Nice Saturday, Wet Sunday Evening & Snow Possible Mid-Week

What a wild weather day!  From 60 and heavy rain to 35 and light snow; the biggest story of the day however… the wind!  Bowling Green had sustained winds up to 35 mph and the peak wind gust was 53 mph!  Other locations in the state had gusts up to 60 mph.  What really made yesterday’s winds impressive was there longevity.  Since the start of the 20th (12 am) 32 hourly reports at Bowling Green had gusts equal to or higher than 25 mph including 18 hours straight from the 11:53 am report (20th) to the 4:53 am report (21st).  The winds will die down continually overnight and may even be calm by morning.  Light winds combined with a clear night will allow temperatures to drop a good deal.  Temperatures will fall into the low 20s.  Warmer days are ahead however, this despite the official start of winter today.  The upper-level trough that has moved into the Ohio Valley behind yesterday’s storm system will push out and high pressure will build in at the surface.  The clockwise flow around the high pressure will bring a warm return flow into Kentucky which will allow temperatures to rise.  This high pressure will be in control of our weather through Saturday.

NAM forecast for 00Z on the 24th (6 pm Sunday). Notice rainfall beginning in southern KY. Also note the return flow (red arrows) bringing in warmer and more moist air. A high pressure in Canada is set to settle into the northern Plains (blue arrow).

By Sunday warm air will be brought in by the return flow and a shortwave disturbance will move closer to the area along with a weak surface low.  This should be enough to spark a few showers Sunday evening especially into Sunday night.  Anywhere from a tenth to a quarter of an inch of rainfall is possible by Monday morning.

It’s behind this weak system that the weather gets interesting.  Behind the surface low which will move through on Monday, winds will switch from the northwest as a cold Canadian high pressure system will try to move in making for a cooler Tuesday (Christmas Eve).  Meanwhile another disturbance will move out of the Rocky Mountains and develop a surface low near the Gulf Coast.  A Canadian high pressure in the northern Plains and a surface low developing near the TX/LA coast creates a perfect set-up for a mid-south snowfall.  Yes, we stand a shot at our first winter storm here in south-central Kentucky Christmas night and Thursday morning (26th).  The problem is where will the surface low track?  Models have continually flip-flopped on the exact track of the low from run to run.  The surface low track is vital to whether we receive rain or snow or a mix.  If the surface low tracks to our south and east over parts of Alabama and GA/E TN we would receive all snowfall here in south-central KY.  The next to last (18Z) run of the GFS model gives us this solution.  However, if the surface low tracks from Mississippi and then very close to us it would bring primarily rain for us here with only a chance of some light snow behind the system.  The morning (12Z) run of the GFS model gave us this solution.  Finally the latest (00Z) run of the the GFS model showed a solution in between the two which could bring rain, changing to a mix and then snow.

Three runs of the GFS model, the 12Z (morning) run, 18Z run (next to last), and 00Z (latest) run all valid for 12Z (6 am) on Dec 26th.

What can you take away from this?  The possibility is there for our first winter storm here in south-central Kentucky next week, but it’s just that a possibility.  Computer models continue to disagree on the exact track of the low pressure and it’s the track of the low which will determine if we get rain or snow.  Significant snow accumulations by KY standards are possible and likely somewhere in KY but how much and exactly where are still unknown.  Two things seem fairly sure though, a system will impact the mid-south the middle of next week and colder air will be moving in.  Until then though, we’ll be watching as we get closer to the time of this system.  Enjoy a nice Saturday!

Daily Forecast:

Tonight: Clear and cold; low near 21.  Less windy with winds WNW between 5-15 mph decreasing between calm and 5 mph by the morning.

Saturday: Sunny skies and a little warmer with a high near 44.  WSW winds from 3-8 mph.

Saturday Night: Low near 28.  Mostly clear night with SW winds from 3-8 mph.

Sunday: Warmer with a high around 50.  Clouds increasing early to make for a mostly cloudy day.  30% chance of a few showers after noon.  SSW winds from 7-14 mph.

Sunday Night: Cloudy with a 60% chance of rain.  Rainfall between a 0.10-0.25. Winds switching from the SW to the WNW from 4-9 mph. Low near 44.

Monday: 40% chance of rain in the morning otherwise mostly cloudy with a high around 50.

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