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.

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