LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Don't look for a repeat of last winter's unusually mild temperatures and little snowfall this time, according to the WKYT Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey's annual winter forecast.
Bailey expects a much colder and snowier winter than last year.
"This winter will be a far cry from the mild and relatively snowless winter of last year," Bailey said. "We are already seeing this so far in November, which is averaging colder than normal across Kentucky. Last November was super warm."
While temperatures will run near normal, Bailey expects the winter will be anything but normal.
Cold start with a warmer, stormier ending
"We will have huge temperature swings, with the coldest temperatures likely in the first half of winter," Bailey said. "The second half may turn much milder."
Bailey says given the weak La Nina and blocking developing near Greenland and the Arctic, cold shots will likely team up with moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico to give Kentucky an active winter.
"We will likely see normal to slightly above normal snowfall for much of the region," Bailey said. "There is also the increased potential for a few ice events."
The second half of winter may turn especially wet and stormy, according to Bailey.
"There are some signals indicating an early start to the severe weather season. It's also a setup that can produce too much rain around from time to time," Bailey said.
Bold prediction of a massive temperature swing
As part of his annual winter forecast, Bailey also makes what he calls his bold prediction.
"The bold prediction is for a 50 degree or greater temperature drop within a 24-hour period," Bailey said. "That's actually pretty extreme, but my analog years suggest some extreme temperature swings are on the way this winter."
Last year's bold prediction of a freezing rain and ice event didn't materialize because of the mild winter breaking his string of nailing three consecutive bold predictions.
Bailey has been putting together seasonal forecasts for 15 years and he has learned a lot since 2002.
"When I started doing this it was just like anything else, a learning process. During that time I have learned that history can and often does repeat itself," Bailey said.