A Cold and Potentially Wintry Start to Thanksgiving Week!

Monday evening update on Winter Weather Possibilities (Update at 8:27 pm)

The wintry weather got a head start this afternoon when a wave of moisture reached into south-central Kentucky and dropped a quick burst of snow. Snow began falling in the Bowling Green area, generally around 3 o’clock and very light snow continued for several hours. Most locations in the bottom two rows of counties in KY saw a dusting to 1 inch. The official measurement for Bowling Green was 1.1 inches of snow. The photo below was sent in by fellow WKU meteorology major Chris Johnson of around 3/4 of inch of snow on an elevated deck in Bowling Green.

Chris Johnson sent in this photo of around 3/4 of an inch of snow from Bowling Green which fell Monday afternoon.

Chris Johnson sent in this photo of around 3/4 of an inch of snow from Bowling Green which fell Monday afternoon.

Despite this early round of snow that was unexpected by many, more winter weather is still possible through tomorrow evening. However, what fell this afternoon in south-central Kentucky will probably end up being the main show. Flurries will likely continue overnight before changing over to light drizzle or even light sleet sometime between 9 pm and 2 am. Meanwhile temperatures will be hovering right around freezing; if temperatures stay at or just below freezing obviously this light drizzle could be freezing drizzle. Precipitation intensity should increase from south to north across south-central Kentucky after 3 am especially into mid morning hours from 6 am to 9 am. Temperatures will have risen above freezing by this point and thus rain is expected though sleet could very well and is expected to mix in at times especially early. A cold rain with temperatures in the mid 30s is expected for much of the day Tuesday with as much as 0.25 inches of rain by the afternoon. After 3 pm cooler air will once again be filtering into the area and thus a transitions to sleet and snow is expected. Snow could fall for a few hours tomorrow afternoon between 3 pm and 8 pm with a dusting to an inch again possible. The heaviest snow will fall just to our east of our area. 2-5 inches is possible as close as the I-75 corridor including Somerset and Lexington; areas in the eastern Kentucky mountains could see even higher accumulations. The heaviest snow in these areas will fall in these areas between 6 pm and 6 am so be careful if traveling east tomorrow evening into tomorrow night for the Thanksgiving holiday.

High-Res Nam forecasts some light snow in the areas by tomorrow around 6 pm.

High-Res Nam forecasts some light snow in the areas by tomorrow around 6 pm.

A moderate to heavy band of snow is forecast to develop just to our east along the I-75 corridor by tomorrow evening. This is the High-Res Nam model valid for 11 pm Tuesday night.

A moderate to heavy band of snow is forecast to develop just to our east along the I-75 corridor by tomorrow evening. This is the High-Res Nam model valid for 11 pm Tuesday night.

Temperatures will fall to around the freezing mark, especially so as the evening progresses and will fall below freezing after 6 pm so it is possible that a few minor slick spots could develop. Expect a few flurries to possibly fall Wednesday morning.

Below is a timeline summary:

8 -10 pm: A few flurries with temperatures hovering around 32. Watch for a few slick spots on the roads.

10 pm – 3 am: A few light flurries/light sleet/light (freezing?) drizzle with temperatures continuing to hover around 32.

3 am – 9 am: Precipitation will intensify and temperatures will warm ever so slightly just above freezing. Precipitation will likely be a mixture of sleet and rain.

9 am – 3 pm: Periods of rain which could be steady at times. Temperatures will warm to near 35-37.

3 pm – 8 pm: Rain will change to light snow (possibly mixed with sleet briefly) which will slowly tapper off into the evening. A dusting to an inch is possible around BG. Lighter amounts will occur to west of I-65 and higher amounts will occur east of I-65. Temperatures will cool back to around the freezing mark after 6 pm.

After 8 pm: Precipitation will have come to an end and temperatures will drop below freezing; be aware a few minor slick spots could develop. A few flurries could fall Wednesday morning.


As Thanksgiving approaches, it may be a good time to consider being thankful for coats, sweaters, blankets, and heaters because it has certainly gotten cold here in south-central Kentucky. We woke up to a chilly low in the upper teens in Bowling Green and despite sunny skies today’s temperature’s we have struggled to crack the freezing mark. This will make today the coldest overall day this season. Clouds will begin to increase overnight, which will only allow the temperatures to drop to the low 20s. Why so cold you may ask? As you can see in the figure below a cold high pressure system which dropped down from Canada is parked directly over the Ohio River Valley today. This high pressure is on the move however and thus temperatures will moderate slightly Monday behind the high pressure with temperatures rising into the low 40s for highs under mostly cloudy skies. These clouds will be on the increase ahead of our next storm system which is expected to impact our area Monday night into Tuesday.


A high pressure is centered over the Ohio River Valley today, thus creating not only the sunny skies but also the cold temperatures accompanied by a stiff north wind.

Ah yes, our next storm system… well some of you have probably already heard the idea of snow floating around as a possibility this week. And yes indeed it is possible that we could see a FEW flakes here in south-central Kentucky overnight Monday into Tuesday. It’s also possible that we could see some LIGHT sleet and even possibly freezing rain at times as well. Notice however, that I am emphasizing the words light and few because this wintry mix possibility certainly does not look to bring any real impacts IF it materializes. Forecast computer models have had a tough time agreeing on whether the moisture will make it as far north as south-central Kentucky, let alone just how the temperatures look. In the end, there is a low confidence chance of some light wintry mix, which looks predominately to be sleet, Monday night after midnight into the afternoon Tuesday; this could very well be mostly light rain most of the day Tuesday. Much better chances of seeing some snow occur just to our east and especially east of I-75 and into the mountains of eastern Kentucky by Tuesday evening/night. For now, just be aware that there is a possibility of some light wintry mix Monday night/Tuesday from which no impacts are currently expected.


The forecast model (18Z NAM Sunday) valid for 6 am Tuesday indicates the possibility of precipitation in south-central Kentucky and indicates the 850 mb freezing line within the state which gives a general idea of where frozen precipitation is possible.

Of course, keep in mind that if we are talking wintry precipitation, it will at the very least remain quite chilly outside. Highs Tuesday will only be around 40 and Wednesday will be just downright cold with highs in the low to mid 30s with brisk north to northwest winds. Highs should be back around 40 by Thanksgiving Day. Meanwhile, overnight lows will consistently be dropping into the low to mid 20s. Aside from a few flurries possibly Wednesday morning skies will clear behind the aforementioned system and thus sunny skies should dominate beneath a high pressure system by Wednesday afternoon into the latter half of the week. Thus much of the Thanksgiving Holiday looks to be chilly but sunny. Temperatures will slowly moderate and could potentially reach the low 50s again by the weekend.

Due to the complexity of the forecast concerning the potential of light wintry weather, and update on Monday evening is likely here on the blog in order to provide the latest.  In other words… stay tuned!

Daily Forecasts:

Today: Cold and sunny. High near 33 with a stiff north wind from 5-10 mph.

Tonight: Clouds will be on the increase becoming mostly cloudy by sunrise. Cold with a low around 24. Light to calm winds.

Monday: Mostly cloudy to cloudy skies and cool with a high near 42. South to southwest winds a 6-12 mph.

Monday Night: Cloudy skies and cool. 50% chance of a wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and/or rain after midnight. Low near 30. No wintry accumulation expected.

Tuesday: 50% chance of a wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and/or rain before 10 am. 50% of rain mixed with sleet from 10 am – 3 pm. 30% of rain/sleet/snow after 3 pm. No wintry accumulation expected.

Tuesday Night: Cloudy early decreasing to partly cloudy overnight. Cold and windy with lows around 22 and winds from the north a 8-16 mph.

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy early with a chance of flurries, becoming partly to mostly sunny by the afternoon. Cold and blustery with a high near 33 and winds from the north to northwest at 10-20 mph.

Wednesday Night: Clear skies and cold with lows in the upper teens to low 20s.

Thanksgiving Day: Sunny skies with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.

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