LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Blizzard Watch will take effect for several western Kentucky counties Tuesday night, along with parts of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. The National Weather Service in Paducah issued the watch as a low pressure system threatens to bring heavy snow and high winds to the Tristate region Christmas Night through Wednesday morning.
The watch issued Monday afternoon covers Fulton, Hickman, Carlisle, Ballard, McCracken, Livingston, Crittenden, Union, Webster and Henderson counties until Wednesday morning. Kentucky's Mississippi River and Ohio River border counties are expecting 4 inches or more of snow.
Based on the system's current track, some areas in the Tristate could get up to a foot of snow. Where the snow changes over to rain, the forecasted snow totals are much harder to pin down. In addition to heavy snow, wind gusts between 35-45mph are also possible through Wednesday morning. Strong wind gusts will reduce visibility, making it difficult for holiday travelers.
Conditions are expected to be the worst Christmas Evening and then gradually improve overnight through Wednesday morning.
The N.W.S. warns if the Blizzard Watch is upgraded to a warning, travel conditions will become nearly impossible due to blowing snow. Whiteout conditions could create a life threatening situation for anyone attempting to venture outdoors for an extended period of time.
Power outages are also a strong possibility as the storm passes, thanks to heavy wet snow and strong wind gusts.
In central and eastern Kentucky, a light snowfall is expected as the low tracks east Tuesday night. Strong gusty wind and heavy rain are also likely through Christmas Eve and Wednesday morning, with temperatures dipping below freezing Tuesday evening.
You can track current weather conditions in your area online using FirstAlert Defender on WKYT.com.