A Wild Weather Ride Taking Shape

Good Monday and welcome to a week of big temperature swings. If you’re a fan of mild temps, rain, thunderstorms, cold, arctic cold and snow… then this is the blog update for you. We are going to manage to squeeze all of that into the next 10 days or so of weather here in the bluegrass state.

Things are starting off on a cold note today with upper teens and low 20s to start. Afternoon highs will range from the mid 30s in the north to low 40s in the south under a partly sunny sky.

Tuesday will find readings well into the 40s and nearing 50 in the south and west. Clouds will increase later in the day as a weak boundary drifts in from the north for Wednesday. That front may spawn a shower or two as we await a stronger storm system working in from the southwest on Thursday. That storm is likely to set up a massive north-south temp gradient Thursday afternoon…


That shows upper 30s in the far north with middle 60s in the south. The warmer air will lift northward as the low works across the Mississippi River Valley. That will bring a nice slug of rain into the state and a rumble of thunder will be possible…


Showers will then continue into early Friday before things try to clear out during the afternoon and evening. That’s when the 60s look to really take over on a gusty southwesterly wind.

It’s during this time we get another storm system to develop across the plains and run toward the Great Lakes by Saturday and Sunday. This storm is being fueled by a massive dip in the jet stream across the western half of the country. That allows very cold air to move into the backside of this system. A strong cold front will work slowly eastward into Kentucky by Saturday night and Sunday. Check out the temp gradient along this front by Sunday afternoon…

GFS 3Temps near freezing across the western part of the state as the east basks in the 60s. This is going to be a very slow moving front as it is running into a strong ridge of high pressure off the southeastern seaboard.

That front will stall out for a few days just to our east along the Appalachian Mountains. Multiple waves of low pressure may ride northeastward along this front and try to set us up for some wild weather to end the weekend with anything from snow and ice to heavy rain a possibility. All of that depends on exactly where that front decides to hang up.

From there… the cold air takes control and pushes the boundary a little farther eastward by Tuesday. We will have to watch for additional systems working along that front and throwing snow our way. Arctic air then gets involved by the middle and end of next week and our temps are likely to really tank.

Snow and cold lovers have got to be giddy with the pattern setting up next week and beyond. This won’t be a setup that gives you only a small window of opportunity to get some big time winter weather. It looks to be rather dominant for the rest of January into February.

I will update things as needed today. Have a wonderful Monday and take care.

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36 Responses to A Wild Weather Ride Taking Shape

  1. Cosmokramer says:

    CCR said it best when they sang, “Someda-ea-y, never comes.”

    Like a carrot in front of a mule, can’t ya just taste the snow?

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for the update. I am looking forward to seeing how things play out.

    • BubbaG says:

      The good news is the warm air should keep the ground warm enough where ice does not stick much. If the option is snow or ice, I would not be betting too many chips on snow.

      A balmy weekend is gooooood. πŸ™‚

  3. Toni Jabroni says:

    Looking forward to enjoying the milder weather this week.
    Snow stay away!

  4. As long as there is still hope by the end of this month, I can handle the next few weeks. I don’t want to get all worried/bogged down about the SE ridge and -PNA. We’ve had big snows here with a -PNA at work. I agree with those saying it probably wasn’t a wise move by forecasters to say the warm-up would be short-lived. If I were a met, I wouldn’t go there just for the sake of jinxing the potential rise of encouraging telecom signals. Might be good for the majority of us to just breathe things for a bit…maybe only post if there is a notably stronger push towards colder temps within 7 days…and ‘chill’ while the temps outside moderate. We’re just getting the thaw out of the way before the good stuff hits late January into early February. Something has gotta give at some point. I mean last year we had a few brief cold shots come down the pike in a very unfavorable pattern and we were close to capitalizing (thinking 2/18/12 mostly)…I’m down preaching, so I’ll stop (hard since I’m writing this at church

  5. Rickie says:

    Very Interesting! And thanks Chris for the blog… I hardly comment but read it two or three times a day and enjoy reading most of the comments. Have a great day everybody!

  6. lisaj says:

    Snow and cold lovers have got to be giddy with the pattern setting up next week and beyond. This won’t be a setup that gives you only a small window of opportunity to get some big time winter weather. It looks to be rather dominant for the rest of January into February.

    I LOVE this paragraph……it gives me hope! Bring on the snow!!

  7. Mark says:

    Looks like any severe t-storms later this week may stay well to our south. Although as CB touched on, still lots of rain and some rumbles of thunder.

    As one of the few warm-weather fans here, guess I need to enjoy the sunshine and warmth while it lasts.

    As a reminder, the PAH radar at WFO Paducah is out of service for dual-pol upgrade.
    Other radars like nearby HPX radar (Ft Campbell/Hopkinsville) will provide good redundancy for western Kentucky until PAH is returned to service later this week.

  8. WXman says:

    The numbers coming from GFS are absurd. 5-10″ of rain over the weekend would almost guarantee flooding in west KY.

    • Andy Rose says:

      absurd as in not happening?

    • Danny says:

      Yeah I saw that. NWS region wide offices and TV mets as of now are not talking about the possibility of heavy rain fall or flooding (except CB) not understanding why? It seems like the big talk even with TV mets is the big warm-up for the rest of the week. Not real sure how you can just overlook the rainfall numbers the GFS is showing?

  9. Jason says:

    Wow, I just saw that 2012 tornado summary. Looks like the West Liberty twister was the longest tracked of the year for the whole country..! at 85 miles. I’ll never forget that day. So crazy..

    • Mark says:

      Yes, the West Liberty twister traveled well into West Virginia. Also, the Salyersville KY twister tracked nearly 50 miles. Once again, the myth of rugged terrain stopping twisters is shown to be just that… a myth.

      Chris mentioned that until relatively recently (last few decades), eastern KY had relatively poor coverage by the National Weather Service so past tornadoes the last century plus could have been missed. This said, with few exceptions like Middlesboro in 1988, hardly any records of eastern KY towns getting tornado damage until last March.

  10. J says:

    Sigh… Chris said the weather was going to TANK. Time to get some firewood stored up. πŸ™ I hate the COLD!!!!

    AT least we have Chris to give us a real weather report!!! Best Meteorologist ever!!

  11. Go Cards says:

    NWS seems pretty concerned with potential for flooding this weekend. NWS Louisville mentions 4 out of 10 wettest months all time for Louisville were in January. They seem to think something pretty significant is about to happen this weekend coming up.

    • Mark says:

      There is still snow pack in Illinois/Indiana/Ohio; all that warm rain on the snow cover could of course exacerbate things, including for the Ohio River.

      I’ve seen historic water mark markers in Louisville for past floods including 1937, pretty chilling.

  12. Todd says:

    Other weather outlets are starting to come around to Chris’s thinking about extreme winter weather for 2nd half of January and beyond πŸ™‚

  13. Bjenks says:

    HHHHMMMMMM…I hope one of these systems rolls up the east side around January 16 and 17…..Can we say a repeat of 1978……….

    Thanks Chris for your thoughts….Think SNOW!!!!

    • 3789N8436W says:

      We can say it…and desire it to happen to show blog folks what WINTER can be…..Hop in here BubbaG!

      • BubbaG says:

        I will say from an outlook standpoint the ingredients appear to be setting in place for potential in the next several or more weeks.

        That is far as jumping I can do πŸ˜‰

  14. weather blog troll says:

    Thanks Chris. A little balm before the bash?

    78, that would be Old School.

    Weren’t 77 & 78 legendary for cold & snow? Didn’t we have an honest to goodness blizzard one of those years?

  15. Michelle says:

    If I recall, in Frankfort in 1978 we had a flood and then it snowed a couple of feet….

    • Todd says:

      Yep December 78 record flooding in Frankfort, I remember that we’ll because I lived in the flood zone, January and February was very cold and snowy in 78-79!

  16. rolo says:

    as BAILEY been on, OLD SCHOOL set ur seeing folks, and the big WARM AIOR is the key sign of it.

    then ur going see REAL WINTER WEATHER, not 2 days and gone. be settle in for few weeks.

    might wanna WISH for this set up not to happen, ole CHIRS BAILEY has nailed it again, you see him by weekend start talking some numbers as the models get better, but I can see 2 weeks from today being tenns high and colder at nite.

    • Danny says:

      Definetly a interesting pattern setting up one we havent seen in a few years. On paper all the possibilty’s are there for some sort of a decent winter storm here in the next 2 to 3 weeks. Possibly several chances I like the odds.

  17. spencerlady says:

    I sense a big grocery run coming up…..

    Many thanks for the update!

    • Mark says:

      Hopefully by the end of winter we won’t be paying much higher prices for things like oranges/orange juice and other Florida crops. But a cold wave like Jan 1985 (I was not quite one year old) may be overdue. I’ve read stories about even Orlando dropping to the teens in 1985, not only destroying the citrus crop but causing the citrus trees themselves to literally explode when the water inside froze. Sounded like gunshots going off in the night. Ouch.πŸ™

  18. JJTeach says:

    I’m as giddy as ever Chris!!! Now just waiting on Mother Nature to feed me some SNOW πŸ™‚

    Gosh I love this time of year.

  19. snowluv says:

    thanks for the updates Chris

    I see some other peeps think the cold will hold off in our area until later in January due to that high pressure… Some are even suggesting it wont be much cold here but rather only seasonable temps by the time this pattern change happens.

    Here’s to hoping they are wrong.

  20. MarkLex says:

    I remember something “similar” (or maybe not) a couple (maybe three years ago) where there was an arctic front coming but it was coming very slowly and they HPC shows HUGE amounts of rain (like 5 to 7 inches). If I recall correctly, those huge amounts of rain never happened. I think we only ended up getting less than an inch of rain and then it did turn cold. Not saying this is the same setup, but it reminds me of that looking at the HPC 5 to 7 day rainfall maps.

  21. MarkLex says:

    The (not they)


  22. karen 57 says:

    Seems like we r due for bad weather to happen everybody else has had it…bring on the SNOW!!!!!

  23. karen 57 says:

    So glad i found your website…u r more on the mark than the weathermen on tv..thanks….god bless!!

  24. mikew says:

    Chris Is a weather man on tv

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