Tracking A Busy Pattern

Good Thursday. More in the way of sunshine will fill the sky across the commonwealth of Kentucky today and that trend takes us into Friday. Don’t let the sun fool you because this pattern is loaded with action in the coming days and weeks. There’s a lot of winter ready to show up across the country and I don’t expect us to be left out.

Highs today will warm into the middle and upper 40s and be near 50 on Friday. That’s the sunny side of our weather story.

The action begins to ramp up on Saturday as low pressure works into the Ohio Valley. This will bring scattered showers back into town and those will hang around into Sunday. This is where things get a little murky as the models try to pick out which piece of energy to focus on and blow up into a storm.

Just take a look at a sampling of the models to see how many different systems they are trying to figure out…




I’m not going to waste time in showing the GFS because it can’t play well with others. Until it shows something similar to any of the other models, it’s left out in the cold. 🙂

So what does all this mean for our weather? It’s still too early to say with any certainty, but one of those systems should develop into a big storm Tuesday into Wednesday and impact on our weather. Snow, rain or a mixture of the two will be possible during this time. I won’t be able to get more specific until we get into the weekend. Again… we are, at least, in the game.

While this storm will be getting my full attention in the coming days, I’m always looking ahead at the general pattern. That pattern right now is screaming cold and possibly snowy as we get close to Christmas through the start of the New Year. The European Model shows the cold really getting established the weekend before Santa arrives…

There’s even the chance for some full blown arctic air shortly after Christmas. Buckle up and enjoy the ride ahead.

I will have additional updates coming later today. Enjoy a sunny Thursday and take care.

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70 Responses to Tracking A Busy Pattern

  1. SnowNo says:

    It’s coming soon!!

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks Chris. Did I miss the winter preview? If I did, does anyone remember the date so I can pull it from the archives.

  3. Andy Rose says:

    if its the winter forecast your looking for, the slacker 😉 never posted it here

  4. BengalFan says:

    I do like the theme of “positive whatever”!,,,but You can’t help but notice chris saying Snow, rain, mix! COME ON!!!!!!!!!!! I would love to be positive, but were probably looking at a cold rain/mix! I wish cold snow 8+ in. AND Then start talking “Down The Road Again” we are looking at a COld Pattern week and a few days away. I THOUGHT a few weeks ago, the blog was talking RIGHT NOW we were going to be in the cold pattern.

    • BubbaG says:

      Agreed and real simple. If CB puts the term of mix or wintry in the forecast, it is another missed football and the same old results. The only thing that can bust perceptions and the actual trend is a result that busts the trend.

      CB wants big snow too, but it is what it is- the darn trend. It will be nice one day not to here the terms mix, wintry, or sharp gradient in one of the snow related forecasts.

      Will this winter have a trend buster, or will it be the usual mix events and small snows?

      • BubbaG says:

        Hear, not here. Swype spell correction sux.

        • Tyler says:

          first, I think you guys are missing the point. this blog update is not a forecast. two, he never said it would be a rain snow mix……he said snow, rain or a mix will be possible…

          • BengalFan says:

            No, I said “he said Snow,Rain,mix”! Read into it, two our of the three is either rain or mix. 2/3 of a chance isn’t snow! Those are not good odds if your betting! Yes, it could snow, but like Bubba and I said, it would have to take a trend buster….My personal take is that the low will be to far east and we will get a little snow showers out of the deal! I know its not a FORECAST, its a discussion! I’m going on what I have seen many times over and over…Its a week away or 5 days away, blah, blah, blah! My Hope is that it does snow and alot of it, but hey I would love to see 2 inches to be honest!!!!

          • BubbaG says:

            Yep, hence the point “If the forecast”.

          • BengalFan says:

            I said” he said..Snow, rain, mix”…that is 2/3 chance is will be rain,or mix…….I know this is not a forecast (his forecast is on KYT)..this is a discussion, so we discuss (Mostly opionions, what we see or have expereinced,,not forecast!)..So the way I see it, it mostly would favor rain or mix! And yes winter has ARRIVED,,its just KY WInter, which mostly stinks if you love snow!!!

            • Tyler says:

              well on the opposite, there is a 2/3 chance on seeing some form of winter weather. my point was you all hear mix and BAM you all freak out….calm down

  5. BengalFan says:

    I must learn to read the blog correctly……ITS A BLOG, not the actual WEATHER OUTSIDE!
    I guess Chris guess me hope, becasue typical winter weather outside doesn’t!

    I do want to compare the temps that is projected by the big stations:
    Kyt: (next 7days) Starting today highs: 46, 49, 51,47,43, 37, 32
    Lex: (next 7days) Starting today highs: 51, 56, 55,49, 48,44,38

  6. Dawnp007 says:

    Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.
    Bing Crosby
    Love this!!!!

  7. Dara says:

    I would imagine he’s being fairly reserved given that the dynamic on the blog has changed from the readers being grateful that someone takes the time out of their own busy scedule to give us info on weather situations that COULD happen, to people flaming him if his opinion or outlook when doesn’t hit the nail on the head. Meteorology isn’t an exact science and even the best mets aren’t right 100% of the time. Weather patterns change and like many other things no two systems are identical!

    • BubbaG says:

      Nah, I think it is deeper than that and CB is very aware the models efforts with snow result outlooks are dubious. Even taking an average of the more reliable ones is usually meh.

      Small snows aside, you need to either be in North Kentucky or the mountains in the east to have decent chances of big snow. For the rest of us and for some time, warm air has been king fire winter precipitation. Hence CB’s common terms of mix and wintry in his forecasts.

      • BubbaG says:

        For not fire. Darn Swype.

      • Tyler says:

        tell me, do you even know what the definition of wintry is?

        • BubbaG says:

          Well, your seemingly patronizing tone aside, the word is typically used as a characteristic contrast. It is ironic to use the term in the actual season. A wintry spring, or wintry fall is more common.

          Your inference appears to be a point of semantics based on one specific, amongst several meanings of the word.

  8. Cameron Fry says:

    Amazing how the 0z runs of ECMWF & GFS has prompted the cliff-divers to reconsider jumping off again (on other sites/forums that is). Glad to see people here so far are being cool (pun intended) about things…

  9. rolo says:

    morning, and er the hell is EVERYBODY at, im talking the ones been here since begining.

    going thru emails from way back and ran across BERNIE!! I miss the good ole days of the blog when there was a CORE GROUP that stuck thru it all, the good and the bad.

    as life the blog has changed over the years, I feel like a GRANDPA reading some of the post now a days, find myself laughing, crying and sometimes wanting to RING ones

    but in the end this weather blog is like HOME and I will die with Chris THE LEGEND Bailey weather forcast.

    now off to the REDNECK BUNKER to handicap sum horse races.

    • Todd says:

      Rolo wrote that, nice spelling:)

    • Crystal In Pikeville says:

      Rolo I am still here lol.It is the first thing I read when I start my day.I would rather start with you guys then anywhere else on the Internet.May you all have a very very Merry Christmas and I too hope its a white one.

  10. bjenks says:

    Where is Emerson and his positive reinforcement….It has been since 09-10 that the Lou. area has seen anymore than 2 inches of snow (unless you count the 3 or 4 inch snow, that melted before everyone got out of bed to see, last March) We are overdue for a nice snow. This weekend will provide the first low that will become stronger as it moves to the NE. This will usher in the cold that is needed for the second, third and possibly the fourth low that moves through our region next week into Xmas week. The table is set we just need the right track. UKMET and EURO seem to be on board with this a few days out. I know 98% of CB followers are non-believers, the dome, the fence, cold rain, to far south, to far east. As Emerson said yesterday until we reverse the trend of negativity then 98% of the snow will miss us. THINK POSITIVE AND THINK SNOW!!!!
    OH YEAH! I am NOT part of the 2% with a positve attitude! I will only believe it when I see it. Sorry Emerson if I let you down, but I am trying I really am trying!!!!
    Thanks CB can’t wait to follow the models over the next fews days!
    Have a great day everyone!

    • Emerson Biggins says:


    • tornadolarkin says:

      I agree completely. This storm may not give us all snow right now, butthe model will begin cooling down soon. Also, the cold air behind sets us up. GFS has 2 or 3 lows thY cod give us snow around Christmas. People need to learn patience.

      • BengalFan says:

        Sorry, but saying “the model will cool down soon” is funny. If anything heats up or cools down it would be the weather outside, ,,,

        We always BLAME the models,,its the weather to blame!!!!

        • tornadolarkin says:

          Actually, if this were to happen the models would cool down. There is a snow pack to our north, and Canada has plenty of cold air to draw from. Plus if this storm went through rapid intensification dynamic cooling would likely ensue due to the pressure dradient, adn weather models don’t handle any of that well this far out.

  11. Wes says:

    The models fighting is the problem…boo models!

  12. Cameron Fry says:

    CB, been looking at a few forums this morning. I’m curious as to what you think about the possibility of three vorts being responsibly for interfering with one another, in turn, keeping cold air, necessary for snow, unable to dig appropriately.

    Does anyone else notice that both models are wanting to cut off the vortex in the pacific, which should lead to some cross polar flow into the conus? Still gotta believe that we’ll see colder air at some point…

    • Bjenks says:

      Negative PNA!!!!!! PNA has to go positive to give us the sustained cold. Not happening before Christmas. Jan../Feb will be very cold months. Hopefully snowy also!!!

  13. WendyT says:

    Cold without snow is like peanut butter without jelly.

  14. james says:

    IF( and that’s a big IF) the models show by this weekend a winter storm for early next week and Chris went into threat mode, the comment section would go into overdrive.

  15. Todd says:

    I’m still wondering about the dec 7 thru 14 (highlight time period) from about 10 days ago Chris kept barking about? Now it is looking like a miss next week, and now he is looking down the road at Christmas week, sorry mr think positive some things around here never change !

    • Tyler says:

      clearly there has been a pattern change toward winter!! he didn’t say there would be a storm! his outlook was for a transition into winter…….transitions are not completed right away

    • james says:

      Who said anything about a miss next week? According to the models and Chris, were still in the game. Let’s just see what happens, but it’s not a miss yet.

  16. Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

    I don’t need a weatherman to know that pure liquid will from the sky with temps hovering in the upper 30’s to low 40’s

  17. Shelley says:

    if you don’t show us the GFS can you give us a link so we can see it anyways? Thanks!

  18. wxman says:

    Gonna be a lot of sad people if GFS model is correct. Can’t believe Chris still discounts it.

    • BubbaG says:

      I thought the GFS was the more accurate as far outlooks for last year. It seemed folks leaned on the other models since they looked better for snow. GFS outlooks were dissed, but seemed to nail some the busted forecasts last year.

      • BubbaG says:

        I take an average of the models and weigh the ones that were closest to the result, one week out. The bad thing is they can all be lost, so not a clear solution by any stretch and very general with snow results.

        The other issue is all the models seem to have certain sensitive reactions to some unique data parameters that lead to red herring solutions.

        Of course the common result is warm air tends to be the main player for about 90% of event precipitation around here.

      • Wxman says:

        As a rule I put GFS #1. And right now it keeps us warm until after Christmas. It doesn’t even show a Tuesday storm anymore. It’s been amazing so far…why discount it now?

    • BengalFan says:

      BUT..he’s on here saying snow, rain or mix…so he has himself covered already,,,we shouldn’t be sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Danny says:

      I agree the GFS have been very consistent if anything I would and I am favoring that model. Pretty much a cold rain maybe a flurry or the backside. There is no real cold air to work with in the Ohio Valley with this storm for mid-week. The Canadian and the JMA models are garbage not reliable in my opinion. There track record is horrible and continues to be. If you want a good model for eye candy purposes go with the Canadian or JMA. If you want reality stick with the GFS or NAM something with a proven decent track record.

      • Ready4Snow says:

        What cold rain??If you’re going by the gfs there’s nothing to track…

      • Aaron C. says:

        The NAM has been absolute garbage in regards to our snowfall accumulation in even the smaller events (a few flurries) up to today’s date for this winter. I am taking any run it shows wintry precip for, with a grain of salt.

  19. Wes says:

    I’ll wait to see what Chris has to say. He has been right MORE times than wrong…Have faith people!

  20. Todd says:

    Hey here’s one for the positive side of things, Ky basketball won a national championship this year and that broke the drought from 1998 also the last year Frankfort and most of central ky got over 6in of snow at one time, point is maybe the snow drought will also end this coming winter, also bengals fans lets cheer for those guys tonight on Thursday nite football!

  21. prelude says:

    Its been awhile since I comment on here. As long as the NAO and AO remain neutral that means next week there will not be alot of significant cold at all. It’s looking more and more like a snowless month the chances of a white Christmas is meager at best. I have respect for CB but he loses me, for example the GFS long range models show a significant warm-up towards the beginning of the year. Between now and Christmas we will have cold snaps but nothing worth writing home about or lasting very long. The NAO and AO need to go negative. We could be transitioning into winter till early mid-January. As for average’s go, we are way above temp wise for the month of December and will end Dec above average.

    • Todd says:

      Everyone keeps telling me the NOAA long range temp maps are crap because they show above normal temps for the rest of dec but yet they always seem to be right for Ohio valley area?

      • Chris Mercer says:

        They might be right in this case, but they weren’t in August-November. Look at the average temperatures in Kentucky for those months–all below normal with November well below normal. NOAA maps had all those warm. If you forecast every month to be warm, you’ll be right some of the time.

        • Todd says:

          That might be our problem the below normal months came to early, now that we are shifting into snow time months above normal is what happens in KY?

    • BubbaG says:

      Not long to find out! Sustained average of cold, or just fleeting spikes…. We can compare next week. If the cold does not pan out, the results will tell us.

      The other battle is having the majority of the precipitation actually arrive WITH the cold air. In the past fourteen years, the only time that happened with big events has been mainly ice.

      • BubbaG says:

        BTW, I think CB explained why he sees cold air settling and involves combined approach, rather than a few standard parameters.

        My guess is forecasting in areas besides this region are easier. Kentucky has become a winter weather fence. How do your forecast that, yet alone outlook for it. Yikes.

  22. Tyler says:

    those maps were wrong most of fall!!!

  23. WxFreak says:

    Heat Miser owns the south, people. Don’t blame CB for who is really in charge here…

  24. 3789N8436W says:

    moaning and groaning and just unpleasant attitudes about what did, will, will not, did not happen….all I want is NOT to hear the same about winter weather during winter and into March. Chillax, elfkins!

  25. Marsha says:

    Chris please give us a update….

  26. Ready4Snow says:

    Euro today shows cold for lower 48 before Christmas..Maybe we get lucky…Who knows..

  27. Ready4Snow says:

    Also gfs is finally coming around to snow..

  28. Mark says:

    Climate Prediction Center keeps above average temperatures in the central US into the Ohio Valley into the end of the month. The cold air is going to stay bottled up in Canada until a dramatic shift in the pattern happens. This winter so far is just a continuation of last winter…

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