Saturday Afternoon Update

Good Saturday afternoon to one and all. It’s a busy day for many folks, but I wanted to drop by for a quick update on our Winter Storm THREAT for Christmas Night into Wednesday.

I’m still expecting one low pressure to make a run into the Tennessee Valley before transferring energy to the main low across the mid atlantic states. How far north this lead low gets is what will determine just how much snow this storm produces where you live. The models will shift around with each run and that’s always the case.

Here’s a rough outline of where the threat stands from 3 days out…

Special Again.. that’s as I see it right now and the risk areas will shift around as we get a better handle on exactly how the storm plays out.

I will have another update at my usual time late tonight. I will also be sending out updates as needed via twitter. Follow me: @kentuckyweather

Have a great rest of your day and take care.

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141 Responses to Saturday Afternoon Update

  1. Danny says:

    Like I said earlier the county’s bordering the Ohio River and points west as of now stand the best chance.

  2. Robbie says:

    DT at WxRisk has some new thoughts on the 12z Euro he just posted on Facebook. He wrote the new run is pretty much in line with the 0z Euro and close to the 12z GFS ensemble.

    • Micah says:


      What would that mean for Central KY

      • Robbie says:

        I really can’t say. Best to go off DT or Chris’s comments that were made earlier this morning. Joe Bastardi seems to think the new Euro and GFS may have some feedback problems with warm air rushing up the east side, but I’m just repeating what he and others have written.

        • Charlie H says:

          I asked the question on wx risk fb and he commented back that Southern Indiana and northern Kentucky could end up with several inches of snow.

  3. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks, Chris. Always fun to read about the storm threats! Looking forward to seeing wherer this bad boy winds up. Have a great weekend, all, and GO CATS!!!!

  4. MikeM says:

    So Eastern KY which normally gets he majority of snow is in the low category. Western KY which never gets any is in the high category. Central KY finds itself finds itself again right on the fence but this time its west of us. Go figure.

  5. Tom N Lincoln says:

    If it trends anymore to the NW, I’m afraid central Ky is gonna get shutout. I’ve seen that scenario way too many times of late.

  6. Andy Rose says:

    Not the news we wanted to hear

  7. Dara says:

    Can’t say I’m happy with the storm threat……it pains me to read these updates since we’re so close but so far away πŸ™ Maybe next time!

    • BubbaG says:

      If it was a real big threat, CB would have updated earlier than about 12 hours. High percentage average on threats diminishing the longer CB is between posts.

      If a big threat, CB normally would have posted earlier. This is more of a threat…. to our relative northwest. Context is always important.

  8. I actually agree with this map, but I think once we get the storm over land we’ll be seeing the highest threat line shift east.

  9. KellyinLouisville says:

    Lets wait and see what the models have to say tomorrow night and Monday morning. If there is one thing ALL of us should know by now it’s not to trust a winter time model more than two days out. They just aren’t reliable this far out, too many variables that will change a dozen times and anyone who relies on them this time of year would be better off playing Powerball or going to Vegas.

  10. Muddy says:

    Is there still a chance for southeastern KY to see snow ?

  11. DestinyinLouisville says:

    Just released from LMK –

    However, the GFS and EC are in pretty good agreement with each other for this far out in the forecast and have been consistent among their last several runs. The GFS is a bit farther north with its solution, resulting in the most snow over southern Indiana, and the EC has been farther south and bullseyeing the best snow more across northern Kentucky. So, folks along and three or four counties either side of the Ohio River appear to be the most under the gun with this system right now. As it appears now, significant snowfalls could occur, with 4 to 7 inches not out of the question. Of course, these numbers will change over the coming days. It seems the main bust potential will come from precipitation type. If the GFS keeps trending farther and farther north we would end up with more rain than snow.

    Keep thinking snow!!!

  12. KellyinLouisville says:

    Louisville NWS says best bet for big snow is 3 or 4 counties on either side of the Ohio but potential for mostly rain is still there with latest trends to the north. Going to be a close call for Louisville and Cincinnati.

  13. rolo says:

    hmm I think some trying steal my comments, anyhoot by tomm nite monday morning that moderate line be 200 miles more to the west,

    the ole NW/LFT HASNDED turn as each day closer we get.

    im fine with it myself, not made etc. really dont wanna see no OLD SCHOOL storm anymore.

    fact is 95 percent round here could HANDLE a THUMPER anyway.

    that said OHIO RIVER COUNTIES and say county or so deeper shgould get 6-8 inches if things hold true, my biggest concern is ICE as tracks futher west/NW that could be a copncern.

  14. rolo says:

    thats COULD NOT handle a OLD SCOOL/THUMPER anyway.

  15. BubbaG says:

    This event appeared always a more Louisville centric event (in relation to KY). Perhaps CB should have pointed this out earlier to avoid hype artificially created due to the big snow deprived center of the state.

    Looks like for next week, the evil “D” keeps his 14 year streak alive.

    • BubbaG says:

      Not saying CB created the hype, but some people will read into things what they want. In this case: big snow.

    • Danny says:

      What is it with Louisville it seems like Louisville might fair pretty good with this storm and Paducah should to. Louisville seems to get the good stuff and that includes severe weather. Oh well enjoy it the folks in the Ville the snow seems to be going your all’s way this go around. (Subject to change)

      • Kelly in Louisville says:

        Still remember the big March 5, 2008 snowstorm that hit Louisville but had the sharp cutoff on snow to our south and east. I measured 14 inches at my house inside the Watterson Expressway. We’ve had several 5-8 inch snows in the years since but that was the last big one. Roads were great within hours after it stopped snowing.

  16. Dawnp007 says:

    Was excited….not so much anymore. But hey, I’m still gonna dream big! I am now sticking my tongue out at all the doubters! Lol

  17. james says:

    Latest forcast for Lex area by the NWS. 80% this far out, they think it will all be snow for Lex. Tuesday Night Snow. Low around 33. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
    Wednesday Snow. High near 36. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

  18. Pat says:

    I myself like to go by what the animals, especially the birds are doing a day or two out. I also look for a large ring around the moon and of course my knees! When the knees start hurting really bad in winter it usually signals a strong front is going to move through. I would much prefer sunshine and 80 if I had my way!

    • Big SNoT says:

      u eva see how birds be dancin win it geting retty 2 snow das an old trick dis old man tauht me n it werks.

      • Aaron C. says:

        And every time you come around, the snow jackknifes itself. πŸ™‚ You are always up to your old antics when a snow threat comes along. I guess if it doesn’t snow any more this year, we won’t be seeing you now will we?

        • Aaron C. says:

          Isn’t it fitting that the only bird I’ve ever seen swarming around before snows (especially when they’re fighting) is cardinals? At least when there’s no snow we don’t have to look at the ugly red-faced brats!

        • Pat says:

          I surely hope you are not talking about me. I read the blog everyday and very seldom post anything. I thought that was the whole purpose of this blog, to express your feelings on weather events. I’m not sure who you think I am, but this is the first time I have posted since last winter.

          • Aaron C. says:

            No, Pat. Talkin about somebody else up there. If I was referring to you my post would have been immediately underneath yours.

        • Big SNoT says:

          whut I s dis foo squawkin bout rite chare im talkin bout da snow n wether not bout da vs u on stay on topic jr im callin 7in 4 lex n 11 4 cov put dat mony wear ya mowf is.

  19. Neil says:

    Starting to look like 2004 all over again! >:-(

  20. Todd says:

    Four days away and everyone on here takes every model run like it is solid gold, give me a break, no one on planet earth has a clue yet what this storm might do??

    • feederband says:

      They are looking at consistency in model runs. Thats why they call it forecasting.

      • Andrew says:

        Which I imagine is why CB shifted to threat mode in the first place.

        Todd, you’re right though. 4 days out and going all in or all out on this storm based on today’s model runs is just silly. Anyone acting like they have more authority, knowledge, or insight about what will or won’t happen than CB needs their own blog.

        • Andy Rose says:

          couldn’t agree More with that last sentence

        • BubbaG says:

          It is not an issue of authority or a self imposed innate since of knowledge. It is about years of trends for these type of systems for central Kentucky. Unless ice, not one of these type of systems has resulted in big snow in fourteen years.

          Until one of these type of systems actually results in a big snow, posts that appear pessimistic with outlooks are not unreasonable.

          • BubbaG says:

            sense not since

            • Aaron C. says:

              Right, Bubba. After all, who can complain that there hasn’t been a snow of over 8″ on the ground if all it takes is one step outside to prove it? Hasn’t happened for me in that long, so I won’t shutup until it happens.

    • Wxman says:

      It’s Saturday night. We are only 3 days from initial impact. Waiting longer to make a call would be almost worthless.

  21. Bernard P. Fife says:

    Just as I feared for Lake Cumberland Area. Makes me feel like i’m stranded on the island of misfit toys for another year… πŸ™

  22. Aaron C. says:

    Can’t even get snow for Christmas. 2012 going to go down as one of my worst years, ever. Will be glad when the year is over.

  23. Muddy says:

    I wishcast for at least a foot of snow in McCreary!

  24. Amandanlouisville says:

    why is anyone in the Cumberland lake Area upset ? my best friend lives down there and other than last year you guys are ALWAYS getting the best snows! that’s why she loves it there . give Louisville a small chance to get some action . my daughter is 3 and has never seen more than flurries.

  25. yawn… are we getting some snow love here in nky?…

  26. mets up here in NKY/Cincinnati say wintry mix…snow stays towards Indy….I am keeping the faith on CB…

  27. Ready4Snow says:

    All right everybody..Grab your pick’s,shovel’s,dynamite and what ever else you can spare and let’s go tear down that “Dome” that’s killing all of ky..We need every man,woman,child that’s available…Who’s with me….Rahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….(My best Howard Dean impression)…

  28. Tom N Lincoln says:

    Man, what do we have to do to get some snow here? It’s getting to the point of being comical, but I aint laughing. Come on Mother nature take pity on us poor snowless Ky folk.

  29. BengalFan says:

    Tomorrow late afternoon after the BENGALS beat the Steelers, the models will say CKY 10 inches of snow. Ok, These are my two Wishes, I really hope one of them come true, but wouldnt it be nice if both of them happen!!!

  30. Mitch says:

    Greenup County (along the Ohio River) is use to the warm wedge – this storm will be like all the others – it will be rain, temps 35-40 with a slushy inch at the end – seen this over and over and year after year…

  31. Amandanlouisville says:

    does anyone know when the next run of the euro model comes out ?

  32. Big SNoT says:

    whut d dem wether moteks be sayn bout da chinces a snow 4 Lex I think dat snow dont be hittin round dare anymo cuz dey gots 2 many cars n stuff nowdays n all da heeat off dem cars nake it rain win it cold nuff ta snow but I still thank pat got it rite. u jus gotta watch dem animls im gunna go out onna limb n pridik 7″ for lex n 11 ” 4 covinton.

  33. Seth says:

    My take:

    That powerful low will bring in loads of WAA to the state which I think the northwestern trending gfs is catching on to.
    Therefore, looks like the majority of the system will be rain for Kentucky with the heavy snow bands likely ending up just north and west of St Louis, Indianapolis, and Columbus. Behind the system, wraparound snows will take over and give 2-4″ of snow to northern Kentucky and 1-2″ for the rest of Kentucky.

  34. Todd says:

    A whole lotta dumb comments on here at the moment, I’ve lived in ky for 49 years that is longer than most if you rookies on here, every big snow event including 1994, 96, and 98 was not shown in the models, most was a complete bust, from the 98 dusting to the 94 (1-3 inch forecast the day of the storm in 94 got 20 inches) and in 96 14 inches came, and 1 day before they where calling for 1 inch or less, history proves big storms in this area (central ky) are rarely predicted days before they happen, Merry Christmas and quit the complaining about stuff you have not a clue about!

    • feederband says:

      The 94′ storm was forecast to be mostly a freezing rain event and we ended up with snow. Bummer, huh? What met school did you attend Todd?

      • Andy Rose says:

        96 storm was predicted on TWC that was before me and the wife got married and she had a death in the family so we made plans in advance to stay the weekend to attend the funeral with her

        • Todd says:

          Local mets blew it, TWC might have called it, I remember some Louisville mets saying the 96 storm would be a south east ky storm only and that storm wrapped up and backed in from the east to the west!

  35. Kenya says:

    Todd, I agree with you! I have been through so much in Western Ky with the tornados and ice storm that hit my neighborhood. I really want a blanket of snow! It is so calming to the soul!

  36. rolo says:

    as WXMAN says if u cant make a forcast right now for TUESDAY NITE into WED then best just give it up.

    BAILEY knows what it going do, but if came out and said mainly ohio river north then the BLOG get NO HITS.

    it pretty simple folks, and OLD MAN49 years in KY i lived here all my life, u got 9 years on me. but back in them days u speak of we common folk never had a way to look at models etc, so hoe u knoe there wasnt a model showing snow when it cam dusting. alot times these days the NAM will have a blizzard when the others have NOTHING.

    dont hate the player man hate the game. there will NEVER BE another dusting mistake again because of the advances since in the models etc.

  37. Kenya says:

    Hmm, where is Chris tonight?

  38. snow princess says:

    rolo, what are we going to get here in gunchester?

  39. pattyversailles says:

    Hi All!! I see there a 67 comments on this post!! Remember the old days when Chris said the word snow and there’d be so many comments he’d have to start another post because the blog would over load!! LOL! We’d talk about raiding the grocery of milk and bread, what we do when we got snowed in, the food we’d eat, the books we’d read?? Maybe that’ll happen this round!!

  40. WXman says:

    About the February 1998 storm.. it’s important to note that the models had underestimated 850mb temps by 2 degrees. You read that right.. 2 degrees. That’s all it took to turn a forecast of a “dusting” into a megastorm. Thicknesses had only been missed by 30 meters. You can’t fault any meteorologist for missing that.

  41. weather blog troll says:


    Where is Emerson Biggins when you need him?

    I’m just happy we had a little snow to start the season and looks like some SNOW chances for the next couple of weeks…

  42. Todd says:

    If this storm just gives most of ky rain, it will prove a point model runs from 5 or more days out are just for fun in this part of the world, the closer we get the more they back off of snow chances, Chris will have the educated guess the next few days, as he has stated he is not buying what the GFS is spitting out lately!

    • Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

      How come these models never get colder. Maybe some expert could study this pattern and come up with a handicap system. It almost seems five days out that the rain and snow line needs to be near Atlanta thru Birmingham.

  43. WXman says:

    00Z GFS.. I hate you.

    • WXman says:

      Zig-zag path with the low.. obvious placement issues. Just looks odd. But, generally following the same idea as before with the storm right on top of LEX.

      • Seth says:

        Who do you think will get the heaviest snow with this system?

        I’m thinking the gfs is still too far southeast with the storm and will end up trending north and west so that areas nw of St. Louis,Indianapolis, and Columbus will get the heaviest snow. An almost lakes-cutter…LOL:

      • MJ says:

        I don’t see a large wobble in the surface low track in tonight’s 00Z run. If anything, the track looks slightly more east (maybe by 25-50 miles?). Nonetheless, the models do keep the low-levels plenty warm for rain initially, but then changing to snow (perhaps rapidly) Wednesday morning. However, the heavier precipitation will likely be well to our north by the time the cold gets here which would cut down on accumulations. Overall, it appears that the crux of this forecast will evolve around that pesky upper low across Manitoba. The models initally kept it further east, but today’s trends suggest it will retrograde westward which weakens the block over SE Canada and allows the upper trough to pull right through KY. If the upper low over Manitoba remains more or less in place and does NOT head west, then the upper low that comes across the OV would take a more southerly track. I still think this storm is a threat, but we should have a better idea of the details within 24-36 hours.

      • Danny says:

        With the low over Lexington if that happens the county’s that border the Ohio River seem to get the snow

  44. Bjenks says:

    Been in Lexington all day following on my phone just returned home to Louisville and haven’t had a chance to look at the models. I will say these storms are the hardest to nail down. Fence or ice is always a good choice. From the looks of the posts and comments this storm has gone from a major winter storm for the northern half off of the entire state to all rain in under 24hrs. Three days out and no one can nail it down. I did say it would be a lake cutter and was shot down earlier today. TRENDS show that these storms always pull to the north/west and gives the state a bunch of cold rain with a little cold and snow at the end. THINK SNOW!!!!!

    • Robbie says:

      Respectfully, this storm is not a lake cutter. It’s a Miller B that will head into our region and then, as it dies out, transfer its energy to a low along the coast. That is not a lake cutter. The large block in south eastern Canada will not allow the storm to cut to the lake. As DT says, physics will not allow it.

      • MJ says:

        This is NOT a Miller B type storm. None of the 12Z or the early 00Z guidance shows any evidence of secondary development along the east coast.

        • Robbie says:

          Until today, there had been coastal redevelopment on the GFS and Euro. Now, there’s not. It was never really forecast to become a lake cutter, though. Right?

    • Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

      I am not an expert but looking at the nam the low is still situated in the middle of Tn. But the air thermal is warmer.

  45. Joey Wilson says:

    Major models have been consistent with near blizzard conditions … in far western KY!

  46. Kat says:

    Does Louisville still have a chance?

  47. Bjenks says:

    KAT….Currrently everyone from St. Louis to Huntingon and Indinapolis to Nashville is in the picture. Like I said before these system seem to aways shift to the North and West as they get closer to the day. Cold rain with a little snow for most of the state.
    Only time will tell!

  48. Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

    If anybody wants to check out the 0z nam type of precipitation look at this site Western Ky is looking great.

  49. Bjenks says:

    look at the big DOME over central ky

  50. Russ says:

    In other words, enjoy your cold rain, central and east KY. It’s the famous December 04 storm that rocked southern Indiana. Major snow for southern and central Indiana, and good ole rain here. 0.0 for the winter.

    • Go Cards says:

      Yeah Russ. I live in Louisville and that storm gave us a whole mixed bag of every winter precip type. We had like 10 inches of whatever it was. S.Indiana had 2-3 ft of snow.

  51. Ready4Snow says:

    Fwiw…GFS ensemble mean tracks the low almost entirely up the spine of the Apps..near the NE TN/KY border to southern pa..Just maybe the op models will start trending back east…

  52. Mitch says:

    Modeling has been biased to low/strong on the strength of recent low pressure systems the last few months. A weeker low could work to our favor, further southeast track. However would much rather be in Southern Indiana/Ohio for snow which are the more climo favored regions if the track is west of the apps.

    • BubbaG says:

      It could, but seems nothing in place to deviate from a very consistent result for these types of systems in that 90% of the moisture is gone before the cold air sets in. Central Kentucky has an uncanny knack for being the fence for southern fed systems.

  53. Lincoln says:

    Aye, Eso no es bueno!

  54. BubbaG says:

    Long gap for a CB post if still in a threat mode for Kentucky. Perhaps a glancing hit now for part of Kentucky, way west.

    • Go Cards says:

      Yeah went from 9 inches of snow to maybe an inch or 2 in Louisville based on the last couple runs of the 00Z Euro. Looking more and more like rain for us mostly. Maybe the storm gets sampled tomorrow and things change.

      • Bill L says:

        Of course it did. That is our story, our saga, our life in these winters. I took the bait, I always do and imagined actual snow drifts and sledding. I don;t see this trending much more into a scenario which brings us more than cold Kentucky rain…..but, then there is always the next chance! Hope springs eternal….

        • Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

          I just took a look at the next storm following this event and the GFS is already trending towards a warmer solution.

    • Tyler says:

      He said he wouldn’t be updating until his late night post. Therefore you comment is invalid

  55. Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

    I am going to hang in here for about 30 more minutes any words or graphs with the new euro run.

  56. Craig says:

    I thought the stronger the low the more warmer the air?

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