Good Thursday to one and all. Today is one of those “wow” days of weather across the bluegrass state. A strong storm is rolling toward the Great Lakes and that means a wild weather swing around here. All of this continues to be part of an active pattern that continues to produce big winter storms.
Let’s hit the high notes of how things play out through Friday:
- Winds are going to be a major player during this period. Gusts of 40-50mph will be likely and this may cause a bit of damage. Make sure to secure those outdoor Christmas decorations.
- Showers and thunderstorms will march eastward this morning into the afternoon as a strong cold front works in. Very heavy rain will be likely.
- Temps will stay in the 50s into early afternoon and then drop rapidly behind the front. Readings will drop below freezing by mid to late evening.
- Snow showers and squalls will develop late afternoon in the west and then overspread the rest of the state this evening. That action will continue overnight into much of Friday for central and eastern Kentucky and will get a booster shot of moisture from Lake Michigan. My snowfall map is unchanged…
- The GFS snowfall map is now pretty darn close to the idea I’ve had for the past few days…
- Travel conditions late tonight into the first half of Friday will be very tricky. Slick spots and reduced visibilities will be likely. This is the kickoff for the busy Christmas travel period and I think a Snow Advisory is warranted for parts of central and eastern Kentucky. Impact, impact, impact.
- Highs Friday will struggle to get out of the 20s for many areas. Gusty winds of 30-40mph will make it feel like temps are in the single digits. Friday will be a very wintry day around here.
Let’s talk a little bit about the rest of the weekend into Christmas week. I’m tracking two systems that will impact our weather during this time. The first is a weak area of low pressure moving in late Sunday into Christmas Eve. This may bring a light mix of rain and snow to our region. The GFS Ensembles show the fine line we’re walking…
The next storm look like a big one for the eastern half of the country. Where does it go? The models have been all over the place in recent days and that trend will continue for a while longer. There is a ton of cold air that will be entrenched across the northern half of the country and one heck of a blocky look. That means any low that develops can only get so far north before giving way to another low to our east. I continue to like what the GFS Ensembles are doing…
The lead low gets into the Tennessee Valley and then transfers energy to a low across the Carolinas. The operational GFS is very close to that scenario, but has some feedback issues with the lead low. I just got a look at the new European Model and it’s actually colder and farther east with the first low and has much more of a heavy snow look to it.
My concern with this setup is for a period of a nasty mix of snow, rain and ice setting up very close to us. That whole mess would then change to all snow as the low to our east takes over. Again… this is still 5-6 days away so there will be lots of changes in the models. But, I just don’t see how that first low gets very far to the north in this pattern.
This has “Threat” written all over it!
I will have updates as needed today. Hold on to your hat and take care.