A Little Of This & A Little Of That

This looked almost like a Winter's day in the mountains. There's no doubt that it felt like one too. There was a little snow, some sleet, and of course the COLD rain.

This is only a reminder to all of you folks out there that have just dropped by for the first time in a while. Make sure you back track on some of my previous posts and see when we started talking about this round of wintry precip! This has been a common topic for about a week now... so that means that I am one for one with wintry precip this season!!!! I know it sounds like I am patting myself on the back, but I don't think you understand how important these forecasts really are. If I retired today I'd have a 100% for this season... haha but there are still bills to pay and a lot of weather to forecast so I will likely drop that 100% when the real winter arrives.

This energy passed through tonight and keeps the chance of wintry precipitation in the region until the early morning hours. The likelihood of seeing any significant accumualtion is not very high at all. You have to think that it was just yesterday we were in the 50s all across eastern Kentucky. However, some of the higher elevations could very well throw this forecast for a loop. I am not really seeing the accumulation part... though there could be some slick areas that could become quite treacherous on Tuesday morning! As for the rest of us... expect the wintry stuff to wrap up for us by at least 9am on Tuesday moring.

There has been enough moisture out there to wet the roads, as a matter of fact it has soaked the roads. With these temperatures dropping below freezing tonight I want you to be prepared for a slick go in normal damp areas on some of you roads. We all know where it stays damp even when the sun comes up and heats everything up... yet it never makes it to those areas.

 

Here's a recent study done by one of the guys from the NWS Jackson.

Every year as winter approaches, people start thinking about that first snow fall of the year. School children are hoping for that first snow day and the highway department is preparing their vehicles and equipment for snow removal. With all of this interest in the first snow, we dug through the climate records and came up with the table below that lists the earliest recorded measureable snow date and the average first measurable snow date for 22 locations in eastern Kentucky.   Snow is considered measurable when at least one tenth of an inch has fallen. Also listed are the years that the snow data is recorded.

Not surprising, the earliest first snow date is at the Jackson Julian Carroll Airport, where the elevation is 1358 feet. It is not uncommon to drive through the City of Jackson on the way to work and there is little or no snow accumulated in town and there is over one inch at the airport. If we had more data from Black Mountain, it would almost certainly have an earlier snow date than Jackson. Grayhawk and Mt. Vernon have also had their first snowfall in October on Halloween.  The majority of the stations had their earliest first snowfall on Nov 2nd or Nov 3rd. The average date for the first measureable snowfall ranges from as early as Dec 2nd at Jackson to as late as New Years Day at Oneida.

                     EARLIEST/LATEST SNOW DATES/AVERAGES
              FOR STATIONS WITH > 20 YEARS WORTH OF DATA
 
Earliest
   
Years
Location
Snow Date
Average
Active
Barbourville
11/03/51&66
30-Dec
51-57/61-68/80-08
Baxter
11/03/54&66
21-Dec
52-08
Buckhorn Lake
11/12/1976
20-Dec
64-94
Closplint 4ESE
11/8/91&92
3-Dec
80-08
Farmers 2S
11/02/54&66
12-Dec
33-08 *
Grayhawk
10/31/1993
21-Dec
73-99
Hazard Water
11/2/1954
30-Dec
50-08 **
Jeremiah 1S
11/2/1954
7-Dec
48-08***
London Airport
11/2/1966
13-Dec
55-94
Manchester 4W
11/03/54&66
23-Dec
51-06
Middlesboro 2N
11/03/51&54
16-Dec
28-90
Monticello 3NE
11/2/1966
6-Dec
49-08
Mount Sterling
11/02/51&54
10-Dec
49-08 ***
Mount Vernon
10/31/1993
16-Dec
63-08
Oneida
11/12/1976
1-Jan
57-08 **
Paintsville 1E
11/3/1954
15-Dec
33-08
Skyline 1SE
11/12/1976
13-Dec
75-08
Somerset 2N
11/2/1954
22-Dec
50-08 ****
Stearns 2S
11/2/1954
27-Dec
54-08 **
West Liberty
11/14/1969
21-Dec
51-08 **
WFO Jackson
10/20/1989
2-Dec
81-08
Williamsburg
11/11/1987
25-Dec
49-03 **
* sporadic data in 70s and 80s
** few cases of missing data
*** lot of missing data
**** some years with no snow

We get lots of questions at the weather office about what the winter is going to be like this year. Climate forecasting is really quite difficult with the current state of the science; however the latest outlooks issued by the NWS Climate Prediction Center are for a slightly elevated chance for above normal temperatures for most of eastern Kentucky and an equal chance of above normal, normal or below normal precipitation.  Since everyone asks, the Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting above normal snowfall for this winter.

So what is normal for a winter in eastern Kentucky?  From October to March, Jackson normally gets 23.2 inches of snow and London receives 13.4 inches. If you look at the last five years, the annual snowfall at the Jackson Weather Office has been decreasing each year. In the 2003-2004 season, Jackson received 15.9 inches of snow. Each year that number decreased and for the winter of 2007-2008, Jackson received a paltry 10.8 inches of snow. So if Jackson receives just an average amount of snowfall, it will be significantly greater than anything we’ve seen in a while.

          
 
           Jackson Julian Carroll Airport
 
         
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Average High Temperature
67.5
56.4
46.3
42.0
46.8
56.8
Average Low Temperature
47.4
38.9
30.2
25.7
28.9
37.4
Monthly Snowfall
0.1
0.7
4.4
7.5
7.0
3.5
          
 
                        London Airport
 
 
Average High Temperature
68.6
57.5
47.9
43.5
49.3
58.5
Average Low Temperature
44.3
36.2
29.1
25.2
28.1
35.7
Monthly Snowfall
0.0
0.5
1.3
5.6
4.6
1.4

This wintry precip discussion won't last... unfortunately! By the end of this week daytime highs will be back in the 60s. I'm not going to talk much about that now though... let's just enjoy this little round of wintry precip tonight!
 
C-Ya Bye
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