Monthly Archives: January 2017

Make that a VERY small snow

Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017

Update from earlier…first of two small snowfalls mentioned earlier will stay south of Louisville…southern KY may see  up to one-half inch.

Second (afternoon system) will have little moisture to work with so only a little snow shower activity is likely 2 P.M. to 6 P.M. with most areas getting no more than a dusting.  No road problems expected with temperatures remaining above 32 degrees.

Winter Weather Advisory seems misguided to me.

Another small snow

Saturday, January 28, 2017  3:30 P.M.

In similar fashion to our previous snow this month, the GFS and NAM are breaking tomorrow’s snow chances into two distinct segments.  With the latest NAM data, the only significant difference between the two models is with timing.  The NAM is a little faster, a common difference between the two.

Here’s how it looks now:  light snow should begin around daybreak in Louisville (earlier south of the city).  This will fade away by late morning, leaving only small amounts for the Louisville area. Maybe half an inch here, but a generous inch is possible over southern KY.  By late afternoon, a strong upper air system will plunge over the region and produce another period of light snow.  The morning system will take most of the available moisture away as it moves east.  Daytime heating will melt most of the morning snow before the afternoon snow arrives.

When the second snow ends by early evening, there probably won’t be much to show for the day’s efforts.  About .5″ locally, but 1″-3″ possible along and east of I-75.


Yesterday’s average temperature was exactly “normal” and today we’re back to above normal temperatures.  In fact, we haven’t had a below normal day here in almost three weeks.  January 9th was the most recent colder-than-normal day here.


“young Americans” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary of 1968 during the 1969 awards ceremony in 1969.  Later it was discovered had been show in a theater in October 1967, making it ineligible for the 1968 award.  The Oscar was revoked, the only time that has happened in Oscar history.


Friday flurries!

Friday, January 27, 2017  4 P.M.

A weak upper air disturbance this morning brought us some flurries and a second one will bring us some more flurries for the evening rush hour.  With temperatures safely above the 32-degree mark, no problems are expected.

Cold weather should remain through the weekend with additional weak disturbances bringing additional periods of flurries.  Finally, a much stronger upper air system will cross the area Sunday afternoon and evening.  This is expected to upgrade the flurries to  a period of light snow and/or snow showers.  This morning the GFS and NAM were far apart on their portrayals of what the result will look like, but now the NAM upping its game toward the GFS solution.  But, don’t get too excited – even the “stronger” GFS still keeps snow expectations below one inch.

The current outlook for Sunday calls for some light snow/snow showers between (roughly) 3 P.M. and 8 P.M.  This should not have much of an effect on surface roadways, but bridges/overpasses/etc. could get some slick spots.  Snow accumulation should be light – anywhere from a dusting up to an inch.  For Louisville, about a half inch seems likely.


My post earlier this week has already proven me right and wrong.  My long time conviction that long range prediction is  a fool’s game has been proven yet again.  But, my insistence to try it anyway is where I went wrong (probably).  My idea that the cold air arriving this weekend would hold through next week will not happen – unseasonably mild weather will return for next week.  Further, I said that some really cold weather should arrive around Super Bowl time – that part will probably hold, although it’s not looking quite as cold.  The worst part of my “outlook” was that the below normal trend should continue through most of February.  Sadly, that appears to no longer the case.

Moral of the story:  I should follow my own advice!

Still hope for some “winter” weather

Sunday, January 22, 2017

It’s been well advertised for the past  ten days or so – an upper level pattern change that was due to begin late this week.  That would shift the major storm activity from the Pacific coast into the eastern U.S., setting up the winter-weather favoring “East Coast trough – West Coast ridge” pattern that would open eastern North America to renewed outbreaks of arctic air.  We haven’t seen this pattern much this winter.  It set up for about 2-3 weeks during December and then again briefly in early January.  Each time, it could not establish a foothold and returned blasting the western U.S. with heavy rain and snow.  That has been good for California, as the years-long drought has been wiped out (for now).

As usually happens when forecasters try to look out a week or two in advance,  the expectations don’t meet the reality when it finally arrives.  That seems to be happening this time as well.  Colder weather appears likely by late week and the weekend.  But, current forecasts for temperatures are running 5-10 degrees warmer than they were a few days ago.  So, it looks as though the first attempt to establish the east coast trough will only drop us into the “near normal” range rather than the previous “below normal” expectations.

But, snow lovers,  there is some good news.  The GFS and the European model continue to deepen (strengthen) the troughing over the eastern U.S. so that Super Bowl weekend should see the beginning of some strong cold air outbreaks ( and maybe some snow(s)).

Although I have repeatedly stated that long range forecasts can be highly unreliable, I will take a stab at what happens after that.  The U.S. has a forecast model known as the Climate Forecast System (CFS) designed to project the months ahead in general terms.  Since I usually concern myself with current weather and a few days ahead,  I’ve never paid much attention to the CFS.   But, if you want to dream big, the CFS is predicting that once the east coast trough really establishes itself (11-14 days from now), it will hold until the end of February!  That could make for a lot of fun next month

(And that could be our last chance as the CFS expects March to return to above normal temperatures.)

Current weather

I seems pretty obvious by now that those forecasts for heavy rains (Thunderstorms?) and possible flooding (especially south of Louisville) are not going to materialize tonight and tomorrow. We’ll probably see some rain tonight, mostly after midnight.  Total should be a quarter-inch or less.  After that, the next few days should be dry with continued mild temperatures.


If you were asked,” How many Presidents has Kentucky produced?”, the obvious answer would be “one.”  But, some people count Jefferson Davis as a second President.  That’s a “trick answer” as he was President of the CSA not the USA.  But, in a little-known historical quirk, Abraham Lincoln was actually the second Kentuckian to serve as President of the USA.  Here’s the story from the very interesting website, …

In 1849, Zachary Taylor refused to be sworn in on a Sunday, because he was very strict about “keeping holy the Sabbath.” The position of president couldn’t just be vacant until Monday, so the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, David Rice Atchison, was brought in as a pinch hitter. There’s some debate as to whether this actually makes him the 12th president and Zachary Taylor the 13th, but obviously, it’s generally accepted that he doesn’t count. He didn’t even stake claim to the title, and repeatedly told people that he slept through most of his day as president. He must have had a good sense of humor about the whole thing, though, as evidenced by the inscription on his gravestone.




Snow update 2

10 P.M. Wed. Jan 4, 2017

Couple of updates…

1).  Models continue to run faster.  Snow should begin 7-9 A.M.  and taper off by early afternoon.  A SECOND period of snow should occur during evening rush hour.  Morning snow should amount to roughly one inch.  Second snow may reach .5″

2).  Most recent model runs have become “drier”, probably because of faster movement and the distinct two-phase nature of the snow system(s).

3). Road conditions described on earlier post still look good.

4).  Still looks like the heaviest snowfalls (combined from two snow periods)   will be east and south of Louisville.  Areas east of I-75 could reach 4″-5″.

Update on snow forecast

Wednesday, Jan.4, 2017

After a further analysis of the morning data and with looks at the short-range models, the outlook for tomorrow’s expected snowfall has become more narrowly focused.  Some adjustments seem necessary to me.  So here’re my latest thoughts.

1). Timing

Most models are speeding up the timing on the snowfall.  Light snow now looks like it’ll start during rush hour, probably around 8-9 A.M.  It should be light enough that only a few problems with the roads will occur during the morning rush.  Heaviest snow should fall between 10 A.M to 1 P.M., then diminish before the evening rush hour.  Treated roads should be in good shape for the evening commute while untreated roads are likely to be an icy mess.

NOTE:  A couple of models are developing a secondary system (behind the main snow-maker) that could create another round of light snow/flurries tomorrow evening (7-9 P.M.).  If it develops, little, if any, accumulation should result.  Probably just a dusting, or so.

2). Amounts

Tough call.  With the very cold air, snow tends to “fluff” quite a bit.  So,   a little bit of water can add up to a lot of snow.  On the other hand, with the majority of the snow falling during the day, it tends not to accumulate as much on the roadways.  With those ideas in mind, it should seem almost as though we’ll see two different snowfalls – one on the grassy areas and another on the roads.

First, the grassy areas – the Louisville area is in line for 1″ – 2″ of snow.  Parts of southern Indiana, especially west of I-65, could see a very fluffy 3″-4″.  The most recent model runs are showing a stronger emphasis for snow south of Louisville.  Looks like the southern half of KY may end with the highest totals, especially south of I-64 and east of I-65.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see E-town, Bowling Green, Lexington and London reach 3″-5″ of snow by tomorrow night.

Second, the roads.  In the Louisville area the treated roads should be easily passable throughout the snow.  With brine today and salt tomorrow, there shouldn’t be many problems.  However, the untreated roads will offer plenty of thrills for area drivers.  Snow accumulations on the untreated roads will average around one inch – plenty of snow/ice to produce numerous fender benders.

Outside of the Louisville area, travel should be pretty slow on most roads, especially the untreated ones.

Snow chances looking good.

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017

Interesting Alberta Low-type system will pass north of the area tomorrow.  This system wasn’t given much credit as recently as yesterday (NWS had only a 40% chance for measurable snowfall Thursday. Now they’ve jumped to 2″-3″ of snow by late tomorrow.)

Models haven’t changed all that much, but the “official” forecast sure has.  Models continue to place the best chance for snow over southern Indiana with I-64 about the southern edge of a possible 1″-3″ snow band.  Louisville area should get around one inch (along with plenty of road problems).  Snow appears likely to begin in Louisville by late morning and end during the evening rush hour.

More later.