A Big Time Temp Swing Ahead

Good Saturday to one and all. The ice and snow of Friday has given way to a much better looking weekend across the bluegrass state. Temps will continue to run on the cold side, but we have a wild temperature swing taking shape for next week.

Skies will be partly sunny today with a passing flurry in the north and east. Highs will range from the upper 20s in the central and east to 30s in the west and south. This will mark another well below normal temperature day across the state. Over the past 5 days, Lexington is running 11 degrees colder than normal. That’s an impressive streak.

Milder air begins to work toward us on Sunday. Readings will hit the 40s in the west and mid and upper 30s elsewhere. Clouds will begin to increase and those clouds will eventually produce some scattered showers by Monday. Temps will hit the 50s.

Tuesday will be the warmest day with readings flirting with 60 degrees on a strong southwesterly wind. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible on those gusty winds. The thunderstorm threat will increase Tuesday night as a powerful cold front moves across the state.

Take a look at the clash of mild and cold along this front…


That is likely to produce some high winds as it moves through. It will also deliver us another major temperature drop of roughly 30 degrees in a few hours as arctic air moves back in.

Check out what a trough develops behind this for the end of next week…


We will handle any snow and ice threats as we get closer. Those troughsΒ  are showing up more and more and will continue into February.

Have a great Saturday and take care.

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108 Responses to A Big Time Temp Swing Ahead

  1. chris g in clay county says:

    was looking at the ice storm warning map nws issued, and where you put your first call for sleet , freezing rain and snow in southern ky, and they lined up almost perfectly what u called. i would say you nailed this one for parts of the region.

    thanks chris for all the hard work you put in, keeping us informed on facebook, kentucky weather center , kentucky dot com, and wkyt.

  2. Cosmokramer says:

    “almost perfectly” Is another oxymoron like jumbo shrimp…..”

    “NAILED this one for PARTS of the region” is another catch-all phrase that politicians use as well.

    This part of the region received an 8 hour “last call” forecast of either 1-3″ or 2-4″ of snow….what resulted was no accumulation except some freezing drizzle plus rain.

    Using Mr. Bailey’s term, what is so “wicked” about next week? He mentions a temp swing; is that it?

    Granted, I am here aren’t I? Love the hype, but am usually disappointed with the results. If the forecasts were a cooking show, the souffle has fallen yet again.

    Snowboard update— Christmas gifts that are still in the garage with price tags on them….any offers?

    • Bob says:

      I have an offer………..if all you can do is bash Bailey then go start your own blog somewhere else, we won’t even charge you. Obviously you wouldn’t be reading if you were so educated on the weather already. The snow forecast was a bust for everyone, but he nailed the ice. Thats why its called a forecast not a prophecy. Bailey isn’t God, but he does a great job FORECASTNG.

      • KC says:

        OH! Bob, before I read your post I was thinking, “I have an offer for you…” Your words match my thoughts completely! Good response!

      • LD says:

        “Obviously you wouldn’t be reading if you were so educated on the weather already.”

        Yes, because we certainly do not have any people who post here who are either professionals or amateur hobbyists in meteorology.

    • bjenks says:

      Oxymoron – Kinda like buying your child a snowboard in Kentucky.

    • Matthew says:

      Fairly wicked in terms of temperature swings. Not to mention that we had ice which is just another type of frozen precipitation. Yes, not snow but still winter. Then this last storm was a quick mover but still happened. Sure, may not have dropped as much for many people but the threat was there. And Bailey, or any other weather outlet, would not be doing their jobs if they did not call it. What happens if they do not call it, going with some “trend” or such, and it happened or even overachieved.

      All that said Bailey was good on the late December stuff, the early January warm-up, and had called the mid-January cold for a while. Others had it still fairly warm a week out and adjusted down. It was like they took one model and believed it without considering the others.

  3. MacDaddy says:

    Long time view, first time poster.
    I follow this blog in large measure to learn so I was disappointed that neither on the telecasts yesterday evening nor this morning’s blog post was any explanation given as to why Lex rec’d only 0.3″ of snow. Did the models overplay the moisture content and/or the snow ratios, or fail to predict the warm air aloft this far north?
    I know many posters just want to hammer Chris for not getting every detail exactly right in every corner of the forecast area but many of us truly would like to learn about the unique nature of this area’s weather. And please don’t respond with “snow dome.” LOL
    From the radar maps it appears TN had plenty of moisture for rain and Ohio for snow but KY was sort of the dry middle. Why?
    Thanks Chris and all well intended posters.

  4. Joey Wilson says:

    Another day, another week of no snow and I don’t see anything to get excited about next week either. Cold air being wasted is no fun.

  5. Louis says:

    I was a bit above the called freezing rain line. We got a bit under .5 inches of freezing rain and had our roads glazed over, in which untreated roads are today still a sheet of ice. Although the type of precipitation might not have been what was forecast, the impact was certainly there. Hundreds of wrecks across the area. Not even close to enough police and wreckers to handle the volume. Impact is usually stressed here, and the impact was certainly there. Some people on here need to get something more positive going on their life than coming on a blog and needling someone who works tirelessly to keep us updated and in the loop of what the MODELS are saying. This blog used to have a real positive vibe, but as of late with some of the newcomers it is becoming a muddled mess of negative Nancies posting worthless mindless negative posts. If you do not like the place or Chris then get your troll butt off of here.

  6. Coffeady says:

    Chris, thanks for keeping us updated through the storm
    M. We got a little over a quarter inch of ice here, just as you said we would. A lot ofy co workers couldn’t make it to work. This storm acted just like you thought it would. The only downside for me was the fact that we were missed again by the snow. (Bit we always are). Thanks for all the info, updates, and all you do for us. Today sounds like a good day to stay inside and get the chores done and watch some basketball!

  7. Weatherdadof2 says:

    It’s still a beautiful morning in Laurel County with everything covered in a nice glaze of ice…oh wait, just like Bailey forecasted for our area. All the CB bashers on here just relax and find something else to occupy your time, please;)

    As for our forecast, this week’s warmup can hang around as long as possible. I think we all agree that unless a blizzard is a sure thing, we will take an early Spring. Have a great day!

  8. weather blog troll says:

    Thank you, Chris. Nice work on the blog and your forecast.
    Don’t let the “Negative Nancies” and MORONS get you down.
    I appreciate this fun and informative blog.

    Bring on da swing!

    come back ROLO…wherever you are.

  9. Bernard P. Fife says:

    The only thing “wicked” about next week is the thumpin’ my NIners are gonna lay on the Ravens!!

  10. BengalFan says:

    The only thing I have to say about the Forecast or actual weather is DISAPPOINTMENT!

    Yes, the thin layer of ice caused a lot of problems yesterday around the state. No doubt about that!

    I’m so glad Chris’ post didn’t say snow sometime in the middle or end of next week the models say snow. Because we don’t need to hear that anymore! We ALL know what the models are going to show 5-7 days out..snow..I guess maybe I shouldn’t be on here to hear and talk about snow that will never happen this year. I guess that is on me. I should just stick with day to day forecast! And the way our weather is (It will get warm-rain, then windy, temp drop then in 20’s or 30’s maybe a little ice , then we do it again!

  11. E-TownKY says:

    ROLO– you are not allowed to leave. I don’t care what u said. The blog wouldn’t be half as fun with you gone. Maybe some of what you’re thinking doesn’t happen but at least you are always a positive, hopeful voice always excited about what ‘could’ be. Unlike some of those here who are constantly negative, hidden behind brown noses and Smiley faces. You keep posting and ignore the haters!

    As for yesterday, thanks Chris for the heads up, although snow wasn’t a reality for Etown (but this year it never is) your ice fears were noted and prepared for. Not hoping for snow much anymore, gotta take this year for what it is and thank God for His reasons why, which are always in my best interests whether I understand or not.
    I do however, look forward to the extreme, whatever that may be..and also to planting my tomatoes and herbs for my sauce business. πŸ™‚

    God bless all and be well.

  12. BubbaG says:

    The model did nail the ice and they usually do. The model suck bad lemons when it come to snow. They are AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL. Strike that, the model suck molded e-coli lemons.

    This week we will see the 33 degree rule where over 90% of the precipitation is rain followed by a coating, trace or some might approach 1″. Might.

    ……. Did I mention the models were AWFUL with forecasting and out-looking snow? I am going to go drink some lemonade.

  13. BubbaG says:

    The models, not model.

    Any met that outlooks snow and does not heavily way the actual result trend for similar systems, do it at your peril. I am super cereal.

  14. NikkiEKY says:

    I’m happy with our coating of snow…anyone else get a nice coating of snow after sunset yesterday? It actually caught me by surprise when I looked out this morning…still catching some flurries this morning too in far east ky.

  15. Todd says:

    Im About 2 weeks away from full spring mode, mid February is my cutoff point to a winter that had its chance and has failed again!
    Warm weather sounds much better than dry cold or deck duster snows!

  16. Chris Mercer says:

    I’m done commenting until the end of this month. I’ll post some stats on 31 January comparing this winter to last winter. I think you will see both are similar!

  17. RhondaB says:

    I sure wish the blog would get a “like” and “dislike” button. As most of us do, I appreciate what Mr. Bailey does on this blog. As far as forecasts go, he does a better job than most and I think it’s because of his love for what he does. How many people can say they love their job that much? So much that they put in their own time on it? That’s why I go to this blog and CB for weather forecasts. This forecast was extremely well done, almost exactly as the prediction map said. Another reason I like this blog is because of CB’s sense of humor in his forecasts, and the fact that he tells us and explains about the models and what it all means. I am weather illiterate so if he didn’t do that I would not know what any of it meant.
    The route on which I live is closed because of the coating of freezing rain we got on top of the small amount of snow we got, and hopefully will open up later. As far as next week goes, since when is ANYTHING ever written in stone? I like knowing the possibilities anyway!
    Rolo has been with this blog since the old days, and I’ve always loved reading his posts. He is never negative or bashing CB, and always thanks him for his hard work, so people really need to leave him alone, or anyone else who posts positively for that matter. We are all entitled to our opinions and none of us deserve to be bashed for them. Some of the postings on here remind me of the drama in my middle school students, and we are supposed to be adults.

    • BubbaG says:

      I think folks appreciate this unless just getting into the blog and not knowing CB is posting thoughts for the build ups based on the models and his view.

      Fact is though the models are pure poo bait for snow. Anything else they do a pretty good job. Snow seems one two many dynamics for it to get right. Thing is, why are the models always overstating snow, but rarely if ever understate?

      They in general seem too biased on one side there which suggests something is wrong with the way models collect data, validate, regress on results and then extrapolate solutions.

      CB does do better than a lot of mets, but he is burdened with basically the same tools. The models.

      • Mike says:

        As I commented earlier: Why aren’t the algorithms the models used altered to reflect reality? Perhaps they are only adjusted every few years? They surely haven’t used the actual weather outputs to inform their model algorithms.

        Perhaps I am wrong? How?

        • MJ says:

          Algorithms are changed when a problem is identified. However, make a change to correct one problem may result in a decreased forecast skill on another variable. It is quite complex to be honest.

          • Mike says:

            I understand that. But, the same problem – or at least the same result keeps coming up, again and again and again… Models predict snow 7, 5 even 3 days out and then – nothing or rain instead…

    • weather blog troll says:

      like πŸ™‚

    • Jeff Hamlin says:

      Rolo’s only problem is that he is always, “OLD SKOOL a’comin!” then the next day it’s, “move along nothing to see here. 1/2 inch of rain at best”.

  18. troy says:

    I’ve always been a snow lover, so I feel for those of you further north who have had only a trace. Over the past 2 weeks Middlesboro is approaching 5″ for the year. It has come and gone and I have enjoyed it, so now I am ready for Spring. So, I am hoping to see Spring come to town in mid February…just as it did last year. It’s just a fact, for what ever reason, that winters just aren’t what they used to be and we all know they are trending warmer every year. I’m saying bring on the 90 degree days here in the crater. To me, those 90’s are more desirable than 20’s-30’s or even 40’s when snow is not in the mix. I do hope you other snow lovers do get a good dose of snow before winter is over though.

  19. Dale says:

    Flurries and 31 degrees in Southern Pike Co.

  20. Thanks Chris! I always look forward to the upcoming possibilities, whether the models have it correct or not. I think that part of the fun is tracking and wondering if it will or won’t snow, rain, sleet, etc. Yes the models are terrible, but I’d rather be prepared than caught off guard. I also have to agree with those that point out the increased negative tone to the blog. I understand the frustration of being missed by snow again, but it is what it is. Taking personal shots at a person who has dedicated countless hours of his own time is just ridiculous. I often wonder if CB ever wishes he would’ve never added the comment section to his blog. Wouldn’t blame him if he did.

  21. Ben in Lexington says:

    I agree,come back Rolo. But all the regular readers on here can attest that he at time was negative and said CB missed yet another storm. Give the snowboard dude a break. He has a right to get disappointed too. I have seen many times all the people calling him out because of CB bashing,do the same thing at various times,as have I. Sometimes people need to vent,and the weatherman is an easy target. Thanks for all you do Chris. I got my dusty snow shovel out of my storage building 2 months ago and put it on the deck,in anticipation of actually having to use it. Still have not. Does not work well in the ice. I sure wish we could get a huge snow. Hopefully February will be the month. If not,then back in the old storage building my shovel goes to build up a new coat of dust.

    • BubbaG says:

      Yet he called ME a Chris hater. That was they key point of irony in his accusation. Calls storms wrong a lot himself and then dings Chris, but I am the hater. Ironic.

      Rolo still rocks. I hold no grudges and consider the total person contribution. No Rolo = less lively blog. Boo!

      • RhondaB says:

        BubbaG, You’re not a “Chris-hater”, you’re just our Darth Vader of the Weather Darkside!

        • BubbaG says:

          The trend is the Dark Side of the force. Boo! Root cause is warm air.

          Maybe we change from Dome to Mr. Warmside? Mr. Warmy would be more personable though.

  22. MarkLex says:

    OK – changing the subject

    Next week actually doesn’t look good (as of now). Hmm, let’s think about that. Isn’t that what we want? If next week looked great now, we all know what the result would be. Perhaps we should feel lucky nothing looks good next week (this far out)

    • Israel says:

      That’s true ’cause every system that is detected from far out turns out to be weaker, faster, etc. And less snow. But the ones that get detected a few days out are usually the strongest.

  23. Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

    Lets face the facts people it is going to be harder for it to snow here in Ky because the gulf water temps are above historical norms. I have been reading for years that the perfect path for snow in Louisville is a tract up the western side of the Appalachian. We FINALLY get that tract this past xmas and what did we get under the tree more fricking Fz. rain.
    I have concluded that there must be certain criteria for a decent snow event. (1) the system must be weak & dysfunctional (2) if the system is well organize we must hope it over performs on the backside of the low (3) hope for a clipper to tract well south than normal. (4) a spring storm that has a cold front in advance of a low.

    • Chris Mercer says:

      Yes, yes, and yes.

      • Sissy says:

        Chris your are awesome weather man. Your predictions are always right. There is not another weather person that works as hard as you do in forecasting the weather head of time so that we can be prepared regardless what the weather is. Thank you for everything you do.

  24. Chris Mercer says:

    I’m breaking my silence. Highs in the upper 20’s in Central KY? I dare someone to tell me where in Central KY hasn’t cracked 30 today. The little accumulation I had is now gone

    • Todd says:

      Yep 37 in Frankfort, even temperature models are useless these days?

      • Chris Mercer says:

        I think CB’s forecast is on the optimistic cold side. Not sure where he got Upper 20’s for today, but that is what his post says. He is going to bust by 5-10 degrees. That is significant, if you ask me!

        • Rachel says:

          When I checked Weather.com this morning they had the high set at 27 for today… accuweather had it at 29. I don’t think any of the sites I checked had it in the 30’s, so he probably got his upper 20’s forecast from the same place everyone else did. Clearly the weather models are sucking royally this year!

    • Rachel says:

      34 in Lexington — still below average, but much warmer than all forecasts had called for today! Even the weather channel, and they typically overestimate!

    • BubbaG says:

      We hit 37. Looks like warm air is under estimated yet again. When will Mr. Warmy get the party busting “respect” he has proven so consistently?

  25. Israel says:

    The Euro model has been hinting heavy rain for Wednesday for a few days now. It says over 2in of rain on Wednesday http://yr.no/place/United_States/Kentucky/Lexington/long.html

  26. Russ says:

    It’s real simple,IMO. It’s all about climate change. Whether it’s man made or a natural cycle, who knows. But to say that this is “average” Kentucky weather-well, that’s ridiculous. Especially for those of us who grew up in the 1970’s and 80’s. Even the 90’s had some epic storms with cold outbreaks.
    If you like severe weather and tornado outbreaks, this is the place for you. But winter weather lovers, seriously there’s not much here anymore.

  27. Joey Wilson says:

    As a long-time winter weather watcher in this area, it does get difficult to envision a scenario that will bring a thumper snow to our world. The best clippers seem to go through Ohio and miss us. Moisture-rich southern storms always seem to bring just enough warm air (WAA) to bring us cold rain or freezing rain. When we get the really cold air from the north, there’s no moisture to be found unless you count virga. lol. I’m not sure I know an ideal storm track for us anymore. Oh well…we still have the month of February. We’ve seen some big snows in past years in Feb. but I’m losing my optimism by the day.

  28. Lincoln says:

    I think Chris did a great job forecasting the last storm. The roads in Lexington were horrible yesterday morning, I kid you not.

  29. Grant says:

    Pretty good little site with info on the different computer models.

    It’s not a junk link, it’s safe

  30. Go Cards says:

    Three game losing streak not good. OK got that out of the way. Let me say that the people who think it is supposed to snow 15 inches with every storm are delusional. The storms of 78,93,94,and 98 were out of the norm. It is not supposed to do that here. Louisville averages 14-15 inches for a whole winter. You people need to scale back your expectations for what winter really is around here. A couple 3-6 inch snows and a clipper here clipper there. That is normal for these parts. If you want 90 inches move to Buffalo New York. Ok thank you.

    • Upslope says:


    • MikeM says:

      Show me a 6 inch snow in central Ky and I’ll be happy.

      • Go Cards says:

        Maybe it didn’t happen last year and this year may be the same. Guess what though maybe next winter it will snow 35-40 inches and it all evens out. You gotta take the good with the bad. It will all average out in the end like its supposed to do.

      • pattyversailles says:

        You missed that snow we had here at New Years!! It was a beautiful snow. I think that may be the only one we get this year!! BOOOOOOOO!

        • MikeM says:

          I did at least get to see what was left of it when I got back. Maybe I need to leave the state for a week and see what happens. Think I’ll go to Colorado. πŸ˜‰

          • pattyversailles says:

            I’m sorry MikeM we’ve been blog friends a long time, but if that’s what it takes…….Take a hike!!!!!! LOL!

    • Rachel says:

      You’re right… but we haven’t even seen those averages lately. Right now we’re sitting at a couple of inches here in Lexington which is WAY below average. I’d be happy if we even made it to 10 inches for the whole winter… but it’s gonna take a couple of good snows to accomplish that.

      • Lincoln says:

        Lately?? 2011 was in the top 10 snowiest winters ever for Lexingtom. Nearly 30 Inches of snow. That’s where the average comes from.

        • Lincoln says:

          Dec 2010- march 2011

        • Go Cards says:

          Exactly my point. You get 30 inches one winter and two inches the next. Your average is 16 inches. 32/2=16. Thats how it works.

        • MikeM says:

          Every one of those snows was 1 to 2 inches and melted the next day. What I am looking for here is decent snow, 6+ inches that hangs around for more than an afternoon.

          • BubbaG says:

            That is the point, we used to get several snows with one big event or two medium events over a couple days.

            This blog used to always discuss BIG SNOW and not all these little ones that need thrown back into the lake.

            This is ANOTHER thing I used to post that folks expectations would change through the years and we would stop talking big snow and start rationalizing the little snows.

            It has happened. Boo!

            • Lincoln says:

              Big snow? Bubba since the 1800’s Lexington has averaged a snow of over 5 inches once every 3 years. It just isn’t as common as everyone thinks. And to Mike, they didn’t melt in the afternoon. If you remember that December, temps were below freezing nearly 25 days of the month.

        • Rachel says:

          Lately as in… lately. Lately does not include 2 years ago. Lately is within the past year or so. We didn’t see average last year and it’s not looking promising this year.

    • Chris Mercer says:

      You are spot on. Most winters in Central KY average 10-15 inches of snow, with 10 being more common than 15. I think most of the frustration comes from not understanding this blogs thought vs. forecast. Chris could do like every other met and never post thoughts–only a forecast. People need to use some intelligence to discern between the two.

      • Go Cards says:

        Problem is that certain people interpret things how they want them to be. Nothing Chris can do about that. I think Chris does an awesome job and thats my opinion. Everyone else can have their own opinion.

    • BubbaG says:

      From 77 to 98 we had a big snow at least every three years. Fell off a cliff starting in 99. Depending on your age, your perspective might not appreciate that.

      I have been hollering about the big snow extinction on the blog for eight years now and people are finally seeing the trend. Denial of history does nothing but rationalize the wimpy snow expectations. πŸ˜‰

  31. Todd says:

    Most of my frustration isn’t about large monster storms hitting KY it is things like Alabama and Arkansas and Mississippi getting larger snows than we do for past two winters in a row, those folks average way less snow than us but now they seem to get atleast 1 8inch storm per year lately?

    We can’t muster a 1 to 3 inch snow without all the usually snow killing factors?

  32. Woodsman says:

    Foot of snow in my yard up this way, Poor kentucky can have the snow.

  33. upslope says:

    this pattern is loaded…as a matter of fact..would not surprise me one bit to see a storm develop within the next 5/6 days that could deliver a good snow..especially for eastern Kentucky

  34. MikeM says:

    Las Vegas oddsmakers need to take a look at their forecasting models algorithmns. Cats were supposed to win by 18.

    • BubbaG says:

      Part of the issue is the way the data is collected for the models and budget constraints for weather system intel (not all is done by satellites).

      Still, it is valid given the consistency of the misses something needs to be reviewed (like THAT will ever happen). The models are stanky stuff for snow solutions.

  35. Bobt says:

    Very few places in Kentucky getting snow love this year. I’m still sitting at less than 1 inch here in Knox County. Middlesboro is only 30 miles South East of me and has gotten almost 6 inches in the last couple of weeks. Guess Kentucky is just too far north for snow. lol

    • BubbaG says:

      Probably for the better. Our luck and 15 year reality is all old school events systems smack us with ice and not snow. No harm no foul in that case πŸ™‚

      Who wants to bet against ice with that much trend behind it?

  36. Bobt says:

    Kentucky- Where it rains at 23 degrees.

  37. Keith says:

    Could someone please post a link to the EURO 6 days out showing a storm. I’m going through withdraw.

  38. bjenks says:

    Day one without ROLO…..How sad……

  39. Keith says:

    35 years ago the blizzard of ’78

  40. Kelly in Louisville says:

    We are running out of time for snow…for the first time since July 2, the average high temperature in Louisville showed an increase. Yesterdays average high was 43 degrees and today it was 44 degrees. With the sun getting higher and higher in the sky and average temperatures climbing upwards, well…it just gets a lot harder for us snow lovers to be happy.

    • MarkLex says:

      True –

      The sun may be higher in the sky, the days may be longer, but that doesn’t change the fact that a lot (if not most) of our huge winter storms come in Feb & Mar (at least in the past).. Take the superstorm ’93, that was all the way up until March 13th when that storm hit.

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