WKU Meteorology

Discussion of Mid-South weather and climate and information about the WKU Meteorology program

WKU Meteorology - Discussion of Mid-South weather and climate and information about the WKU Meteorology program

Bowling Green will see snow tonight, but how much?

Recent model runs are predicting better snowfall totals than previously expected for south central Kentucky with tonight’s impending winter storm. If you like snow, things are definitely shaping up in your favor with regards to this storm. Currently, there is a Winter Weather Advisory over south central Kentucky, but it should be noted that a Winter Storm Warning has been issued as far south as just 2 counties north of Warren County. While counties along and north of the Bluegrass Parkway should see around 4 to 6 inches of snow by Tuesday afternoon, the NWS is calling for 1 to 3 for Bowling Green and the surrounding areas due to the expected intrusion of warm air early Tuesday morning that will change the snow back into rain. But when exactly will this happen, and will it happen at all?

The GFS is actually the “warmer” model right now, given that it’s calling for a tongue of warm air at the 850 mb level to advance into Kentucky as far north as Richmond early tomorrow morning around 6 or so, changing the snow to rain. However, the NAM indicates that this tongue will only impact far southeastern Kentucky later in the day, meaning south central Kentucky would see all-snow throughout the storm’s duration.

As for the forecast, we’ll start out with snow tonight around midnight that will continue overnight. Some rain may mix in during the early morning hours tomorrow as southerly winds at the 850 mb level will warm the lower atmosphere. The precipitation should end during the early afternoon hours as a dry slot will move in, but light snow flurries and snow showers will likely occur off-and-on throughout the remainder of the day once the sharp cold front associated with this storm knifes through our area. But the major threat with this cold front is a flash freeze situation, where any liquid on roadways or walkways will freeze-over in just a short amount of time after the cold front moves through. Please be careful if you are driving around any time on Tuesday, but especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Over the past 48 hours, the models have continued to increase our snow totals as they back off the threat of rain. They average anywhere from 1 to 3 inches for Bowling Green, with about 3-5 just to our west in far western Kentucky. I think we’ll be on the upper end of this range and we’ll have about 2 to 3 inches of snow on the ground by around noon on Tuesday.

Check back tonight for a final update and snow total prediction of this storm.