The belief over the past week is that the major storm that will move through the Mid-South early next week would be a significant snow-maker for everyone in Kentucky. But recent model outputs express a mixed-bag of precipitation for south central Kentucky with warmer temperatures in place than previously thought. First, let’s take a look at the snow totals from last night’s storm that dropped a fair amount of snow across much of the upper-Ohio valley. For Kentucky, snow accumulations appeared to end roughly along the Bluegrass Parkway from the north, with some light accumulations over extreme south central Kentucky south of the Cumberland Parkway. Here in Bowling Green, the warmer air in place relative to our north provided us with a cold light rain all day yesterday, followed by light snow flurries through the night as the temperature fell sufficiently. We should expect to see more of the same today and tonight, as overcast skies will continue to dominate the Mid-South. Expect cold temperatures – high in the mid-30s and low in the mid-20s – given the gusty and persistent winds out of the north all day, along with random light flurries that shouldn’t have any negative impact on travel conditions around the area. We finally break out of some of the clouds on Sunday and into Sunday night with similar temperatures to today.
On Monday, the next big storm will move into the region. Across south central Kentucky, we should expect to see precipitation beginning during the late-afternoon hours into the evening. This precipitation will continue overnight and should end sometime during the afternoon on Tuesday. As is currently being debated in Louisville’s latest forecast discussion, the models are in disagreement regarding the exact type of precipitation across the state of Kentucky as well as the timing of such precipitation. It appears that the NAM and the Euro models are in fair agreement that this storm will provide northern and central Kentucky with snow initially on Monday night transitioning into rain at some point overnight and then back to snow on Tuesday, while south central Kentucky will experience all-rain throughout the duration of the storm. The GFS provides the best chance for south central Kentucky to receive even minor accumulations of snowfall, as it shows a snow-rain-snow scenario for our area of the state from Monday night through Tuesday afternoon. Southerly winds at the 850 mb level will warm the lower atmosphere over south central Kentucky overnight Monday night to change the precipitation into a cold rain. But then as the trough passes through the region, the winds at 850 mb will shift to the west/northwest sometime Tuesday morning, dropping temperatures enough for any remaining wrap-around precipitation to fall as snow.
If you’re tired of the snow, then you like what the NAM and Euro models are forecasting, which is snow in extreme northern Kentucky and southern Indiana, a snow-rain-snow situation over central Kentucky, and all-rain for the Bowling Green area. But if you’re hoping for more snow, then you’re also hoping the GFS is correct in forecasting all-snow through central Kentucky from the north with a snow-rain-snow scenario for Bowling Green. But even if the GFS is correct, we shouldn’t expect any more than an inch or two of snow over south central Kentucky when the storm is finished.
As always, with winter storms and model disagreements, forecasts are sure to change. So stay tuned!