5 P.M. Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022
Basic ideas put forth in yesterday’s post still hold. However, some subtle changes in the models since yesterday, to my mind anyway, seem to be shifting the primary focus away from freezing rain toward sleet. And we’re not talking about just a little sleet. Over an inch of sleet is possible! We don’t see that very often.
Here’s my current idea about this will play out. Rain begins around rush hour tomorrow and continues off and on through the day and night. Temperatures will be about 50 tomorrow morning and slowly fall into the lower 30’s by Thursday’s morning rush hour.
Thursday morning the rain will become freezing rain but, with daylight and temperatures in the lower 30’s, the freezing rain should create few problems. Things get really interesting during the afternoon. Sleet will mix in with the freezing rain and quickly become the dominate precipitation form until all precipitation fades away during the evening. A brief period of snow will be possible as the sleet ends.
The big question in my mind is when the sleet begins. An early afternoon start could result in significant accumulations while a late afternoon onset would create far fewer problems. At this time, an earlier start looks more likely. That would produce a 1″-2″ sleet accumulation – a major driving mess.
Things can still change in the next 48 hours. Another update tomorrow.
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6 P.M. Monday, Jan. 31, 2022
Three days ahead is a very difficult time to figure out what a storm system is going to do. Never one to shy away from the attempt, however, here’s what the models are telling me today.
1). Heavy rains are likely Wednesday and Thursday. 2″-3″ are possible.
2). Another huge mass of cold air is dropping out of Canada and will be dropping only very slowly southward. Upper upper air winds will be opposing the southward push of cold low level air. The result will be a very shallow cold air mass reaching us during Thursday. That is a big indicator for freezing rain and sleet, not snow.
3). Thursday morning we’ll see rain with slowly falling temperatures during the day. About 40 deg at morning rush hour sliding to the lower 30’s by evening rush hour. The southern half of Indiana should be in freezing rain by morning with sleet farther north of the Ohio River.
As temperatures cool freezing rain could move south of the Ohio during the afternoon. Freezing rain should be of little consequence for Louisville during the day.
4). Thursday evening, precipitation will diminish quickly with a period of sleet/snow. Accumulation of snow/ice should be less than one inch.
5). A significant ice storm is likely over southern Indiana (except counties bordering the Ohio River).
6). Snow will not be a factor locally. However, the northern half of Indiana should expect 6″ – 12″ of snow Thursday.
Friday, Jan. 28, 2022 5 P.M.
Heaviest snow showers locally have been over the western three-fourths of Jefferson Co. KY. Both SDF and LOU have reported heavy snow much of the past hour. In IN, Floyd and Harrison Co. seem to have picked up some quick accumulations.
Heaviest snow between 5 -6 P.M. will move into Bullitt Co. and Spencer Co. Jefferson County (especially the southern half) will continue to see moderate to heavy snow showers.
Fri. Jan 28, 2022 3 P.M.
A small, fast moving and potent upper disturbance will race across our area from now until about 7 P.M.
Most of the area will see snow showers and flurries with accumulations up to one inch. However, a narrow swath of much heavier snow showers, about 25-40 miles across, will be embedded in the wider snow area. Forecast models are currently projecting the axis of heavier snow to run from southern Indiana (west of I-65) through Louisville metro then southsoutheastward through KY.
Models project 2″-4″ of quick hitting snow squalls in narrow lines within this snow swath. Meanwhile spots only a few miles from the heavy snow will see very little. Wouldn’t it be cool to be lucky enough yourself in the middle of the action? Unfortunately, most of us will be in the “near-miss” category.
4 P.M. Wed., Jan. 19, 2022
Short term models continue to push tonight’s area of accumulating snow south. Latest GFS isn’t out yet, but the trend is clear from the NAM, Nam HiRes, RUC and HRRR. Louisville area should see possibly a dusting (less than a half inch) (two models) or nothing (two models). So the pickings are pretty lean for snow lovers locally.
It’s a different story, however, for southern and eastern KY. Wide area south and east of a line from southern Hardin County to Frankfort to Ashland will see accumulations from 2″ to 4″. Some spots will probably top 4″.
Louisville appears destined to see just a short period of snow. Rain-to-snow changeover should happen between 6 and 7 P.M. Any significant precipitation will end shortly thereafter. That should add up to a dusting, at best.
Seasonably cold weather air takes over tonight and should last through Friday.
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Noon Wed. Jan. 19, 2022
The GFS still has about a half inch of snow for us (Louisville area) while four other models now agree than any significant snow will once again fall over central KY. Looks like the area from Bowling Green to Lexington to Ashland is in for another 4″+.
Three Chances for snow ahead
6 P.M. Friday, Jan. 14, 2022
Major upper air disturbance dropping south through central U.S. tonight will continue dropping heavy snows from southern Minnesota to Iowa to northern Missouri. Some spots (especially central Iowa) could get 8″+. Snow falls will lessen as the storm loses the upslope surface winds from central Missouri into Arkansas. Any significant snows from this system will stay west of us, but the Louisville could get snow showers tomorrow morning. No accumulation expected here.
Meanwhile, the upper air storm is expected to drop all the way to southern Louisiana, drift eastward for awhile, then head up the Appalachians Sunday afternoon and night. This, too, should become a major snow-maker. Highest snow totals will ride along and east of the mountains.
As the storm intensifies Sunday, the precipitation shield will expand westward. This could reach as far west as Louisville, but we’ll be too far west to see anything significant. Less than an inch, if anything for Louisville. A little rain could mix in as well. East of a line from Bowling Green to Lexington to Ashland could see several inches.
As the storm accelerates northeast Sunday night, a cold front will sweep across IN/KY early Monday morning. This will bring us our third chance for snow. It’ll probably just be some flurries and/or snow showers. Little, if any, snow expected.
Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 5:30 P.M.
Models still far apart
Yesterday, the GFS was predicting a big snow Sunday while the Blend of models was predicting little to no snow. Today’s the Nam’s forecast reaches out to Sunday and offers another opinion.
Today, the GFS takes the storm considerably farther south before heading north along the Appalachians. That means for us: 1″-2″ Sunday.
The BLEND continues on it’s southern track and a little east along the mountains. For us: little, if any, snow. If yes to snow, up to an inch.
The latest NAM has the storm track a little north and west of the GFS prediction. Projection for us: 2″ – 4″ starting late Saturday.
Tomorrow: check back to see if the models get any closer to agreement.
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Substantial Snowfall possible
Wed., Jan. 12, 2022 4:30 P.M.
GFS forecast this morning generates 8+ inches of snow for Louisville from late Saturday through Sunday. Other models have wide-ranging solutions to a developing storm over the region – from mostly rain to rain/snow mix to just a little snow.
With many complexities working into various model’s ideas, it’s far too early to know how this system will ultimately come together. But it will be fun watching the next few days as various ideas come and go. The model BLEND (a combination of many U.S. models with others from Canada, Europe and Australia) currently predicts 2.5 to 3″ from this system. BUT, the same model predicts ZERO measurable precipitation during that time. See how confusing this stuff can get?
Meanwhile, as we move on, more and more clarity should come into view. At least I hope so. Personally I’m hoping the GFS comes through – as it often does.
As mentioned a week or so back, the “unloading” of cold arctic air from Canada is well underway. As usual in La Nina winters, the bulk of the cold air has moved far more east than south, We’ve seem some below normal temperatures, but our neighbors over the Great Lakes and northeastern states have seem some really cold weather. This trend is showing signs of lasting another two weeks or so. But the warm part of La Nina should return in February.
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Little change since yesterday
11 P.M. Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022
Model outlooks are little changed since yesterday. The GFS predicts the lowest accumulation with the NAM products and model blend about an inch to two higher.
GFS – 1″-2″
Blend has 2.3″ for Louisville
Snow should begin around 11 A.M. and end before 6 P.M.
My thoughts: Many times I’ve wished the NAM would be correct, but most of the time the GFS turns out better. So I’d say Louisville area 1-2″ with increasing snowfalls south and east. Could top 8″ over southeast KY.