in the weather service, but we all miss it sometimes, weather is chaotic and there are no good predictions more than a week out – and some of them are no good!

  16. BonBon says:

    I drove home from downtown Chicago this morning. The five minute walk back from dinner last night was bad, but nothing compared to the 1 minute or so of exposure to the wind this morning. The valet brought the car up and I swear the seats felt frozen. Turning the wheel was stiff almost as if the power steering wasn’t working. I didn’t get to above freezing (1 degree) until Indianapolis. The 9 degrees in Lexington didn’t seem so awful in comparison.

  17. nasdaq says:

    Hoping for the biggest snow of season tonight here in Whitley, i’d say odds of that snow out west holding together are slim to none. but hey its all we got, never give up

  18. SHAAK says:

    Leftism is cancer.

  19. MarkLex says:

    Just looked at latest climate data. If you can believe this, Lexington is at 6.5 inches for the season. The normal amount for this time? 6.5 inches. LOL. So Lexington is at normal snowfall, at least at KLEX.

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