A Shot of Winter Starts… Winter

Good Friday everyone. We’re kicking off the first day of winter with a nice shot of winter weather. It’s almost as if Mother Nature waited until we flipped the Calendar to start the new season before she let us have some of the good stuff. Snow showers, gusty winds and cold air will rule the day and I’m tracking the possibility of something much bigger next week.

Snow showers and squalls will be fairly widespread early today across central and eastern Kentucky. Anywhere from a coating to an inch or two is likely before the flakes stop flying late today. The winds will whip the snow around so you will see bare spots and spots where mini drifts occur.

Travel conditions this morning will be poor with slick spots and reduced visibility because of the heavy bursts of snow. Winds will continue to gust up to 30-40mph at times and that will make our upper 20s and low 30s feel like single digits at times.

That brings us to two systems I’m tracking for the first half of Christmas week. The first one arrives later Sunday into Christmas Eve. This one will cause light showers to develop during this time and the air may be just cold enough for a light mix… especially in the north. You can see just how close the GFS is with this setup on Christmas Eve…


That map also gives you a look at the next storm developing to our southwest. The models continue to suggest this will become a major storm and impact our weather Christmas night into the middle of next week. The GFS has jumped around a bit of late, but it’s not too out of step with the latest run…


It brings a lead low into the Tennessee Valley before giving way to the primary storm across the Carolinas. The GFS Ensembles suggest something similar…


The European Model is very similar…

EuroI continue to maintain this setup has the potential for a nasty mix of snow, ice and rain to start before a quick switch to snow. We still have several days to watch the trends in the models. Given the fact this could potentially be hitting on a busy holiday travel day… I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a Threat if my confidence grows over the next day or two.

I will have updates later today. Stay safe if you’re out driving and take care.

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84 Responses to A Shot of Winter Starts… Winter

  1. Derek- HarlanCountyCoalMiner says:

    Threat mode mentioned in the past few posts. Sounds good to me. Still a long ways out and I have no doubt a lot of waffles will be served up. Oh well, time will tell. 00z GFS didnt look to good for SE KY, but like CB said in a previous post, with the blocking that is showing up, a system will have trouble making it very far north. Hopefully we can get a trendbuster, App Runner, Old Schooler or whatever it may be called. Would love to see a foot plus myself. Looking forward to more posts.

  2. Go Cards says:

    Louisville NWS mentions that GFS showed 8 inches of snow for the storm next week. They usually don’t do such things. They seemed excited.

    • james says:

      Yep. Went back and read that. For the NWS to mention that 5 days out, especially the 8 in. part, is very unusual. Hmmmmmmmm. Wouldn’t doubt to see Chris go into threat mode this weekend. πŸ™‚

    • prelude says:

      Another interesting sign note just went to Accuweather’s website if you type in Louisville to get the forecast one of the first thing you will see is heavy freezing for Louisville tuesday night with a exclamation point. From there on out on there extended forecast is a fairly decent snowy period temps stay pretty much in the 30’s through there extended. Once again though were talking about Accuweather. lol

    • Joey Wilson says:

      Great discussion by Louisville NWS whereas the Paducah disco mentions the possibility but little else. Very nice to see both major models with similar solutions on this storm.

  3. Crystal In Pikeville says:

    Had to get up to see the Beautiful Snow Falling and let my cat see it because he has never really seen snow very good.Its beautiful and coming down in Pikeville.

  4. Derek-HarlanCountyCoalMiner says:

    Seeing words such as “threat” showing up repeatedly in previous posts sounds promising. However, this is the models we are talking about. Come next Monday/Tuesday, if the models show a serious winter threat, that is when we can be concerned. Until then, and I think Bailey would agree, we are watching just for fun. The pattern does favor us a winter storm given the NAO blocking, but who knows. Time will tell.

  5. Derek-HarlanCountyCoalMiner says:

    Moderation….. my two previous posts are yet to be shown. I promise they are not anti-snow or anti-Kyweathercenter….. geeesh

  6. Andy Rose says:

    looks like snow set up further east than expected looking at the radar. Nothing worth seeing in Knox

  7. Wxman says:

    With 00Z Euro and GFS both showing the same storm track Wednesday, obviously that increases confidence to the point where NWS is going to start talking now. The thermal profiles definitely look good for heavy snow. Could cause problems for more than just travel.

    • BubbaG says:

      Seems more a Louisville region rather than central KY event as far as mainly snow. FWIW with a model that far out predicting snow.

  8. Andy Rose says:

    and i laughed yesterday for calling for storms and 52 degrees for wednesday lol now look at the models looks like they are trending towards that for my area anyways

    • BubbaG says:

      I am not seeing models showing 53 degrees. The average is colder than that. Still, if 52 or 37 degrees. Same result.

      That said, I see nothing to suggest we are not the fence again, which would mean the majority of the moisture falls while above freezing for central Kentucky.

      Any data to suggest otherwise?

      • Todd says:

        A few days ago the models said 45 for Frankfort today, we stand at 28 with a little snow on the ground, Chris nailed this one days ago!

  9. Vinny says:

    hey, does anyone know when the fire and brimstone is supposed to start? I some some errands to run…


  10. prelude says:

    Here is my issue with next week’s storm the GFS show’s a storm going west of the appalachian’s but there is zero blocking or a jet that is even cuppling for that matter. The NAO is not negative. Im not buying what the computer models are saying with this storm.

  11. rolo says:

    Andy Rose white out conditions in GUNCHESTER grounds white with blowing snow.

    hope u get little taste.

  12. Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

    First let me say that by no means I am a weather geek but I am fascinated with the weather. Could it be that the snow pack up north will prevent the low to travel north until if forms with another low on the east coast and then it journeys up the mid-atlantic.
    It is great that we are looking like we are a player this time,but the haunted past still makes me extremely skeptical.

    • Which Way Is the Wind Blowing says:

      Note my comments were in response to what Prelude had recently wrote about not buying what the models were forecasting.

  13. CosmicWrangler says:

    I love snow!

  14. MarkLex says:

    Well Chris – you were exactly right in regards to this storm.

    At least here in Lex, we have had everything you mentioned!

    Heavy rain, 50 mph winds, temps tanking, snow squalls

    PRELUDE – I hope you’re wrong in your thoughts. The way I read your comment sounded like you knew what you were talking about – much more than I do

  15. Joey Wilson says:

    Geez, between watching this site, NWS sites and other weather places I follow on-line, I’m gonna get nothing else done through the 26th. πŸ˜‰ Big possibilities according to GFS and Euro for KY!

    • Andy Rose says:

      Parts of KY yes looks like more of a western half event for snow IMO

      • BubbaG says:

        Possibly. The past 14 years the events have gone north, west, south and east of central Kentucky. Hence the geometrically result fitting “dome” term.

        Some over-performing clippers have made it threw several times.

  16. SarahH says:

    Absolutely pouring the snow in southeastern Fleming County! It’s beautiful!

  17. Biff Power says:

    If you look at the Wednesday Evening GFS the storm is shaped like Africa, which according to the Mayans means it will be very toasty around here post-christmas.

  18. Kat says:

    No to bring up Accuweather or anything but Henry is on board for the snow next week in the Ohio Valley.

  19. lisaj says:

    I know there is not much snow out there, but it is enough to put me in the Christmas spirit. Also it will be nice to have people track snow into my home instead of the mud we had yesterday.

    I’m still waiting for a good snow storm…….I love snow!!!

  20. MichaelP Boyle County says:

    NE Boyle County: A heavy dusting of snow with flurries.

  21. Wxman says:

    12Z GFS puts the low on top of Lexington. Ugh…

  22. TONEY says:

    although i am from huntington, wva i still follow the blog because it is the best by far of any on the net and the best met. by far….imo……but i must say that with all the talk yesterday of snow and all by the media, so far today the big story has to be the much colder temps and the wind chill in the teens…….so far only a small coating of snow in my yard as of 11:15am and as of now only light snow flurries falling, nothing heavy at all this morning……we could still get the 1 to 3 inches as forecasted but it is going to have to do more than what it has done so far…..i said i was from huntington, wva but i actually live about 20 miles south of huntington, wva in the town of wayne, wva.

    we shall see what happens later today into tonight but so far the snow has been a total bust….oh well so goes the weather in the ohio valley….if u do not like it, wait 5 minutes and it will change.

  23. rakat says:

    I’m from WV, too. I live in Roane County which is in the NW part of WV. I’ve been reading this blog for about 3 years. Thanks, Chris, for including WV on your snow maps and such. You still have fans in this state! This blog is one of the best weather blogs on the ‘net.

  24. rakat says:

    Oh, I forgot to add we have only about an inch of snow. Which is fine because I had to do some errands today, LOL. By the looks for the radar, though, it seems some lake effect snow is moving down this way. I think we will see more later today. Aside from a few slick spots here and there, the roads are semi-okay. After dark, I think the roads will get icy and the snow will really stick. The temp is about 31F. It’s supposed to be about 22F tonight. So, yeah, after dark is the time that the roads will be impacted the most.

  25. Drew says:

    Yeah 12z gfs moved low further west and put heaviest snows from southern indiana and points southwest. Verbatim that run would not give much of anything to central and eastern ky. It is important to note the gfs ensemble mean is further to the se compared to the operational run but has come further nw as well. The ukmet and cmc are suppresed and would not give any snow to the region.

  26. Wxman says:

    12z Euro would mean all snow for LEX. Low rides the windward side of the Apps

  27. Go Cards says:

    I’m hoping Louisville gets slammed but usually it is always just across the river in Southern Indiana. Who knows no one may get a storm. By Sunday is when we should pretty much know if we are still in the game.

    • BubbaG says:

      Louisville has gotten some big snows in the past 14 years, so they have a shot. Lexington and all central points around…. I would not bet too many chips on that.

      Sans the clippers, central Kentucky has missed events in any conceivable way it can:

      1. The track “just” missed us in all directions N,W,E and S.
      2. Virga (this was some mets favorite excuse for several years) To CB’s credit, he never really did.
      3. System faster moving than expected
      4. The moisture and cold air did join together, but the form of ICE.

      That is a lot of historic reasons for an event to get past and bust a trend.

  28. Joey Wilson says:

    Folks, there’s going to be minor changes in each model run for the next 4-5 days. Now’s the not the time to “worry” about variations that take any one area from snow to ice to rain. Not yet. We’re clearly in the game right now and it’s good to see the GFS and Euro mostly agreeing on a similar track.

  29. Wxman says:

    The big one is only 4 days out. If you have to wait until 24 hours out to make a call, is that really forecasting? We’ve got to either go with what the data shows right now, or pack it up and go home. The native Americans could do a better job without these computers. πŸ˜‰

  30. Aaron C. says:

    Nobody has kept accurate track of the difference in snowfall in the dome, Lexington does not count because it is too far north. Owensboro doesn’t count because it is too far west. Irvine doesn’t count because it’s too far east. Corbin doesn’t count because it’s too far south, and Bowling Green doesn’t count because it’s too far southwest.

    Now, can anybody else figure out where this snow dome is? These are the areas that have a hugely smaller amount of snow total over the past 14 years than the rest of the state.

    • MIke says:

      Definitely my part of Madison County; in 8 years, never more than 6 inches of snow at any one time and an 8 year total of less than 20 inches combined.

  31. rolo says:

    LEX N/NW best shot any big snows/ice. SE/E KY look like alot rain ending as little snow but time it switches it will be over.

    I expect the ole LEFT HANDED TURN as we get closer as well, as we see all the time in winter. meaning OHIO RIVER COUNTIES best shot at any big snows.

    • Ready4Snow says:

      Not giving up hope yet rolo…The euro run looked like it digs a little deeper south and was a little more east…Alot of things can change in a couple of days…Truthfully i dread big wet snows anymore…After 60 years in these old hills its been a hard life..Hard place to carve out a living..Nothing but hard labor for 40 yrs take’s a toll on a man sooner or later..Anyways hope someone gets there snow in the coming days..

  32. Ready4Snow says:

    That system on 1st of jan has ICE written all over it…Anyways hope the christmas storm stays the course and jogs a little to the east so Bubba can get a Dome Buster…

  33. Aaron C. says:

    Rain, rain, and more rain for most of Kentucky. I guarantee it. Now you can all stop worrying and stop predicting.

  34. we need some snow in NKY…..

  35. MarkLex says:

    Wxman is right!

    The big one is only 4 days away and we really have no clue what it’s going to do until possibly the 12 to 24 hours before, and even then, we don’t know for sure.

    Growing up in the 70s/80s, someone would say it was supposed to snow. You turn on the weather and watch the local news. It seemed simple enough with their explanation and weather antique weather maps. Cold air from the north, moisture from the gulf and we’re likely going to see “this much” snow, and not always, but about 70 percent of the time, it did what they said it was going do to…….

    25 years later, it seems more difficult to forecast than it used to be….Perhaps climate change is making it harder to forecast winter in our climate. (not global warming)

  36. Marsha says:

    We got a good snow here in Morgan co it’s looking like Christmas now…..

  37. Rick in Columbus says:

    3 1/2 inches on my outdoor table, just outside of Columbus, Ohio, and still snowing!

  38. WXman says:

    Clearly the LMK forecast is heavily weighted toward the GFS. I thought Mitch said that given the choice of only one model, NWS guys would go with the ECMWF every time? πŸ˜‰

    For the record, I’m still skeptical about the Euro snow bomb that it’s dropped on us for the past 4 runs. Although, 10″ of snow would be nice.. I’m going to look over the 00Z runs tonight and make my call.

    • Ready4Snow says:

      4 consistent runs from the euro is promising i think within this time frame…If i lived in western and central i would be getting hyped about now…

    • Mitch says:

      Depends on if the 12z euro comes in time to make changes to what the forecaster already had in the grids. An hour is really pushing it to analyze and incorporate the 12z EC. Although I did comment on a prefrence by most NWS mets for the EC that does not mean it’s anywhere close to the all powerful oz.

  39. Lincoln says:

    Can anyone let me know road conditions in Jackson county, I’ll be driving from lex to Annville in the morning for work.

  40. TONEY says:

    with the blocking backing west the models r starting to pick up on this and thus the gfs now has 1 storm going up the east slope of the appys….looks like central and eastern ky. could be in for a dumping plus all of wva at this time……look for chris to issue a threat some time on saturday if models stay the course.

  41. Robbie says:

    I rarely post, but DT at WxRisk, who I really respect, seems vey hyped about Southern Indiana and Central to Eastern Ky getting a big snow. He favors the Euro track because the Euro ensembles and GFS ensembles support it. The operational GFS is the outlier because it’s not supported by its own ensembles.

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