Monthly Archives: December 2022

Snowy, blustery night ahead

Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022  5 P.M.

The action begins this evening

If you’ve followed this blog recently,  you’ve heard about how very slow changes in the atmosphere can add up over time.  Also, we’re seeing today how these little changes can take you away from the original “solution” only to move back to the original forecast before the storm arrives.  Such as the evolution of the snow amount forecast from last week until today.

Last week, the early indications were for about 2″ to 4″ from the system arriving now.  By early this week the forecast for snow was down to about an inch or two.  Then, this morning, the forecasts started climbing. Now we’re up to about 2″-3″ for Louisville while 3″-6″ appear likely over southern Indiana.

Yesterday,  I mentioned that the changeover from rain to snow would be about an hour or two later than the previous estimate.  Too bad I didn’t think too much about that, because it seems to be the reason for the increased snowfall forecasts.  This is a developing storm.  It just recently got it’s act together and will intensify rapidly overnight. The extra time before the onset of the snow allows the storm to gather more moisture.  Little changes can make big differences.

Forecast summary

Rain this evening will change to snow around 8-9 P.M.  Winds  will increase to 20-30 mph with higher gusts overnight.  Temperatures will drop from the upper 40’s now to near zero by morning.  Louisville’s snow total from 2″ to 3″.  Areas north of the Ohio River could reach 6″ of snow.  Hazardous road conditions due to ice, snow and blowing snow.

Tomorrow will remain very cold as temperatures remain in the single digits in addition to strong winds continuing.  A mix of clouds and sunshine with flurries possible.

Christmas Eve and Christmas will remain quite cold.   High Saturday about 15 and 20 on Sunday.  Skies should be sunny to partly cloudy.

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy Saturnalia


Cold air, snow arrive tomorrow night

Wed., Dec.21, 2022

Little change from yesterday.  Based on the latest model runs, only a few minor tweaks are needed.

Some light showers will develop tomorrow morning.  Southerly winds will warm us to the upper 40’s by mid afternoon.  More rain should arrive by late afternoon.  It appears the rain to snow changeover will be an hour or two later (8 to 9 P.M.).  Then temperatures drop about 20 degrees in two hours as stronger winds bring in the colder air.  Any appreciable snow should be over by Midnight to 1 A.M.

Snow accumulation stills looks to me to be 1″ to 2″.  But the models are trending lower.

Biggest concern is still the cold/wind.  Temperatures should drop to the low single digits by Friday morning then stay in the single digits all day.  Saturday should reach the mid teens and Christmas  will get all the way up to near 20.

Very Cold Air Still On The Way

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022

Little change in the forecast since yesterday’s post.  The Super Christmas Storm of ’22 is still expected, but primary effects will cover the north central states from Colorado to northern Missouri to near Chicago.  The cold air behind the storm center will produce heavy lake effect snows across the Great Lakes Friday and Christmas Eve.

That part of the storm will make a lot of news through the weekend.  But, the main action will stay hundreds of miles away from us.  Nevertheless, we will not be spared from the storm entirely.  Rain will develop Thursday with temperatures in the 40’s.  The cold air sweeps rapidly into the area during the evening  (7 to 10 P.M. ?) as the rain changes to snow  for an hour or two.  An inch or two of snow is expected.

After Midnight, strong winds will be howling through the area over night…slowly diminishing Friday.  In addition, snow showers/flurries during the day could add an additional inch to our snow total.  The temperstures will slowly moderate through the weekend.  Friday’s high should be in the high single numbers rising to the mid teens Saturday and around 20 on Christmas.

Very Cold for Christmas Weekend

Snow should be on the light side

Dec.19, 2022  4:30 P.M.

When I started forecasting weather for the Louisville area in 1969, I had one major point of emphasis about weather forecasting:  Don’t ever believe a weather forecast for more than 3 days ahead.  Weather forecasting has improved significantly since then, so,maybe, that could be extended by a day or two.  But the point is, we do not have perfect forecast models.  Nor can we measure weather parameters – humidity, temperature, winds, etc – precisely.  And, to make matters worse, when we measure our weather data, it’s at random spots on the Earth.  Forecast models are set to run on a precise computer grid.  The data is seldom measured at the grid points, so sophisticated smoothing systems have  been created to fit the data to the grid.

Thus, before forecast models even begin computing, we have three significant areas of known error sources within the system.  I am amazed at how well the longer range forecast models perform…most of the time.  But as good as the modern models are, they are not perfect!

So why do professional forecasters continue to believe them?   Why so much hype 7 to 10 days before an event is due to happen?

I can’t answer those questions, even after 50 years of trying.

This week

We are currently in one of those major “hype” situations.  The major outbreak of arctic air set to arrive Thursday night has been predicted to arrive “in 7-10 days” since before Thanksgiving.  So after many misfires it’s actually going to happen.  Since last week, the models have been predicting some pretty dire weather for much of the nation east of the Rockies.  The local outlook was for 4″-6″ of snow, very strong winds and a possible flash freeze in addition to frigid temperatures.  Keep in mind, this forecast was for at least 7 days ahead,

No matter!  The hype machine jumped into full gear.  By the weekend all the talk centered around a massive pre-Christmas storm of legendary proportions right here in Louisville.  But, as should be expected, the forecast models slowly made “adjustments” to the forecast.  Those incremental changes have greatly altered the forecast and possible consequences for us.  Even the most extravagent hypists should have it figured out by now.

This being Monday and the actual event is likely Thursday night, I expect more changes to occur during the days ahead.  Nevertheless, here’s what I’m currently expecting later this week:

Slowing warming temperatures tomorrow through Thursday midday.  Rain should move in Thursday afternoon and change over to snow Thursday evening.  Snow will last 2-3 hours with accumulations around 1″ – 2″.  Very windy, with temperatures dropping into the single digits by Friday morning.  Friday remains cloudy, windy and cold with snow showers and flurries.  Additional accumulation up to an inch.  Temperatures will reach only the lower teens.

Note: the possibility of a Flash freeze Thursday is much lower now than earlier thought.