Winter Storm ALERT

Good afternoon, everyone. Confidence continues to increase that a winter storm will impact much of the state late Tonight through Saturday morning. For that reason, we are now in Winter Storm ALERT mode. This is for the potential of significant ice and snow accumulations.

Before we get to the winter storm, we have showers and storms going up our there today. Some of these can put down some heavy rain amounts…

A Winter Storm Watch is out for much of the state, and I expect this to be upgraded to a warning and expanded eastward later today…

I’m keeping my current Call For Ice and Snowfall going, but will likely have to bump up a few spots later today…

The NAM might be the most inconsistent model I’ve seen in a while. It goes back and forth between showing a foot of snow and an inch of snow. Obviously, the NAM is struggling, so we look in other directions.

The GFS is getting a better handle on the precipitation shield…

While still too choppy for my taste, it matches up pretty well with my forecast map. Note the areas different areas of up to 6″ of snow…

Again, that’s too choppy and I expect more of a solid snow swath. That’s what the Canadian continues to show…

Here’s the snow map from that run…

The short-range Canadian model is even beefier with the snows…

In addition to the snow, I am VERY concerned with the ice threat, especially across the west. Up to a half inch of freezing rain may occur in several areas. That would be enough to cause some power issues. Farther east, freezing rain will likely accumulate some before the snows kick in.

The worst of this storm hits western Kentucky later tonight into the first half of Friday. Central Kentucky gets the worst from Friday afternoon through the wee hours of Saturday morning. Eastern Kentucky gets the worst by Friday evening into Saturday morning.

No matter where you are, this is a high impact winter storm for travel.

Frigid temps follow this up for the weekend and I’m close to issuing a Winter Storm Threat for Monday and Tuesday. With arctic air in place, the system diving in from the northwest can put down several inches of snow and create blowing snow…

Back to today’s system, I will have an updated call on WKYT-TV starting at 4pm. Updates on the blog may come at any time today.

Make it a good one and take care.

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118 Responses to Winter Storm ALERT

  1. Rodger in Dodger says:

    Will be a fun next 36 hours – Rodger in Dodger!

  2. Coffeelady says:

    Thanks Chris. Well, here we go!!!

  3. Allen says:

    Appreciate the updates. Hope the Canadian verifies, eh?

  4. WestKyGuy says:

    Thanks for the updates and get some sleep, your gonna need it the next few days!
    Stay safe everyone.

  5. Miranda Swafford says:

    I already made sure I have everything I need for the next few days my dad brought me some food and things to clean my house with and I plan to get blankets and the camping mattress up in case power goes out cause I have a hospital bed and electric air mattress! I’m not having a good feeling about this storm with the models going back and forth so much! I have an anxious feeling! No matter what happens I hope everyone is prepared to ride things out for a least 3-5 days in case things are worse then forecasted! Stay safe everyone and I’ll be keeping a close eye on the blog for more updates!

    • Prelude says:

      This is not that kind of storm but nonetheless good to be prepared

    • Stormtracker_WV says:

      I think Prelude is right, but always go with your gut–if you’re getting an uneasy feeling then it is right to be prepared. Besides, this way, you will be comfortable and can enjoy the snow show! Be sure to have a good flashlight and plenty of fresh batteries and a good book or magazine (I like coloring books, crosswords, fill-ins, and search-a-words) so in case the power and/or cable & internet goes out, you will be all set with plenty of things to do and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Miranda Swafford says:

        I don’t have internet only data but I’m ready for whatever comes! I’m just worried about others cause I’ve seen this too much before things go back and forth and NWS offices not read the models right and then we get slammed so I’m just uneasy about that!

  6. Sandy says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated. I look forward to your posts everyday.

    • KJ says:

      Same here, I very much appreciate CB’s dedication to keeping us updated… He can teach other meteorologists a few things ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. BengalFan says:

    See, Chris reads all the models and uses his own experience and thoughts to predicted. Yes most of us wishes and would get excited if they show 15-20 inches…depressed then when it shows 1 inch.

  8. Dave Webber says:

    When do you think the ice will start in Northern Kentucky. BTW I totally follow you over these guys up here

  9. A-Rod says:

    I just hope this doesn’t turn into a major ice storm.

  10. Mike S says:

    I’m expecting warning status for western Ky due to ice accumulation and some snow…advisory status for some in central Ky with possible upgrades to warning status contingent on development of heavy snow bands primarily north.

  11. c-BIV says:

    WSWarnings for I-75 and points west with advisories east of that line is my guess.

  12. Jimbo says:

    I hope Huntington area gets some accumulation out of tomorrows system. Because if we have to rely a northwest flow/clipper system, we are big time out of luck.

  13. winter lover says:

    Possible 2 snow events with 4 days is something to get exciting about regardless what snow totals are going to be. Looks like the snow drought is over.

  14. SK says:

    No idea how reliable the Euro is this close in, but Chris just tweeted: “The new European Model looks like last nights NAM. Has a 6โ€-12โ€ swath of snow for central and eastern Kentucky.”

  15. TONEY says:

    chris bailey, can you put a link to the euro snowfall map for the latest run on twitter if you are allowed to do so.

  16. brandon says:

    personally i think this storm will over achieve. this kinda reminds me of 5 or 6 years ago ago when west ky was forecast to get 1-3 inches but the models couldnt predict how much moisture the storm was getting from the gulf and we had 7-10 inches. i think this storm will produce more than the models suggest. im no expert so i dont really know, i just have seen strong storms spawn during warm weather.

  17. TeacherMomof2 says:

    I think our biggest overachievers have come on the heels of a “heatwave.” My husband used to argue that it was too warm to snow a day or so prior to getting a big one. He’s finally a believer when I say we are going to get a good one a day or two after a warm up. I think this next one could surprise us. Looking forward to a few snow days here in Tennessee next week. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Drew says:

    Is the EURO on to something? Has been consistent with the track being east.

  19. B H says:

    National Weather Service in Charleston is waiting to see how much snow falls before issuing any kind of Winter Storm Watch. They always wait till the last minute.

    • Jimbo says:

      Ordinarily that is true 99% of the time. But they got burned bad earlier this week with that Winter Advisory and schools cancelling a day ahead of time. Then all it did was a little light rain.

    • Skiwee says:

      Yes. Warnings go up after the storm is finished. Lol

  20. Bobt says:

    This thing is trending east and has been with the Euro. This is a good path for the majority of the state to see measurable snow.

  21. Formerly from KY says:

    I think the euro is over doing the snowfall total. All the other models seem to be lining up with snowfall totals.

  22. B H says:

    Hope the euro is right.

  23. Mike S says:

    Live Twitter chat this evening from 630-730 PM EST on the upcoming winter storm for southern Indiana and central Kentucky. We’ll have several meteorologists answering your questions. Use #AskNWS so we can see your questions! #kywx #inwx #winterstorm

    From NWS Louisville

  24. Steven says:

    Anybody know where we can get model maps of ice accumulation from the various models (Euro, GFS, NAM, etc)?

    I’m more concerned with the ice accumulation west of the lakes in KY. We had a devastating ice storms back in 2009. While I don’t think this is going to be anything like that, but any talk of ice always reminds me of that ice storm. Hopefully the ice is more sleet than freezing rain.

  25. ECMWF says:

    Euro would probably be best case for entire state

  26. Dave Webber says:

    I just want a ton of snow in Northern Kentucky

  27. Schroeder says:

    Thanks for the update Chris, but we still don’t know what to expect with this impending storm. All we can do is prepare for the worst. Look forward to your next update tomorrow. Take care, and thank you for your hard work.

  28. Tim A says:

    Winter Storm Warnings out for Western Kentucky

  29. Formerly from KY says:

    18z Nam running just a few hours in.

  30. Jimmie says:

    WWA just issued for Lexington

  31. Ecmwf says:

    Euro ensembles support the the operational

  32. Ecmwf says:

    Initial hours of nam looks good to my untrained eye

  33. Drew says:

    Link to the most recent NAM?

  34. Mark in Marion says:

    WWA for central while west issued a warning. Wow.

  35. Robert says:

    Well ok then. Bailey thinks he may up some totals and NWS downgrades to WWA. I think I’ll go with Bailey on this.

  36. KBinNKY says:

    CB is frustrated with NWS on twitter, can’t blame him, NAM comes in solid, have to believe it’s worth a WSW.

  37. c-BIV says:

    Bye bye streak. I think the NWS needs to expand that to include Lexington area.

  38. UltimoG says:

    “The NWS just downgraded the Lexington metro to a Winter Weather Advisory. I am honestly stunned by this decision.”

    No shock here. I wonder sometimes how you can be so right while they are so wrong. They have the data from these same models and other things that you do. Sure, you may just be that amazing Chris but still. My area is an example of one where you call for ice and snow. Other places, including the NWS, is calling for flooding rains but nothing much in terms of winter weather.

    • Robert says:

      Hope the NWS has some salt…..not for the roads but the words I believe they are going to have to eat.

    • Joyce says:

      Do they think we will not get much? We own a store and need the information to make decisions. I am so glad I am on here so I know what is happening. Thank you Chris Bailey!

      • UltimoG says:

        I agree. Chris Bailey is majorly important to a lot of people just in terms of his blog and the knowledge he shows. It really is bad when you see him flat out call for a snow and it happens. Yet the school looks at the NWS and are caught off guard. I was in 4×4 and it was so slick I slide over the bank during one event like that. It was nothing as I was close to home and was able to get out after. But I have to wait for the road to clear. I understood why the buses had so much trouble and people wrecking. Getting kids from school and it just kept coming. The worst was NWS for my area was not calling for anything on that one and the local school had no idea until the event started.

  39. Mark in Marion says:

    Doesn’t there have to be some kind of data for the NWS to issue this? What I mean is, there has to be something besides their “gut feeling” that this latest run of the NAM is off, right?

  40. B H says:

    .WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is now out for south central and south western Ohio. This is out of Wilmington Ohio. Saying 2 to 4 inches of snow plus ice accumulations.

  41. Hillman says:

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  42. Wondering says:

    Ooohhh, I hope we get a winter storm warning. Can’t remember the last time we had one in Covington

  43. which way is the wind blowing says:

    The NAM & GFS are all over the place with snow accumulations.
    When it starts to snow in West Kyou tomorrow morning,
    You might get a sense how the snow projections play out.

  44. Drew says:

    Will there be a wsw in ashland?

    • Dreary says:

      Doubt it. The Charleston NWS usually sticks to special weather statements after the fact in these situations ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • B H says:

        Hazardous Weather Outlook ASHLAND KY.
        Flood Watch in effect from January 11, 07:00 PM EST until January 12, 10:00 AM EST
        Winter Weather Advisory in effect from January 12, 04:00 PM EST until January 13, 10:00 AM EST

  45. Formerly from KY says:

    What was NWS Louisville thinking when they downgraded to a WWA. Oh wait they weren’t thinking.

    • Jamie says:

      Guessing they figured they’d roll with the earlier NAM that was much lighter on the totals. I love tracking a system like this but I’m still stunned that here we sit in 2018 and the computers still can’t agree on whether we’ll get 2 inches or 12. I’m about to start sending my own balloons up and crunch the data on my home PC. It would be about as accurate.

      Sorry…that last comment seems disrespectful. I don’t mean it to be. I have great respect for Meteorologists and what they are tasked to do, but how the heck do you solve a puzzle like this??

    • Jude says:

      Going from a winter storm watch to a winter storm warning or a winter weather advisory is an upgrade, according the NWS.

      I donโ€™t know.

  46. Ecmwf says:

    I sense a battle between Chris And the NWS. Love watching twitter feeds of the nws taking subtle shots at Chris. Chris just calls them out straight up. I love it

  47. B H says:

    Trusting these computer models on this storm is like believing everything Kim Jong-un says. Can’t trust any of them. If we wait another day or two we will all know what it’s going to do in our area.

  48. Bobt says:

    Confidence must be pretty low with this storm with the NWS doing that. Will be interesting to see who is right. My money would be on Bailey.

  49. brandon says:

    watching that storm growing in east texas is scary and impressive, lots of red on the radar. the freezing line is not too far west of st louis.. i think the storm will produce much less rain than expected and more winter precip. just hope its not ice for too long

    • B H says:

      I remember back in 1960 a storm came from the Texas Panhandle and rode up the west side of the Appalachian mountains and we got over a foot out of that one here in Southern Ohio. It wasn’t the biggest snow we’ve gotten but it was still a pretty good storm.

  50. Mike S says:

    Well, I cannot seem to post reasons from NWS Louisville not expanding warning beyond current eastern borders…see their Area Forecast Discussion from this afternoon at

  51. Rodger in Dodger says:

    Geez, Rodger’s ready for this “storm” to play out. He’s tired of tracking it and seeing the models all over the place. Get ‘er done! Rodger in Dodger

  52. B H says:

    I just saw Chris Bailey’s updated snow map. Hope it plays out that way.

  53. Tom says:

    We’ll see who has a winter storm warning and just an advisory in the morning…and even then the opinion may not work out. Until then we need to chill out. Everyone in the whole region now knows they need to pay attention to the forecast. I think it is clear nws is not willing to go all in on this storm…but given another two computer runs they may change their tune. Esp if the euro at midnight confirms.

    • BubbaG says:

      They are not accountable and do not care.

      • BubbaG says:

        Using Twister as an analogy: NWS is the arrogant & smarmy Dr. Miller and Chris is Bill Harding.

        • feederband says:

          NWS doesn’t need ratings. They get paid if they hit or miss. Most mets are taking the under and I’m with Chris. This kinda feels like 1994 with the forecast and all. TV mets forecast was for about .5 inches of sleet and 2 inches of snow. We had thundersnow and 20+ inches when all said and done.

      • Spencerlady says:

        You are right, BubbaG. And, keep in mind that the NWS is paid by the government…and Chris is an independent (and awesome) met.

  54. Lucy says:

    Lots of comments. I remember several years ago when there was a good snowstorm, I saw around 300 comments.

  55. Melva says:

    With all the back and forth on the models it makes sense that some wouldn’t want to rush to give warnings until they’re pretty sure.

    What I like about Chris Bailey is that he always gives a heads up no matter what and follows the model through to the end.

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