Arctic Cold Weekend Update

Good afternoon, everyone. Bitterly cold temperatures continue to have an icy grip on the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Lows this morning hit below zero in a few spots, with many areas checking in with low single digits. Similar numbers will show up out there by Sunday morning.

The winds are really adding to the bitter cold, with wind chills going well below zero at times.

Winds go northwesterly for a time tonight and this can cause a few snow flurries to develop. The far southeast may pick up on some light accumulations to follow up on another fresh snowfall last night.

Clouds increase Sunday and I can’t rule out a period of light flakes late in the day or early Monday. This can happen as milder air begins to push in here. That’s ahead of a wet weather maker moving in for Tuesday and early Wednesday.

This looks to be the start of a very active, and potentially wild pattern. It’s one that can put our region in the dividing line between arctic cold to the north and spring temps to the south. Each of those temp patterns can oscillate back and forth across Kentucky.

The late week setup is an intriguing one from a couple of aspects. It can bring thunderstorms and torrential rains before the potential for ice and snow.

I actually like what the GFS is doing with this by late Thursday and Friday…

gfsWatch the change from storms to winter in just a few hours…


That could very well feature a 40+ temperature swing along that boundary.

Often when I see situations like this, the heavy rain threat immediately pops into my mind. Check out the GFS rain totals over the next week or so…


The Canadian Model just gave the GFS a “like”…


The GFS then brings that boundary back into Kentucky early the following week and does the same thing all over again. The two week rain totals from that run of the GFS…


You know something, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a cold season river flood event around here.

That said, let me be clear on something with this pattern. The amount of cold air could easily overwhelm this setup and bring many more winter weather events over the next two weeks. But, this is a major fight brewing between bitterly cold temps and spring temps in the southeast. The end result in such an extreme battle is usually extreme weather. Given the current look of the pattern, everything from severe thunderstorms and flooding to bitter cold and blizzards are on the table going forward.

I’m also looking at February and thinking it’s not going to turn out like I thought initially. It could very well feature a lot more winter weather. That doesn’t maker your friendly weatherdude too happy, because I always go toward spring mode by then. 🙂

I will see you guys again late tonight. Stay warm and take care.

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19 Responses to Arctic Cold Weekend Update

  1. Turmoil Tim says:

    Interesting but would predict the warm will win 97% of the time!

  2. Michael Carson says:

    Looking at the 12Z GFS precip model; this moisture comes in from hour 72 through hour 312 (day 3/4 through day 13). This period is showing between 5 – 15″ of moisture. The 10 – 15 inch ranges are quite small, but this model is showing a potential for some heavy amounts, which is never a good thing in January when the ground is freezing and thawing.

  3. CB as much swings we had, I wouldn’t be surprise ole winter sticks around to late March. As far your winter out look that you said nobody’s perfect, but I like to keep up your updates regardless.

  4. Andy Rose says:

    Cold season river flood just last year. The river was across the road for 2 days

    • Andy Rose says:

      That was 2015 sorry but that was still pretty recent for me.

      • Terry says:

        Same in Harlan with the nasty Cumberland is very common in winter and early spring for flooding simply because vegetation does not soak up the water nearly much as occurs in most of the later spring through early fall.

        Now that the drought is over, we will not be able to keep getting such large quantities of healthy rain events that we had back in December either.

        • Andy Rose says:

          We had a flood in March of 2015 and in July that year.

          • Terry says:

            Thankfully, I don’t live too near to the river but can see it from a distabce looking down hill.

            Almost always, it floods about the same time here as it does there since we share the Cumberland River. I know Barbourville is terrible for low lying flooding, especially where the little tunnels are at!

  5. Mark Hausterman says:

    I hope this is wrong because there is going to be a lot of Flooding here in Cincinnati and all the areas in this model forecast. Can we please bring in the cold air before the moisture!!!!!!!

    • Oh Hail No! says:

      It’s my first year living in NKY. I am right by the Licking River and a couple miles from the Ohio. My first thought looking at those maps was, “That’s showing big flooding rains over the entire Ohio River Drainage Basin. Not good.” How high do you think this can make the Ohio in Cinci near it’s confluence with the Licking River?

  6. Lucy says:

    Below 32 degrees, please.

  7. Marsha says:

    Well Chris this should be easy to call the warmth always wins so this should be easy

  8. Mike says:

    Opinions please – I will be camping in the highlands of WV next weekend (above 4000 feet) will that elevation effect the rain to snow line? Specifically between Richwood and Snowshoe…

    What do you think?

    • Terry says:

      It depends on the frontal set-up, especially that area being farther east than KY. As of now, elevation want be too much of a factor if the front fails to come through by next weekend there as a Huge surge of warmth will likely be going strong up ahead of this system which would even be too warm for snow there.

    • BubbaG says:

      In Tennessee it would be forties in Pigeon Forge and then heavy snow in the mountains. My family experienced that once staying in a cabin. Raining when getting groceries and heavy snow up at our cabin.

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