Winter Storm Threat Continues

Good Thursday, everyone. With temperatures hitting the 60s today, it’s hard to imagine a winter storm moving in here in less than 24 hours, but that’s indeed what’s happening. I continue with the Winter Storm THREAT, but an upgrade to Winter Storm ALERT will be coming later today.

I have to admit, it’s been tough updating blogs, doing everything that comes with my full time TV job, and trying to keep track of everything that comes with twitter. If I didn’t respond to your questions, please don’t be offended. 🙂 Oh yeah…  Sleep is for the weak! Let’s do this…

I made a First Call Map on WKYT at 11 last night, but I’ve already scrapped that one and come up with a new version for you guys. I wanted to open up my range a little bit to deal with the snow and ice potential…

That’s a general estimate and the numbers and lines will fluctuate with future updates. Given the various precipitation types of sleet, freezing rain and snow, the totals can vary if any one type hangs around longer where you live.

Still, this looks the part of a decent winter storm for much of Kentucky and surrounding states. Given the current forecast I have, I’m expecting winter storm watches soon for most of the state. For school administrators, you’re going to have some tough decisions to make for Friday. The change to ice and snow happens quickly from west to east during the day.

The ice threat is real, especially across the west. Some local half inch amounts of freezing rain are very possible. That could pose some power issues.

Gusty winds of 30mph or higher will also be with us Friday afternoon into Friday night.

Let’s see what the models are offering up…

The European Model shows a significant winter storm for the entire region. Watch the progression of the rain to ice to snow from west to east…

That starts with late tonight and runs through Saturday morning. You will also notice some curvature in the band of snow across central Kentucky. Those bands can sometimes be overachievers and we will need to see if and where that does setup.

The ice from the Euro is impressive with amounts pushing close to 1″ in the west…

Nothing good comes from that much ice… Nothing.

The same model run is also impressed with that band of snow across the state…

The NAM is similar to that, but isn’t as enthusiastic with the snow band in central Kentucky, The model is still spitting some hefty amounts…

The HI RES NAM only goes through 7am Saturday morning, but you can see it picking up on the heavy snow band,  but just a bit west of the European and the map from above…

That run of the NAM is trending eastward with that main snow setup.

The Canadian Model suggests something similar to the European in terns of intensity and track of our storm…

It is also hitting western Kentucky hard with ice…

The model does have a lot of sleet as well, cutting down a bit on the snow totals in central Kentucky…

Obviously, it’s almost crunch time, so we should see the models start looking more alike later today.

While this winter storm is getting all the attention, do not sleep on the setup later Monday and Tuesday. This is a very intense system wrapping up as it dives in from the northwest…



The European is very similar, but I can’t force myself to make yet another map. That’s coming into arctic air, so the ratios will be very high. Plus, those systems have been known to try and bomb out as they reach the east coast.

I will have updates later today. Make it a good one and take care.

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137 Responses to Winter Storm Threat Continues

  1. Dawnp007 says:

    Thanks, Chris!! It all a wait and see thing!! Getting excited.

  2. SHAAK says:

    Still seems like a pretty good hit for many.

  3. Formerly from KY says:

    Here In Pennsylvania where I am they we’re calling for 1 inch of snow yesterday, this morning they are saying 15 inches of snow. This storm is all over the place.

  4. Christinajade says:

    I’m in southern McCracken County over here in WKY – those ice totals are something else. Goodness.

  5. MarkLex says:

    Chris tweeting away at 3 ish in the morning. I guess everyone is asleep.
    I just noticed a winter storm watch is out for the entire Louisville NWS area (I could be wrong on that, but it looks like all)
    Snow, ice, cold , maybe more snow, then more cold. Love it. I hope it verifies. I also hope no one loses power and no one has traffic accidents or gets hurt.

    • Prelude says:

      Not entire state but the watch includes Lexington now.

    • Sue, flatwoods, ky says:

      My family is driving to Louisville tom around noon from Ashland for the Harlem globe trotters game and staying the night. I think we may end up with an extended stay in Louisville. Lol. Going to pack extra clothes!

  6. Clapp Landscaping says:

    The real question is who gets the ice storm. .50-.75 ice has been showing up for days now on many models

    • Prelude says:

      Second question who gets lucky and gets in the deformation zone for snow? Looks like whoever gets the deformation zone could get a 6+ snow total

  7. Sheila daniel says:

    I’m in ashland , and have to have surgery friday afternoon , what is your thinking on timing on this mess coming in

  8. Prelude says:

    Another interesting tid-bit most hi res models/short term models such as the WRF, RGEM, NAM 12k and 3k showing some healthy snowfall amounts. Those models can detect banding of snow where the GFS, Canadian etc etc cannot those models are much broader and no hi res.

    • Prelude says:

      Im not real sure how reliable or overdone the hi-res models are but at the same time there all showing a good thumping of snow.

  9. Prelude says:

    I remember many years ago Tom Wills when he was chief meteorologist at Wave3 in Louisville totally disregarded the WRF model I believe it was that model. Anyways that model I’m guessing was the outlier but actually was the right model and Kentucky get just completely thumped with a big snow. Tom Wills apologized the next day and said shame on me for not giving the WRF model any credit. So I guess the short term hi-res models do have some merit but at the same time most mets don’t really say much about those models either.

    • msd says:

      Both the RGEM and NAM 3km have been good with the east coast storms this year, far better than all of the global models…

  10. Spencerlady says:

    I spoke with a grocery manager on Wesnesday and told me that the store has ordered extra bread and milk. I told her to check out Chris’s website here for the best forecasting around! He spoke about this system coming WAY before anyone else!!

  11. c-BIV says:

    Looks like this bad boy will be biting the dust later today!

  12. msd says:

    Euro spitting out some extreme cold to go with the snowmaker next week. Looks very potent.

  13. Tim says:

    Will the NAM go BaM

  14. Schroeder says:

    Thanks for the updates Chris. Looking forward to a more solidifying forecast later today. Thanks to all the commentators for their input.

  15. Bjenks says:

    Seems that the East won in the East / West challenge. Still another day of model watching, will this move further East? I hope not, as for now, Louisville looks to be in agood spot. Don’t want to jinx us all, but I have a pallet of salt on order and the last couple two times I picked up salt to spread the storm never materialized. Going to trust CB’s New Call Map and go get it today. Enjoy the balmy weather today my winter weather friends and thanks Chris for all your hard work at keeping us informed.

  16. Allen says:

    Just please no dry slot over Lexington!!!

    • Stormtracker_WV says:

      I swear I think we have a “dry slot” over Kanawha County in WV too…unfortunately, I think ours is caused by all of the chemicals & pollution 🙁

  17. Judy says:

    We appreciate you in Western Ky. . Try to get a nap!

  18. Mike says:

    Weather friends, I always liked Henry Marusity’s weather video blogs. (Not sure how accurate they were but I enjoyed watching them.) He’s retired now. He would often share his thoughts on long term weather trends (systems starting way out in the pacific and such…) as well as short term predictions… Is there another one I should try?

    • Mike says:

      I should have added…

      I am an avid reader of Chris’ blog – love it and appreciate it. But I also like the different, broader perspective and the video made it interesting…

    • B H says:

      I also like Henry. Remember the three amigo’s Burnie Joe Bastardi Ken Reeves. Ken Reeves was killed taking down Christmas Lights at his home.

  19. Drew says:

    What is the next model to run?

  20. BubbaG says:

    CB played it smart as usual. Rather than try and go by a model, looks like he took the average. Depending on how much ice and then snow sticking on the ice like glue, this could get rough for some areas.

    Unless the models change again of course. Perhaps the models inability to lock this down yet is an ominous signal of the ingredients of the system…

    • Oh Hail No! says:

      Ominous as in statewide 12+” shutdown storm, or ominous as in very light amounts?

      • BubbaG says:

        Almost any system can bust, but concern is the ice and how much warm air aloft. The ice could start piling up and then a healthy dose of snow on top. Trees are not fans of that set-up. Factor in potential wind, and could be rough for power staying up.

        This is the tenth anniversary of 2009 and that one was expected to be more snow until the day before. We know how that panned out, but I think that had more moisture. Still, it is very odd how the models are all over the place and even the same models deviating from one run to the next. A lot of mets are mentioning the model chaos.

  21. ECMWF says:

    Today is the day. By this evening, we should have a pretty decent view of what is going to happen. In my opinion, somewhere in the state is going to be surprised. This will be the place where banding sets up. Some people are going to be disappointed. These will be the people where sleet and frz rain hang around a little longer and cut into snow totals.

  22. legit q says:

    will ground temps play a factor in all this snow accumulation?

  23. TeachLou says:

    Chris, thanks so much for all you do! This blog is always very informative, and I love reading all of the comments from fellow weather junkies! BOTS! ❄️❄️❄️

  24. Oh Hail No! says:

    NAM and 3k NAM are running. Just a few hours worth of data out so far.

  25. Mike S says:

    The upcoming run of the NAM, at least for me, should be its most accurate run; however, this one still looks tricky.

  26. ECMWF says:

    Nam not near as heavy with precip.

  27. Formerly from KY says:

    12z Nam coming in with a lot lighter snowfall might be going along with the GFS.

  28. Tom says:

    Did we just get a false run on the NAM? This one is an outlier from the previous NAM runs.

  29. Justin says:

    yep, further north and west than its 6z run too. oh me

  30. C in BG says:

    The 12z run of the 3km NAM seems much more organized with the storm than the 12km NAM.

  31. Drew says:

    Wow!!! I don’t understand this storm at all. I figured it would have a grip on it by now.

  32. Rodger in Dodger says:

    NAM would disappoint a lot of people. Anything can still happen but the trends are not good for us snow lovers right now. Rodger in Dodger

  33. MarkS says:

    Here we go….the eastward trend I have been talking about. Look at the latest NAM run, lower totals for central ky….Im not one to say, I told you so, so I won’t haha

  34. Rodger in Dodger says:

    … and these often become nowcast events. Models rarely get the freezing rain vs sleet vs snow battles correct. Rodger in Dodger

  35. Justin says:

    This may end up being a forecast that they end up having to really tweak or even change right before or during the event

  36. Drew says:

    Why are some models still West and some going Far East? Shouldn’t they be getting somewhat of a grip on the storm by now?

  37. Oh Hail No! says:

    12z NAM and 06z GFS look a lot alike unfortunately. 1-3″ snow

  38. Jamie says:

    Looks like WWA territory. Just enough to make folks think the roads are fine, not enough to keep folks off the roads. Fun driving this weekend…

  39. Oh Hail No! says:

    12Z RDPS data just started coming in.

  40. BengalFan says:

    The models jump up and down…we all say don’t live and die by one run….but WE DO (“YES its going to snow a ton, oh no only 1 inch”)
    We all bash models, then we THINK they are going to be right????
    The only thing right will be what its actually doing tomorrow and sat. morning. If models are all over the place, then why believe any of them?
    I really don’t think anybody knows…If I’m wrong, then somebody tell me
    However, I do respect Chris ideas even if he misses

  41. BubbaG says:

    Even NOW the models are changing. Less snow looking to be the trend with less runway for the event.

    Starting to look like: Advisory Formally Known as Storm, with it’s number one hit: Purple Cold Rain. Lucy and her football loves that song!

  42. C in BG says:

    I am probably grasping at straws; however, the new RGEM still has a solid hit for a great majority of the state.

    • C in BG says:

      At this point, everyone pick a model that they think/want to be correct and we`ll see who`s right on Sat. 😉

    • Oh Hail No! says:

      Those Canadians know a lot more about snow than us Kentuckians, don’tcha know? I would put more stock in the Candian short range than in the NAM or GFS at this point. The GEM/RDPS is at least more consistent and looks more believable to me.

    • BubbaG says:

      Cherry picking models this late is a bad sign overall for the event 😉 CB’s threat mode commit for a storm appears dubious if the models trend as they are now. Seems at this point they will be more accurate, even if not what folks want to see.

  43. msd87 says:

    RGEM shows a slight south and east shift of the heavy precip compared to the previous run, but it looks a decent storm.

  44. Oh Hail No! says:

    Canadian 48 hour short range Model RDPS 12z

    Freezing Rain:

    Snowfall w/ 10:1 Ratio:

    I will say it has been more consistent with what it shows in it’s runs. It actually trend a little East/ SE on this run vs the 06z. So it moved the opposite direction of the NAM, lol

  45. Dr WX says:

    This event appears to be one of those unique setups where due to dry slotting setup,low positioning against the Appalachians track that it basically would be a coin toss to try to determine amounts at this point,. Probably will be a last run scenario of Nam before the low transverse Tn…Doc

    • Oh Hail No! says:

      That’s about what I’ve been thinking for a day, too. The models were showing the low abruptly jumping east over the Apps at times yesterday and can’t decide if they want to hit west, east, central, or all of us. Intensity has been all over the board, too. At least the models told us it is likely to snow and it could be a lot or a little. I guess that is better than having no idea what will occur the next two days.

  46. Oh Hail No! says:

    12Z GFS coming in now. So far it looks like it was drunk when it plotted the accumulated freezing rain. At least the Canadian model looked like it knew what it was doing!

  47. Rodger in Dodger says:

    Folks, lots of possibilities still on the table. Overall, models have trended lighter on amounts (which is very probable), but Rodger would say who gets what precip type and how much of it is still up in the air. Rodger would be happy with 2 inches of snow out of this and maybe a surprise 2 inches from Monday’s event. That’s a lot more than fell last year and so far this season. Those maps yesterday showing ten-inch snows are a once in every 15 years event – if that – for the lower Ohio Valley.

  48. Prelude says:

    12z GFS ups the totals for western Ky and the Ohio River county’s

  49. ECMWF says:

    In my mind, the GFS precip wise looks reasonable. Freezing rain maps might looks weird because the models will struggle figuring out the exact temps in upper levels to decipher between frz rain and sleet

  50. C in BG says:

    New GFS coming in heavier with the snow/sleet/ice totals compared to last few runs. Mainly for West of I-65.

  51. c-BIV says:

    All of this technology in 2018 and we are as uncertain 24 hours from the storm, as we were 96 hours out. 1 to 10 inches of snow is on the table. Where will you land?

    • Spencerlady says:

      Just goes to show that anything can happen…but at least we have an idea that something might occur. 😉

      I appreciate ALL the thoughtful and informed posts from many on this blog!

  52. Nasdaq says:

    EPS is east of the apps BTW

  53. Allen says:

    On to next week’s clipper system! LOL
    It will probably put down more snow in Lexington than this storm.

  54. Jimbo says:

    Models appear to be trending lower with snow amounts. Could be expecting the rain or sleet to go longer thus cutting down the totals. Cold air catching up to moisture in our area usually doesn’t do very well. But it is hard to do worse than recent clippers.

  55. Justin says:

    hmmm. the track of the low on the 12z GFS looks like it might be a little further east than 6z.

  56. c-BIV says:

    From Brian Goode on twitter: The Weather Channel is on their way to Louisville. Welcome @TWCChrisWarren !! It has been awhile my friend!

    • Debbie says:

      Welp, that settles our debate on severity of the “storm”. If it had been Cantore, we’d have been in some trouble! BG also just said there could be some changes as to where the WSWarning is and down to WWA.

  57. C in BG says:

    New Canadian has a healthy swath of snow from NE KY to West KY
    Roughly ~4″-6″

  58. C in BG says:

    I still think this can shape up to be a moderate event. for most of the area. If we all wish very hard maybe it will be a heavy snow.

  59. Josh Vervoren says:

    Remember the GFS also seems like more sleet so that could mess the totals up.. Something I’m looking at… check out the HRRR model.. I know it’s only an 18 hour model and it doesn’t see our part of the storm.. what you will notice is when the low develops it sits in the Gulf or just onshore a lot longer.. That would increase the precip as it deepens.. Just something to watch… At the same token it also spawns a line of storms well to the south.. I have seen scenarios like that where the storms to the south rob the moisture to the north.. We shall see!

  60. Dr WX says:

    Been noticing the recent runs of several models are trending an slight more eastward track up the Appalachians it’s tended to be back and forth for a while. Now wondering if our low wont make that northern turn until it almost in NC? This one is becoming a slot machine.

  61. BubbaG says:

    CB is updating soon. Dibs on totals more for west and less for east. Again, good luck on pegging this. Too many mix factors to cut even 2″ to 1″.

  62. Braxton Webster says:

    Interesting to see what the Euro shows. I think it will nail it.

  63. Nmarie50 says:

    Flood watch issued for Northeast Ky , southeast Ohio, Northwest Virginia and West Virginia from 7pm today through Friday morning…

  64. Braxton Webster says:

    Central and Eastern Kentucky looking at a general 2-5″

  65. jeffkyblue22 says:

    WLWT in Cincinnati calling for 1-3 inches with minimal or no icing for Owen county. we shall see!

  66. blueyz79 says:

    Love this site. I look at other places and my family will say: “We are forecast for winter weather. Just rain.” Then I see your map and we are in the ice .1 to .25 and 2-6 snow. Supposedly, we are supposed to have a flood chance tonight through early tomorrow. And just rain. Not sure about that but that is the today and tomorrow forecast they are looking at for this area as of right now. And nothing for Saturday. I would think that with this forecast being this close there would be better forecast available. At least a heads up like you get here.

    Either way not looking forward to the ice. Just hope there is nothing before school ends. Last year there was a clipper that dumped a bunch during school as it overachieved a lot and people were having accidents all over.

  67. ECMWF says:

    This may be a situation of now-casting and watching radar trends in real time.

    • Debbie says:

      Isn’t that usually how it’s been a lot recently, though? I’m old enough to remember when they would say “Big snowstorm coming a week from next Tuesday” and it would actually come to fruition. However, it seems that in the past few years, whether it be winter or severe spring/summer storms, it’s become a matter of “here & right now” type of forecasting, relying not only on what they (mets) are seeing, but also the general public.

  68. c-BIV says:

    And following this system comes another system that is sneaking up on us.

    • Allen says:

      Thus my post earlier that the clipper will probably give us more snow in Lexington area that this storm. At least cold air will already be in place rather than trying to catch up the backside of the moisture. How often does that work out for big snow?

  69. Dr WX says:

    So many resources at our disposal here in 2018 technologies vastly superior to the the few we had in the 70s to work with (LIMITED FINE MESH “LFM” And PRIMITIVE EQUATIONS MODEL “PM” MODELS) and station-station observes, and it’s still basically a hour to hour wait and see, guess that’s what continues to make forecasting so interesting.

  70. TeachLou says:

    NWS LOU just issued Winter Storm Warning southern Indiana, central KY, along/ west of I65

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