Waiting On The Arctic Air

Jenkins SnowGood Friday to one and all. The above picture is from the snowstorm that blasted parts of southeastern Kentucky earlier today. Take a look at some of the snowfall totals from the NWS in Jackson:

Snow Totals

The thoughts and forecast we put out was pretty darn good. What made it even better is this storm was being talked about as a possibility about a week ago. Since this storm was behaving itself, I didn’t feel the need to update anything. That, and the fact that I have a few days off work to relax. πŸ˜‰

This storm made it 3 winter storm impacts across the state this week. That’s not a bad way for winter to come roaring back just days after record highs.

That roar kicks into high gear later this weekend into next week as the arctic express rolls into town. The first front arrives early Sunday and may bring a few flurries or snow showers. Temps will come way down from the Saturday readings.

The next shot arrives on Monday as a clipper dives across the region. This should have a swath of light snow with it…


Check out the air that comes in behind that system…


That could produce single digit lows and teens for highs. Throw gusty winds into the mix and you may have sub zero wind chill readings.

The upper air pattern next week will continue to feature a big trough across the eastern half of the country. Hard to time systems will continue to dive in from the northwest and one those will try to amplify by the middle and end of the week..

Canadian 2I will try to give you another update later today. It all depends on how much “me” time I can work into my day off. Make it a great Friday and take care.

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46 Responses to Waiting On The Arctic Air

  1. Andy Rose says:

    Hopefully whats go come won’t be what we have had 95% rain. Like i said earlier its sad that the only days the kids have missed due to weather was in Jan and it was because of floodwaters instead of snow. Maybe next week will change that. Forcast was nailed Chris predicted 0-3 and we ended up with 0 can’t beat that πŸ˜‰

  2. MikeM says:

    3 winter storm impacts across the state this week? While in my NyQuil induced coma did I miss the snow in Central Ky?

    • TJ says:

      He is including the ice/sleet storm along with weather across the entire viewing area.

    • BubbaG says:

      Technically this is true. If you go by population demographics, not so much, but still there was impact with two of em’ anyway.

      The bottom right corner got snow, so about 25% got some action last night. CB’s map and the range was there.

      For the rest of the unrequited though, we are running out of January. Similar MO as last winter. I must admit the trend does not look good for us but NEVER expected this. Not potentially two wimpy winters in a row. I even expected two 6″ events for most of use. Not seeing that if the result trend is weighed in as part of the outlook consideration.

      Of course folks will say “there is plenty of winter left”. Yep, seems so, but need an actual result beyond ice threats, coatings and virga.

      There is always “next week”. Well, that holds convention can hold until early March at least.

      • MikeM says:

        Frustrating to say the least. πŸ™

        • MarkLex says:

          Yea ……..

          Chris – I hope those clippers you speak of at least give us something. The extended forecast is completely dry. However, we all know we can’t go by an extended forecast because it often changes, in some cases, even less than 24 hours out.

          I have the flu! I almost forgot how awful it feels since it’s been ages since I’ve been sick. I’m taking colloidal silver. Hope it helps. If not, I will go to doc πŸ™

  3. Jordan says:

    I took that pic! (;

  4. Ben C says:

    Wow. Here we go again! Another BIG snowstorm a week away. This is like a bad soap opera with a never ending array of “cliffhangers “. Problem is,I like bad soap operas. Lol. Like the sometimes misunderstood Yogi Bera once said,”this is like deja vu all over again”.

    • MarkLex says:

      My friend in Greensboro posted on his facebook page saying “OMG, it’s thundering and snowing” I’ve never heard that before. He was shocked. So they must have had thunder snow. But even with thunder snow, they only got three inches.

      • eyewall says:

        In January 1992 we had a thundersnow thing in Lexington that lasted all of five minutes. It looked like a summer thunderstorm coming in as I watched it from high up in the Financial Center. Laid down about 3 inches. It was unreal.

      • upslope says:

        Thundersnow and lighting were observed in southern (bordering Harlan Co.) Leslie County, which received 2-5 inches.

    • BubbaG says:

      Not to make your view worse, but CB did not mention anything about a big storm. My guess is we will see another mix event.

  5. karen 57 says:

    Well we get what we get…i love snow…but the cold artic air i can do without…Is there such a thing as a snow dance? thanks chris…u r just the messenger….the boss man upstairs rules the roost:)

  6. Tim says:

    The Louisville mets are calling for 20`s Monday and Tuesday, then 40`s by Thursday with rain.

  7. sue(Flatwoods,KY) says:

    i sure hope we get this cold air to come in and stay for alittle while and help get rid of the bug population for this summer and give us some chances for SNOW, Every extended forcast i have seen has only 2 days of real cold then back to 40’s again, Come on COLD and SNOW!!!! NO more Rain please!!!!!!

  8. Bernard P. Fife says:

    Breaking news!! Old man winter was interviewed again today & this is a direct quote: “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

  9. bjenks says:

    The cold is coming folks….Snow chances will go up for the Midwest and Ohio Valley….Clippers that turn into Nor’easters….Feb. will be interesting to say the least. Still think Kentucky will get there snow before this winter is over.
    Just trying to put a positive vibe out there for the back end of winter.

    THINK SNOW!!!!!

  10. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks, Chris. Enjoy your “me” time. You deserve it. but if you have ANY pull with Mother Nature, please tell her we need some snow to go with the cold temps. I agree with Sue. We need an extended cold period to get the bug and virus stuff back in check. And if its gonna be cold, it might as well be snowing! I see chances,
    lets hope they come to fruition!
    By the way…its FRIDAY!!!!!! Yay for Friday! Make is a GREAT day!

  11. Ready4Snow says:

    Hopefully Feb will be different…MJO is supposed to go into phase 8 early FEB…Maybe we can also get a +PNA along with a -AO….Then we use Bubba as a sacrifice to the snow gods as we all join hand’s and dance around the snow dome singing to the lyric’s of Dean Martin “let it snow let it snow let it snow”…

  12. bjenks says:

    The late week system looks to come during the next small warm up. Just may see another WINTERY MIX or all rain. Hopefully it just stays cold further south.

  13. Josh pozy says:

    This was a helpful post to hopefully back off some of the frustration in the comments from folks. Chris clarifies in this post that winter roaring back doesn’t necessarily mean extreme cold weather or significant snow. It can mean 30’s and 40’s and ice and cold rain. So next week can be cold and that’s whay winter is round here. Not chris’s fault. What gets some all worked up is they expect “next week has really got my attention” or “a system remember” to be 6 in snows or a blizzard. He doesn’t mean that. He means it’ll be 15 at night and a lot of cold precip. which has been abnormal the last few years.

    • KellyinLouisville says:

      I think what has people frustrated is that there has been a lot of hype about “next week” and “arctic cold”, not just on this blog but on other media as well. Yeah, it is going to get cold next week but nothing to write home about. I think it says a lot about our current climate that we are now referring to mid to upper 20’s to around 30 for highs as arctic. There’s nothing arctic about any of that. By Thursday it’s supposed to be back to near 50 degrees for several days and we all know that will bring us another round of wintry weather, also known as rain.

      The fact is, this has been a pretty warm winter and aside from a day or two next week, there is little reason to believe that it will continue to be anything other than warm and wet. The pattern is what it is and that’s for above average temperatures and above average rainfall with below average snow. Average highs start to go back up next week and with the sun getting higher and higher in the sky, the chances for real winter weather get slimmer by the day. I think we should go ahead and prepare for another bug infested summer, this winter is officially dead on arrival.

    • Andy Rose says:

      no he means single digits at night since thats in his forecast right and snow chances monday-friday πŸ˜‰

  14. Lisa says:

    Thank you for all of your hard work and for keeping us informed. I am so ready for some snow!!!!

  15. james says:

    That ole Lucy’s setting up the football again. I’m not gonna to take a kick this time. I can just see her laughing as we get a cold rain. http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/gfs/12/gfs_namer_180_850_temp_mslp_precip.gif

    • Ready4Snow says:

      Well it is the mid range so maybe the GFS(AKA GOOFY) is sniffing something out..lol….One of these day’s Goofy is gonna show us getting bombed and it will happen…Unfortunately not in our lifetime…

    • bjenks says:

      IF IF IF that map verifies it will be another snow storm for the southern states and Kentucky looking for it to move more North West…..We just can’t win……It will either snow in Indiana and rain in Kentucky or it will be cold and dry in Kentucky and Snow in Tenn.

  16. MarkLex says:

    Does anyone remember if we had thunder snow in the Feb ’98 storm. I think I remember it thundering, but not positive.

    Most biggest recollection I think was in Brevard, NC in the mid to late 80s. I think we got a foot of snow. I remember all of us were outside playing in the snow and it was absolutely pouring. All of the sudden, a huge flash of lightening and very loud thunder. My grandma ran inside to unplug everything as she would do during a summer storm. The strike was that bad. It only did it one time that I remember during the entire storm It was one of our better storms that I remember growing up.

  17. Tom N Lincoln says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the cold air and moisture are never gonna meet up here in south central Ky. I mean it snowed yesterday or the day before down south at 34 degrees, and it rained here when it was 30. It seems like a warmer layer of air hangs over this region. What gets me though is every system out there that might have a chance at giving us some snow will go north it’ll go south it’ll go east, it’ll go anywhere but on us. It’s happened every time last year and this year. I’m beginning to think the fix is on.

    • MarkLex says:

      My family back home in NC is probably thinking the same thing. They were under a winter storm warning for heavy snow all day yesterday. What did they get? Over two inches of rain and 40 degrees. The moisture left, then they got cold.

  18. Chris Mercer says:

    Props to Chris. His snowfall map from yesterday was spot on. Perhaps I am overly harsh on calling him out on calling this an “arctic outbreak.” Compared to what we’ve seen the past couple of winters, it is.

    Let me be more objective. Here are the number of days with highs 19 or less (WKYT has one day in the teens forecast) in Lexington for the past few winters (December-February).

    2013: 0
    2012: 0
    2011: 0
    2010: 1
    2009: 4
    2008: 2
    2007: 1
    2006: 0
    2005: 2
    2004: 3

    So, this would be an “arctic” outbreak if WKYT is right in their high temperature forecast.

    LMK has 23 for Lexington on Tuesday, which would be the coldest high temp since 2011

    • Chris Mercer says:

      One more comment to add. The last time Lexington recorded three consecutive days with highs in the teens was 1997. So, highs in the teens are fairly unusual.

  19. Woodsman says:

    Have a friend in southern WV that picked up 19″ yesterday.

  20. Todd says:

    No snow pack no long periods of cold, all of our past glory winters had nice snow packs to go with the cold!

    • Woodsman says:

      Do you expect to have a “glory” winter in Kentucky of all places every year?

      • Todd says:

        No, just saying if you do want extreme cold to stay more than 3 days SNOW is a must in these parts to keep the cold entrenched for a longer period!

    • Chris Mercer says:

      You are correct, sir. 19 years ago today here was the weather in Lexington.

      High 4 Above
      Low 17 Below
      Snowdepth over 10 inches

      The next morning it would fall to -20 in Lexington, -22 in Louisville, -27 in Frankfort, and -37 in Shelbyville. Now, THAT is an arctic outbreak!

  21. MarkLex says:

    I think the record Lowmax for Lexington (coldest daytime high temp was -3 degrees F. Not sure what year it was.

  22. Todd says:

    1994 January 17th in Frankfort thru about the 20th was the coldest weather with the most snow I’ve seen in my 49 years in KY, 20 inches of snow and 27 below 0, Now that is a blast of winter even in Minnesota?

  23. Bobt says:

    I’m to the point that I wish that it would just warm up. Pretty much this whole winter has been average temps or just a little above. Outside of the one weekend when it really warmed up (and rained) it’s just always somewhere in the middle. I would much rather have a week of colder than normal and then a few days in the 50’s than sitting in the mid-40’s all winter. Not cold enough for snow, but too cold to be outside. Gotta love Kentucky winters.

  24. Snowluv says:

    I’m def a snow lover but I can care less about arctic cold air with dry
    Conditions. This seems to be the trend for the next 2 weeks other than a day or two of warm up ahead if clippers.

    Bring on summer and the drought conditions.

    • Snowluv says:

      I won’t be paying any more attn to the weather this winter other than the basic glance on the news to know how to dress. I give up. I have nothing left.

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