Updating The Snow Potential

Good Wednesday to one and all. Here we are in the middle of one of the coldest weeks in the past few winters and we have no snow on the ground. We’re tracking two systems that will try to change that over the next few days. The first system is rather weak and skirts the state later tonight. The second one comes Friday, but will the cold air suppress the storm into only a light snow maker? Some models think so… others do not.

System number one dives right on top of the state today. A streak of light snow will fall just to the north of this track. That means northern and eastern Kentucky will have the highest chance to pick up a light snowfall this evening and overnight. Temps today will stay in the 20s for many and you can track it all, here:

The air behind this clipper is very cold and will reinforce the arctic air we have in place. Highs Thursday will struggle into the low and middle 20s. This takes us to the storm system that will impact our weather on Friday.

Earlier in the week, the American models were taking this storm north into the Great Lakes. The GFS even had us near 50 degrees on Friday with showers and thunder. Storms don’t just cut into low level arctic air and we said that scenario would never happen and it won’t.

Those same American models are doing a 180 and now say the storm system stays weak and fairly far to our south. The overnight runs of the NAM and GFS were quite wimpy and only delivered a very light snowfall to central and eastern Kentucky Friday.

The rest of the models are much more optimistic. The Canadian Model…



GFS EnsemblesGFS

I just got a look at the new European Model and it seems to match the Canadian model pretty well. Both could get parts of the area into Threat mode.

All of those models show much more snow around here than what the GFS and NAM show. We’re still a few days away from this system and I worry about the American model head fake I talked about last night. Let’s see what trends we have on all the models today and tonight and go from there.

The long range sees the cold hang tough through the weekend before easing up a bit early next week. That will be a brief mild up and will come with rain. The next round of arctic cold moves in by the middle of next week and it’s likely to be colder than this latest blast…


Yes, I know… arctic cold without snow is a waste and I couldn’t agree more. You must have the cold to get snow… at least in theory. 😉

I will update as needed today. Have  wonderful Wednesday and take care.

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105 Responses to Updating The Snow Potential

  1. MikeM says:


  2. DougT10 says:

    Not all is lost I will take a inch or two of snowfall at this point and hope for more. Thanks Chris for the good job you do and that’s giving us some hope in these trying times of new age winters.

  3. Aaron C. says:

    The UKMET model must have looked at my map.

    But that’s just an observation.

    Only faith will bring the snow.

  4. SnowLonely says:

    It sounds like another missed opportunity for a decent snowfall. I’m getting too old for all this disappointment so I may as well retire and move to Miami. The chances might even be better for snow down there. *sigh*

  5. Cosmokramer says:

    Notice as we edge closer to the forecasts, they disappear or get pushed back….what’s up models?

    Looks like yet another D’oh storm for Homer….oh well, there’s always …….wait for it…..next week.

  6. Weatherdadof2 says:

    Picturing lightly swaying palm trees, hearing the sounds of waves and calypso music filling the air:)

  7. Bobt says:

    Running out of time folks. No measurable snow fall for the majority of the state and we are almost into February. I know we get some big snows in Feb. and March, but we also get quite of few days in the 50+ range. Can’t remember the last winter with no measurable snow fall this late in the year. Would take an ankle biter at this point.

    • bjenks says:

      I can……LAST YEAR!!!!! Two years straight is unheard of. Ohio Valley weather is the hardest to decipher. Always on the FENCE or just to cold for snow….Although this storm still has not surfaced yet. We still have a few models to get through before we NOW CAST….

  8. Momom says:

    I am so fed up with KY winters. That is all.

  9. Joey Wilson says:

    Are we EVER going to kick the football?

    Trying to be positive: A likely nowcast situation with heavier precip meandering to places it wasn’t forecast to go.

  10. Mae says:

    Well as usual not going to see anything with Friday’s system. Is there anything out there to get excited about for next week?

  11. BubbaG says:

    Too late CB, cuuuuuhhhhh! You have now stepped over to the dark side with no return. We are not so bad, as long as you do not like snow, or the Cats making the tournament. 😉 Cuuuuuuhhhhh…aacccckk! Sorry, had a fur ball.

    Seriously though, if the Cats get swept by Florida, too many at large teams already have quality wins. Like our chances for big snow, the Cats ain’t really got any. Cuuuuuuhhhhh.

  12. Dara says:

    Any new models out?

  13. Wes says:

    Being a meterologist…you are either right or wrong…especially when you are forcasting for an entire state. Plus the fact that you try to read the models (which don’t know their butts from a hole in the ground) and then adjust. Weathermen do not make enough money…

    • MarkLex says:

      Perhaps mets could step back in time to the 80s and use those models they had then? They seemed to perform much better.

      • chris g in clay county says:

        id like to have a old 80s model radar , the one that had a blinking light when a severe t storm was on radar. they was a black background that had the citys placed on it, with a white line that moved clockwise that tracked the precip that was falling out of sky.

  14. sue(Flatwoods,KY) says:

    our low this morn was close to yesterday! 11 deg yesterday and 12 deg this morn!!! THINK SNOW!!!!!!!

  15. john says:

    Man, I called it again….we will see no snow…its always a little hype with no results here in the great state of kentucky….haha

  16. dawnp007 says:


  17. Todd says:

    The weather channel now saying 60 degrees in frankfort by Tuesday, wow just when you think winter is finally going to make a stand it gets punched by the heat miser!

  18. Andy Rose says:

    3rd time in a row the HPC has recently put part of KY in >4 inch risk only for it to be squashed the next day

  19. Joe T says:

    I like the 06z model runs….they are still suppressed, but both show a little stronger system. Dont give up yet.

  20. Ready4Snow says:

    Fwiw…The Euro snow map is still showing 4+ for South Eastern Ky…Everybody else,a dry prune….

  21. bjenks says:

    Still many models to get through!!!!…..We still have a chance!!! Don’t give up hope!!!! THINK POSITIVE!!!!!
    I give up…..Oh wait a second….More cold air end of next week. Do you mean we get to do this all over again after a warm up and rain moves in….

    No thanks!!! I am done! THINK SPRING!!!! (Just trying to use the power of negativity to get this storm to come back around a little stronger.)

    • BengalFan says:

      you are speaking the truth, neither positive nor negative. it is what it is.

      Its as laughable as back in 98 when the night before we were called to get the “dusting”!

      Today probably going to be 32, then a little cooler tomorrow and friday (my guess : 29 then 31)…

      I do feel for Chris, but at least the other weather people didn’t go overboard with COLD AND SNOW!

      These last few winters has me worried about the future of our winters in ky. to that fact, the whole US winters. Looks like warming up is what it is doing, maybe “X” amount of years it will flip around…but right now, Models are reading the old ways of the weather…Its not predicting the new way weather is behaving!

      You cant argue that the models are reading the 4-7 day forecast WRONG!!!!!!!

      Again today Chris has to show what the models show for the middle of next week to be cold again. I SEE what is going to happen, next thursday it may get down to the teens at night, into the high 20’s for one day , then go back up!
      This is the NEW way winter is (actually its not that new)

  22. BubbaG says:

    Wow. Just noticed that snow chances are mainly to the north and east in the state. That does not exactly help dispel the dome theory for central Kentucky. It used to be the big-snow dome. Seems it is extending its reach to lower snow totals as well.

    Perhaps ankle biters are the new school events for the area. Old school may have left the building along with Elvis.

  23. rolo says:

    folks think PHASEING!!! we need to the 2 system to COME TOGETHER right now.

    that how it has to happen,

    if not S/SE KY still get 2-3 inches of snow, but the north and south phase GAME ON!!

  24. rolo says:

    folks I wouldnt want the models to be in agreement right now for a snow anyway, cause as u know by tonite they crush ur hopes.

    REVERSAL will happen by this evening runs, maybe afternoons!!!


    • bjenks says:

      Only for Charlie STRONG….GO CARDS!!!!!! Lance is a *$#@*#&*#X100……Sorry I had to go there!

      and now back to the weather!!!!

    • BengalFan says:

      Livestrong!!!! Yes everyone should live strong..But do it in a truthful, honorable way!

      The weather is truthful–it is what it is. (even thought I dont like it)

  25. Todd says:

    Loveem or hateum TWC is still showing a possible 3 to 6 inch snow Friday thru sat morning for east half of ky?

    • Joey Wilson says:

      TWC is a waste of time. They change willy-nilly with each model run. TWC is owned by NBC and is in the business of making money from advertisers, not having accurate forecasts.

      Besides, I hate watching them. They essentially ignore the midwest and focus on both coasts. That’s what their advertisers want them to do. Accuweather, especially Henry Margusity, does the same thing.

  26. Weatherdadof2 says:

    NWS Jackson is still hopeful(ish). Problem is that storm timing is slowing down, thus decreasing accumulations since it would fall during daylight hours of marginal temps.

  27. rolo says:

    folks it a race to MERGE, if the CLIPPER and southern storm can merge just right then BOOM, right now it doesnt look just right as far as KY goes.

    but maybe tonite in morn runs show a STRONG SYSTEM as well,

  28. Mike S says:

    I’ll have to post this on my blog later.

    Did a little research and discovered a correlation between January 2011 snowfall and the UK/UL January 2011 men’s basketball schedule and result.

    Louisville lost to Villanova 88-74 at Villanova on 1/12/2011
    Kentucky lost to Alabama 68-66 at Tuscaloosa on 1/18/2011
    Two days later, January 20, 2011 Louisville recorded 3.6″ snow and Lexington recorded 3.3″

    Fast-forward to 2013. Louisville loses to Villanova last night at Villanova and Kentucky loses to Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Therefore, what should happen a couple of days or so later? Deja Vu. Louisville and Lexingtpn should get at least 3″.

  29. Willie says:

    What about the chance of snow tonight? Any accumulation possible in Central KY at all?

    • rolo says:

      no willy, u might see few flurries at best my friend. BAILEY was only mety yesterday talking slight snowfall up. MECK,36 mention nothing.

  30. rolo says:

    thing gets me is NATIONAL METS alot have storm going to far north, while ALL LOCAL mets say to fur south right now.

    have lexington in mix most national mets. with 2-4 inches Cincy north. CRAZY and it means one thing, NOBODY KNOWS NOTHING till the form and both systems get on the move tomm.

    back in my day we just had 6 clock and 11 clock news, no internet etc and no talk of models by mets. they give forcast and it either hit or missed.

    and seems like they hit more than they missed, I think to many these days get caught up in TOO MANY MODELS instead of using little of their common sense they learn in all their years of schooling/study of the weather.

    • bjenks says:

      They hit more than they missed because storms only showed up a day or two in advance. More of a science back then. Just like the BCS…We let computers tell us who should win the….Championship.

  31. Ready4Snow says:

    Out to 51 hrs on the nam..Looks like it wants to develop another low”’
    Hr 54 looks stronger but heaviest precip. south…Rest is blah..never did develop another low…Looks like what chris said,suppression city…

  32. LD says:

    To everyone complaining about the effectiveness of the models, keep that in mind the when looking at funding for meteorological science.

  33. Todd says:

    Louisville NWS overnite discussion even hinting at a dry layer over North Central could form (Virga) during this event, DOME even shows up on model runs now, we are out of luck in this part of the world for any serious snow development!

  34. Wes says:

    My apologies to the NWS in Jackson…they have gotten this one right so far. I can admit when I’m wrong…and apologize for it.

    I guess I’m just HOPING that they are wrong and Chris is right because I love snow…

  35. KeavyMan says:

    Just read the Jackson NWS forecast discussion. They have a large part of their area with 2 – 4″ snow. Even here in laurel/Whitley/Knox Continues….they have taken rain and freezing rain out of the forecast. All you people that was hoping and now depressed needs to remember….the models does not yet have this storm predicted. Here in Keavy….I am waiting and going to watch LUCY fall this time!

    Think SNOW!

  36. Winter Warlock says:

    Agree with the last comment Rolo posted in that lets wait and see what the models look like tonight. Think we will have a much better idea then and the models will start to work towards consensus. I am in wait and see mode but not giving up yet that is for sure! WW

  37. Tyler says:

    12z GFS rolling in…..only out to 6hr right now!

  38. Tyler says:

    12z nam kept a system suppressed but appeared to by slightly strong….but nothing significant!

  39. rolo says:

    exactly KEAVY what I said the 2 storms not even going yet, we will not know till overnite models what its will do.

    sticking to WSW going up tonite for the areas of S/SE KY

  40. Mark says:

    Hmm, the Storm Prediction Center now forecasting the chance of severe t-storms for next Tuesday. Not only for Arkansas, but perhaps sneaking into far western parts of both Kentucky and Tennessee. Of course still very early so forecast subject to change, but a hint the so-called “Arctic outbreak” may try to take at least a temporary hiatus.

    Needless to say, severe t-storm/tornado outbreaks do happen every long once in a while during the winter in KY. The anniversary of the 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak is just around the corner.

  41. Todd says:

    I’m ready for the warmer air, you folks can have this dry cold crap, bring on spring, this looks like another year when Alabama, Mississippi not only beats us in basketball they will win the snow total battle also 🙁

  42. rolo says:

    miss WXMAN, why did he leave?? did I miss something. him and Chris get into it????

    • Lincoln says:

      No, some people on the blog took his opinion as an attack on Chris. Those people most likely upset him enough to stop commenting, though I’m sure he still reads. In any since, I miss him too! Lol.

      • Marsha says:

        No he was attacking Chris clearly on here and on his blog….

        • rolo says:

          ok tx guys, if he was doing that MARSHA then its sad and he should be gone.

          • Lincoln says:

            Then he may have got banned!

          • Mark says:

            One can disagree without being overly disagreeable. I read where Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda were close friends even though their highly opposite political views were often two trains coming full speed towards each other on the same track.

            I at times agreed with WXman over others on this blog, including Chris himself. In this respect, I already miss WXman.

            However, it unfortunately seems WXman has extra baggage. I took him to task about two weeks ago for what I felt was his misrepresenting CB’s comments about snowfall totals (and WXman using wrong data against CB). Perhaps WXman made an honest mistake, only he knows I suppose. But it could be said WXman’s further replies raised more questions than they answered. If WXman can still post, he’s more than free to try to show where I’m wrong. The fact that CB allowed WXman to post here for years suggests CB is reasonably tolerant of opposing views.

            But if WXman’s recent behavior did get him banned, WXman has only himself to blame. Even if we might miss some of his views, hopefully there will be others that will come along on this blog with similar knowledge but without the excess baggage.

  43. Tyler says:

    12Z GFS wanting to phase but missing it ever so slightly!!!

    However it did have more precipitation overall……coming in at 0.25-.50″ of QPF for eastern ky, southeastern ky, southeastern OH, and and most of West Virginia…….

  44. Tom in Rockcastle says:

    The players are taking the field and the GFS gives some reason for hope. Hopefully the real time data will help the models converge on a real world solution over the next few runs. We shall see but at least for the moment there is a little room for optimism

  45. Tyler says:


    that’s the link for the 12z NAM snowfall forecast!!! very wimpy for ohio and kentucky!!

    • Shawon says:

      To borrow an old line from Chris, the NAM does not go BAM.

      (That’s not quite what Chris said when he used it, of course…)

  46. rolo says:

    yep gotta like what we are seeing with the GFS, and rresty of the info im looking at.

  47. Tyler says:

    the fact that the timing of the system has changed would surely throw the models off. The timing really has changed significantly….compared to just a day and half ago!!

  48. Joe T says:

    Trending stronger….I think the 18z will make far southeastern Ky happy. A slight shift north and slowing the progress just a tad will make a big difference. It could still happen. The NAM and GFS are trending more toward some of the other models.

  49. Tyler says:

    and we now have support from of Bailey him self……..with his last tweet of.

    GFS and NAM both going back to healthier snow system for friday!

  50. Wes says:

    I can’t get his Tweets…please tell me what it says?

  51. Lincoln says:

    Sitting at 18.. Should be at 26.. Temps a little on lower side today.

  52. Timing says:

    IF this snow materializes are we looking at overnight Thursday or during the day Friday? That’s all I wan tto know.

  53. KeavyMan says:

    Humidity 38%
    Wind Speed SW 7 mph
    Barometer 30.30 in (1027.2 mb)
    Dewpoint 7°F (-14°C)
    Visibility 10.00 mi
    Wind Chill 23°F (-5°C)
    Last Update on 23 Jan 11:53 am EST

  54. Tom N Lincoln says:

    I’m not gonna be greedy, an inch or 2 would do wonders for my morale. A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

  55. rolo says:

    yep starting to come back around,

    MT VERNON cordeor east/south/SE is what im think as far as area of snow.

    if this thing can FULLY PHASE OUT man it could get SERIOUS.

    see what EURO/GFS do thru the late nite runs. I go with a 3-8 inches as of now, that my area outline, lower to north andf the higher totals far SE.

  56. Todd says:

    I’m going back to my December way of thinking for Frankfort area, 1 in. or less anything more EPIC?

  57. Chris Mercer says:

    Look at the temp gradient across the state right now. Upper teens in Northern Kentucky and lower 40’s in SW Kentucky. I wonder if that low will track more towards the “arctic” boundary than anticipated. I would think such a temp gradient may help this thing track a little closer to the KY/TN border. On the flip side, too far north and you get a messy slop.

    • Aaron C. says:

      That reinforcing shot of cold air tonight should help set up most of the commonwealth for a decent chance of snow. I think my freezing rain line may be a bit too far north.

      My general idea is anywhere from 3-6″ across much of the area, with higher totals in the southeast, especially in the mountains.

      It’s not a foot and a half, but most of us will be extremely thankful (keyword thankful) for this snow after the dry conditions thus far.


      • Aaron C. says:

        Margusity’s forecast map shows a fairly narrow band of 3-6″ for mainly central and southern/southeastern Kentucky.

        Areas north and west of that are still in the possibility of 1-3″ of snow.

        Other than my forecast map being perhaps a bit too far north (about 30-40 miles or so,) will hold to it for now.


        • BubbaG says:

          CB snow map would be interesting now, but seems he would be best to use the Force rather than trust much of the model solutions.

  58. prelude says:

    Henry from Accuweather says in his video blog the heavier snow will fall from Louisville and points east. The only way I could see Louisville getting a good snow is if the precip fields break in two which has been known to happen. Louisville just seems way to far to the west for this particular event. I do like SE KY chances.

    • Kat says:

      prelude hush yo mouth I need a snow day!!!!

    • Todd says:

      Watched a Louisville met at lunch, now saying could get bad their Friday morning with a couple inches of snow, this guy is really conservative so things might be looking up for central Ky area also, we shall see!

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