Saturdays snow totals; another arctic blast moving in

By: Brandon Orr
By: Brandon Orr

Who saw the heaviest weekend snow? Meteorologist Brandon Orr explains, plus once we drop below freezing Sunday night, it will take until Thursday to warm above 32°F again.

Eastern Kentuckys latest round of snow moved in between 5-8 a.m. Saturday morning. A band of moderate to heavy snow developed through the heart of our viewing area and progressed southeastward. This is how the snow band looked on PinPoint Radar and what was falling outside our studios in Hazard, KY.

By 1:00 p.m. much of the snow had moved southeastward into Virginia. Several minor accidents were reported across the area but 911 dispatch tells me people are taking the weather advisories seriously and staying off the roadways so they are not getting as many accident reports with this event. A few snow showers are persisting into the afternoon, but drier conditions and sunshine are on the way to end out the weekend. Our snow forecast turned out well with snow totals between 2-4" in the Bluegrass around Lexington and 1-3" across eastern Kentucky. Only one report so far exceeds 3" in eastern Kentucky. Here is the breakdown from the NWS in Jackson for the eastern Coalfields:

INCHES  LOCATION                 ST  COUNTY           TIME
 ------  -----------------------  --  --------------   -------
  4.70   2 WNW BEATTYVILLE        KY  LEE              1200 PM
  3.00   WHITLEY CITY             KY  MCCREARY         1218 PM
  3.00   CLEAR CREEK SPRINGS      KY  BELL             1200 PM
  3.00   LONDON                   KY  LAUREL           1147 AM
  3.00   ISLAND CITY              KY  OWSLEY           1147 AM
  2.50   DWARF                    KY  PERRY            1230 PM
  2.50   5 NNW HARLAN             KY  HARLAN           1230 PM
  2.50   HEIDRICK                 KY  KNOX             1218 PM
  2.50   3 NW LONDON              KY  LAUREL           1209 PM
  2.50   COLDIRON                 KY  HARLAN           1044 AM
  2.50   5 S BEE LICK             KY  PULASKI          0920 AM
  2.40   PRESTONSBURG             KY  FLOYD            1200 PM
  2.40   TALBERT                  KY  BREATHITT        1144 AM
  2.00   4 E FRENCHBURG           KY  MENIFEE          0131 PM
  2.00   LEBURN                   KY  KNOTT            1230 PM
  2.00   BOONEVILLE               KY  OWSLEY           1044 AM
  1.50   ALVIN                    KY  FLOYD            0131 PM
  1.50   NED                      KY  BREATHITT        1230 PM
  1.50   HALLIE                   KY  LETCHER          1230 PM
  1.50   VIPER                    KY  PERRY            1230 PM
  1.50   2 E HAZARD               KY  PERRY            1230 PM
  1.50   NED                      KY  BREATHITT        1015 AM
  1.40   IDA MAY                  KY  LEE              0920 AM
  1.10   DWARF                    KY  PERRY            1015 AM
  1.00   HUDDY                    KY  PIKE             1230 PM
  1.00   3 N MARROWBONE           KY  PIKE             1230 PM
  1.00   AUXIER                   KY  FLOYD            1230 PM
  1.00   PIKEVILLE                KY  PIKE             1230 PM
  1.00   CARCASSONNE              KY  LETCHER          1230 PM
  1.00   INEZ                     KY  MARTIN           1230 PM
  1.00   HAGERHILL                KY  JOHNSON          1030 AM
  1.00   PAINTSVILLE              KY  JOHNSON          1030 AM
  1.00   TOLIVER                  KY  WOLFE            0930 AM


Our next chance of precipitation moves in early Monday morning with a mix of rain and snow showers. Precipitation amounts will be light and will move out by the afternoon. Tempeatures will plummet throughout the day as the next arctic air mass blasts into the region. Tuesday will be the coldest day of the week with highs only into the low to mid teens and lows approaching zero. I have attached a frame from one of our computer models (ECMWF - European Model) which shows low temperatures Tuesday morning ranging from a couple degrees above freezing in the Cumberland River Valley to -7°F in the Big Sandy River Valley.

Our low temperature forecast as of Saturday afternoon is zero. I am slightly tempted to knock the temperature down a degree or two into the negatives, but did not do so for two reasons. The first is clouds at night absorb the heat emitted from the ground into space, and emit it back to the surface keeping us slightly warmer. Also, light winds can mix down slightly warmer air from aloft. As we get closer, if clouds look to clear out faster or winds look to weaken, we may need to adjust this temperature down a degree or two.

Overall, once we drop below freezing on Sunday night, we will not get above 32°F again until at least Thursday. By then we start to deal with another storm system that could bring a slushy, wintry mix on Friday.

Bundle up and think warm thoughts! Hopefully this will help...

-- Meteorologist Brandon Orr


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