Has Goldilocks left the forecast?

Thursday afternoon, Jan. 21,2016

(update to get my fairy tale character correct.  Who knows, maybe this whole blog is a fairy tail.  TW)

In my years following major winter storms, I’ve noticed they bunch into two major storm tracks.  One I’ll call the northern track the other will be the southern track.  The most common for us is the northern track storm which forms east of the Rockies, slides into Texas then curves northeast.  Quite often these come right up the Ohio Valley.  That sends the heaviest snows over central and northern Indiana while we’re left with some snow changing to rain.  The southern storms form over southeastern Texas then move ENE across the Gulf States.  The northern edge of these sometimes spreads precipitation as far north as the Ohio River.  Often the snow only reaches into southern KY.  The long-term climatology of the area shows these two storm tracks account for a huge majority of our winter storms.

Once in awhile, we get a “Goldilocks Storm”.  One which takes a track roughly halfway between the two favored tracks. These have been big snowmakers.  Remember last March?  Goldilocks Storms require everything (for us) to be “just right.”  Early this week, it looked as though Cinderella was going to pay us a visit.

Things changed yesterday (check yesterday’s blog for more details) when the models started shifting toward a more common southern track.  Today’s runs have solidified into a traditional southern storm – the GFS and NAM are in remarkable agreement.  This is a very large storm, so there is still a good chance that snow will move into northern KY/southern IN.

What to expect.

1). The southern half of KY can still expect some major icing late tonight changing to snow tomorrow morning.  Heaviest snow accumulations(6″-12″)  will occur over southcentral KY then SE KY, southern WV and VA.

2).  Louisville area.   Snow should not arrive here until late morning.  If we’re going to see any heavy snow it’ll be between Noon and 6 P.M.  Snow will taper to flurries during the evening.  Along the Ohio River and 20 miles south of the river snow accumulations should run 1″-3″ .  Accumulations increase rapidly south and southeast of Louisville (E’town, Bardstown, Lex should be 4″-6″.)  Accumulations over southern Indiana will be small and not get too very north of the river.

So, that’s the way I see it shaping up now.  It’s subject to change, of course.  Tonight’s runs may change things again.  And, don’t look for any hope from the European and Canadian models.  They are farther south.  We’ll be lucky to get one inch if they are correct!

So, has Goldilocks left the neighborhood?  Not yet, but she has her coat and scarf on…and is heading toward the door.



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