Severe Weather Potential for Thursday Night

The snow totals for the system that affected Kentucky last weekend have been compiled and are below (Courtesy NWS Jackson):


Comparing the predicted values to the actual observations, it seems predicted amounts were pretty similar.  What can be noted is the thin axis of heavy snowfall that fell through the area.  Predicting this axis of snowfall was the main problem for the event, and while totals were similar to predicted values, the axis of heavier snowfall fell well to the east of the predicted amounts.

Inclement weather and cooler temperatures heading into the weekend are possible as an upper level system will begin to quickly intensify throughout the day Thursday.  Positive vorticity advection as well as a favorable upper level air environment will help continue to deepen the upper level low as well as begin to develop and mature a low pressure system at the surface.  Warm air advection will quickly being to increase throughout the day on Thursday, and will bring highs to the lower 70’s.  Ahead of the surface low, ample shear will be in place in response to strong wind flow throughout the middle to upper levels of the atmosphere.  Along with a phasing of the jet stream, this will also support intensification of the surface low.  Uncertainty remains about the severe potential of this system due to the disagreements in model runs, but models have similar features that suggest the main threat with the system will be damaging winds and small hail given the lack of instability present.  Investigating helicity does show that enough spin could be in place throughout the atmosphere to produce isolated tornadoes, but the main threat should be the possible squall line with damaging winds embedded.

What makes this system the most dangerous is its forecasted time of arrival between the overnight hours of 9pm to 12 midnight Thursday.   Be sure to be aware of the threat and have weather radios close by.  The low for early Thursday will hover around the mid 40’s. Updates on the potential severe weather will be posted as needed.

Friday, temperatures will remain around the lower 40’s for the low, and increase to the lower 50’s throughout the day for the high.  Later into the day, cold air advection will begin to pull cooler air into the region, bringing a slight chance of snow flurries into the afternoon hours Friday.  No accumulations expected.   Saturday, Lows will be around the freezing mark, with highs struggling to get out of the 40’s.

Sunday looks to be much like Saturday with a low around the upper 20’s, and high of 41.


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