Tracking The Return Of Winter

Good Saturday and welcome to the weekend. We have a fairly nice day taking shape across the bluegrass state as the sun makes a return visit. Temps will be close to normal, but we have a surge of 50s on the way for Sunday. Let’s not get too spoiled by all this as Old Man Winter is plotting his return next week and beyond.

Skies will become partly to mostly sunny today as temps hit the low and mid 40s in the east and low 50s in the west.

A cold front will work our way later Sunday and this will bring a windy and mild day to the state. Widespread showers will develop across the west and roll eastward during the afternoon and evening. Winds will continue to gust up as colder air slowly moves in on Monday.

That colder air will be the first warning shot of winters return. The overall pattern continues to look very favorable for cold and snow chances for the middle and end of the month into early March.

The first chance for snow comes Tuesday night and Wednesday as a storm system develops to our southwest. The models are going back and forth on just how much of an impact this has on our weather. The latest GFS offers a glancing blow of snow…


Given the northwesterly trend we’ve seen in the models over the years, we have it right where we want it. 🙂 We will see how the trends go over the next few days.

The setup really catching my eye is late in the coming week into next weekend. Take a look at what a deep trough dives into the region…


That’s the look of another big storm developing across the eastern part of the country… only farther west and south than the one this weekend. That’s exactly what the GFS has been hinting at for several days now…

GFS 2The pattern is loaded with potential through the rest of the month into early March. Will we finally cash in our snowy chips we’ve been holding for several years? We will soon find out.

Have a great Saturday and take care.

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53 Responses to Tracking The Return Of Winter

  1. lisaj says:

    I would love to cash in my snow chips! Bring on the snow……..

  2. WXEMGUY says:

    The 06Z GFS Run likes the idea of Kentucky snow midweek. So I guess that may become increasing focus #1…this next weekend storm is #2…very interesting indeed.

    Old school style winter….

  3. Andy Rose says:

    Hopefully winter does finally arrive been waiting for 2 yrs.

    • Mike says:

      2 years? In my part of Richmond we have been waiting since I have lived here – 8 years. Well, we did get 5 inches once and since then never more than 3 at any one time and never more than 8 or so in any one year.

  4. KellyinLouisville says:

    Going to be hard to snow on Wednesday with a forecast high of 48 degrees.

  5. Joey Wilson says:

    We’ve had some big late season snows in past years. We’ve also had big late season disappointments. We’ll see.

  6. JJTeach says:

    Looking forward to tracking these potential snow systems throughout this next week!
    However, I am not looking forward to Winter hanging tough into March. By March 1st, my mode immediately switches to Spring! 🙂

  7. Mae says:

    I doubt with Kentucky weather, that we will have to worry about to much snow and cold!

  8. weathertree4u says:

    I am just baffled why people that dont like the snow/cold are reading the blog so often? For crying out loud, if you dont want the snow/cold, dont reak Chris’ blog, but do us a favor and take the negativity someplace else.

    • BubbaG says:

      Most do like it, but are rationalizing. Makes the looooonnnng time of misses not hurt em’ as much.

      • gtwister says:

        Somewhat like all those years of KY football losing to TN.

        But just as when KY finally and unexpectedly ended that streak in 2011, snow lovers will be in supreme euphoria when we finally get a real snow, even if it may be tempered a bit if it’s a wet heavy snow with many power outages and such.

  9. weather blog troll says:

    Thanks, Chris.
    Enjoying the mild break and ready for another shot at some SNOW!

  10. BubbaG says:

    Hmmmm, seems people are falling for the outlooks again. Lucy asked me to find out if you guys prefer Rawlings or Wilson brand footballs? 😉

  11. Virgil Edwards says:

    Why is Accuweather so far off in their forecast from others?

    • BubbaG says:

      They are just dialing it in with generic linked models of various areas. Autopilot.

    • Israel says:

      Never trust Accuweather. Last year they predicted winter to be one of the coldest and snowiest, they said its going to get so bad that Chicago residents are going to want to move, guess what? Chicago got only 21.1 in. 7.3 in Below average the country was warmer than normal, etc. etc. etc. How do they know that for Lexington on March 4th is gonna be a Hi 57° and low 30°, with winds from SSW at 10mph with gusts to 22mph, 90% cloud cover and a UV index of 2

      • bjenks says:

        To my knowledge every met, including CB, forecast last winter to be a cold and snowy one. The entire nation was a bust for snow and cold last year. Not only Accu”crack” missed last year.

        • Israel says:

          Alot of the mets and accuweather based their forecast on La niña Which is usually means below average and stormier. Accuweather based everything on la niña as they said
          The NWS held on and forecasted only below average for Midwest, yes they used La niña to but they used the forecast models more and found that it might not be as cold in a typical la Nina pattern. I lived in Minnesota last year and the few Mets over there were saying it looks like and above average winter and didn’t base their forecast on la Nina but the trend.

      • gtwister says:

        Perhaps Accuweather and other sources got it partly right, even if for the wrong part of the US 😉 . Last winter was brutally cold and snowy in Alaska, even by Alaska standards. So much snow, roofs were caving in. Some lows flirted with minus 70 degrees.

        Unfortunately for snow lovers in the lower 48, the predictions were indeed a bust 🙁 and we got lots of tornadoes instead.

  12. bjenks says:

    I do like the models and their looks up to this point. As CB says with the NW Shift trend we could FINALLY be looking at a decent snow NEXT weekend. Catch 22 for me. I am suppose to be traveling to Nashville for a Volleyball Tournment. I also do snow removal here in Lou. Do I want snow in Nashville while I am there or do I want snow here in Lou. and not travel to Nashville so I can work…..HHHMMMM

    • troy says:

      lol, Well, if you want to see snow, you will most likely have a better chance of seeing it in Nashville than you will anywhere in Louisville….

      • gtwister says:

        The way this winter has gone, perhaps Mississippi and Alabama are more likely 🙂

        Louisville is at 6.6 inches so far, Lexington 8.3, so not too bad for this time of year. Mainly a bunch of ankle biter snows. Nashville is only at an inch even.

        • Andy Rose says:

          all of those trump south central ky

          • BubbaG says:

            Tell em’ Andy!

            We hardly gut nuttin’ but salt.

          • Mark says:

            Yea, Bowling Green officially just 1.3 (and as mentioned, Nashville a puny one inch). But these stats could change as early as mid-week. CB just had this update.


            Yep, yet another southern storm. Sorry BubbaG, seems your dome refuses to give up the ghost! But while I’m a warm weather person, I would not mind one quick and pretty snow that doesn’t affect the roads too much.

            Bowling Green (and here in Nashville) did get an ice storm during the latter part of January. Not a terrible one, but still wouldn’t wish ice storms on any worst enemy.

  13. Israel says:

    I’m not against Chris in anyway. I love his forecasts and he does a great job. But since I’m a snow lover, I’d rather wait till a few more days of a snowstorm (if we get anymore) ’cause then i get disappointed when were all hyped up about a storm and just a trace falls. I’m. Buying the cold, but not the snow yet until were a few days away. By the way, look at NWS CPC outlook. 6-10 and 8-14 day outlook for temps and precipitation.

    • Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

      According to that outlook,Elvis is back into the state. “That Cold Ky Rain Keeps A Coming Down”.
      If it does snow it is going to be of the wet variety type. Although at this moment we are in no position to complain about any form of snow. We will take anything we can get desperation has set in on my snow less “Ole KY Home”.

  14. Todd says:

    NWS is forecasting highs 40s and 50s next week, they are not seeing a transition to winter anytime soon, I know Chris is forecasting colder, but we shall see I guess?

    • Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

      They will always be a bit more conservative. NWS wants to make sure that their t’s are cross and their I’s are dotted.

    • Israel says:

      I’m sure the NWS is going to switch their forecast, just wait.

    • Chris Mercer says:

      Most computer models trend toward the average in the long-term. Goes for NWS, Weather Channel, etc. I don’t really trust any forecast more than three days out.

      • Todd says:

        Maybe they should just put ? Marks after about 3 days out since they don’t seem to know, sounds better than just putting numbers up for show?

        • Chris Mercer says:

          Think that might be good.

          Just talked to my uncle in NYC and sister-in-law in Boston and a friend in Philly. This is a big storm but seems to have been worst in Long Island, Downeast Maine, and Connecticut. The major cities had a good snow, but not a snow of record.

  15. Mike says:

    Models = guestcast = dissapointment
    Models ≠ forecast ≠ reality

  16. Go Cards says:

    Models already changed in 12 hours. Went from monster storm to basically nothing for next weekend. Couldn’t even keep it a day. Sad.

    • Ready4Snow says:

      Yep,cold and dry…But we should all know by now to not take model’s serious 7-10 days out….Just one run out of many so who know’s it may come back..If nothing happen’s a week from now big deal,we move on and hope for the best…After all the odd’s are against us when it come to a big winter storm in Ky,just to many thing’s have to go right..

    • BubbaG says:

      Don’t cash in yet! Lucy likes folks to take a nice hard and fast running kick 🙂

  17. Jeff Hamlin says:

    It was a great day today to get out and go clean the inside of my car at a local car wash that has FREE vacuums. Even at 50 degrees, you work up a bit of a sweat doing that. Now I’m ready for whatever comes.

    • Bobt says:

      I’m looking forward to the warm weather. I guess I would take a good snow, but would rather have a 50 -60 degree day instead of an ankle biter. January has just about did me in for cold rains. If that is all winter can bring in Kentucky, I would rather just go ahead and fast forward to spring. Been flooded out two times in January and wanting it to dry up.

  18. Mark says:

    My gf came down from Bowling Green. It was a nice day to spend at Nashville’s Bicentennial Park which is next to downtown and the Capitol Building (not to be confused with Centennial Park with the Parthenon, near Vanderbilt Univ). Good thing we did our thing today, rain showers are already knocking on the door.

    The next time I’m in Louisville, I’ll be eager to try out the walkway on the Big Four Bridge over the river. The bridge itself and the Louisville ramp opened to the public only a few days ago, although the ramp on the Indiana side won’t be complete until summer.

    BTW, the NWS radar at Evansville/Owensville Indiana is back up after being out of service for nearly a week. Its dual pol upgrade is finished. Now all NWS radars in KY, TN and close adjacent areas are dual pol.
    (dual pol upgrade of all three radars under NWS Paducah’s control is complete, that part of page just hasn’t been updated).

    Among other things, dual pol can far better distinguish between rain and snow. Dual pol is also a lot more sensitive of airborne tornadic debris which can give far more confidence a tornado is on the ground and thus better issue life saving warnings. Timely, since the spring severe wx season is just around the corner.

  19. Miss Kate says:

    my little brother just dug out of his 3 feet of snow in CT. le sigh. I have only seen that much snow once in my life in Mecklenburg, NY when I was a kid. that would be EPIC around these parts. I think at this point I would take 6 inches. but I thought I heard Lucy digging around in the equipment closet for footballs.

  20. Joie says:

    I’m a beginner trying my best to learn all I can about meteorology and actually like accuweather. This article is very interesting, but I’m left wondering what it means if the jet stream is right over you in Kentucky:

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