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.
Just like it’s supposed to be.
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
El Ninos get most of the attention, but little sister (La Nina) can step to the plate just as well. Both systems can be traced back centuries and they tend to operate in irregular cycles. Over a cycle of decades we’ll see long periods where El Ninos are more frequent and stronger than La Ninas. One of those started fading about 5-10 years ago. We’re now in a cycle where the La Ninas dominate.
We are currently in a moderate La Nina phase. During a La Nina time, the jet stream over the Paciific is pushed northward so that heavy winter precipitation hits northern California, Oregon and Washington while leaving southern California and Arizona very dry. Example: snowfall in Oregon in December set a record high.
After the west coast, the jet stream generally runs along the U.S.- Canadian border before dipping into the northeast. That was the story for December as most of the U.S. had a very warm December. Meanwhile, Canada was very cold compared to normal.
But, as the cold dome builds to our north, it eventually has to break under the jet stream and head south. Right on schedule, that’s what is happening now. The cold dome is breaking free. The past couple of days have actually produced below normal temperatures. And another lobe of even colder air will arrive tomorrow. That should keep temperatures below freezing Thursday and maybe Friday.
In addition, a weak disturbance will form along the cold front to our south and spread some snow as far north as southern Indiana. The water content will be very low, but with temperatures in the 20’s light snow should be able to “fluff up” to about 1-2″ Thursday afternoon and evening.
When the cold air dips out of Canada, history shows that the below normal temperatures and snow chances increase for two-three weeks. So look for unseasonable cold weather into mid January. By that time Canada has lost most of its excessive cold dome. Rebuilding begins up north, and abnormally warm weather returns to much of the U.S. Translation: February will be very warm. However, often a La Nina winter ends with another round of the cold air escaping Canada in early March.
Such is life in an La Nina winter!