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Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey: Winter Storm Tracker

(Jonathan Knepper | Unsplash)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 11:29 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2022 at 2:33 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Our winter storm is blasting central and eastern Kentucky out there today and it’s causing all kinds of issues. Several inches of heavy wet snow and a little bit of ice are teaming up to give us another major winter storm.

At the end of the day, I still see very little to change my overall impression of how things play out…

Again, my main concern is on the western edge of the snow because it’s a super sharp cutoff. Will this be perfect? Nope… But I feel it’s certainly on the right path. Some areas of the southeast may come in with the under because of a little drier air.

For Snowfall
For Snowfall(WKYT)

It’s always good to have the EURO and NAM on board with similar forecasts.

I have you guys all hooked up with your radars and cams to track this winter storm across Kentucky. I will have updates through the day and on WKYT-TV.

PREVIOUS UPDATE

Good Sunday to one and all. A major winter storm is moving across much of the region today and will bring significant amounts of snow and a little bit of ice. This is a system that will cause all kinds of problems through Monday.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Odds strongly favor this being a major winter storm for much of central and eastern Kentucky with snowfall totals ranging from 2″-10″, depending on where you live.
  • A wintry mix and snow starts across southern Kentucky and blossoms as it rolls northeastward through the day.
  • This mix and light freezing rain will then quickly switch to a heavy, wet snowfall that can put down snow rates of 1″ or so per hour for a time.
  • That snow will expand back toward the northwest into areas of central Kentucky this afternoon.
  • Our prime snow making time is this afternoon and evening.
  • Given the fact this is a wet snow, power issues may show up in some parts of the state.
  • Road conditions will go downhill very quickly, and we may see another round of big travel issues.
  • The snow tapers off across the northeast late tonight, but the next system quickly fills back in early Monday.
  • Monday turns into a widespread light snow maker across central and eastern Kentucky and can drop another inch or two.
  • Travel conditions through our MLK Day will be in bad shape across central and eastern Kentucky and lingering issues will likely show up into Tuesday.
  • Winds are another factor with this setup and some gusts of 25-3mph may show up. That may plaster snows to the sides of buildings and trees.

So where does all this set up? I’m rolling with the last snow map I put out earlier…

For Snowfall
For Snowfall(WKYT)

There will be some locations where sleet and freezing rain cut deeper into snow totals. I think this may show up more across areas of southeastern Kentucky, so keep that in mind. Some of these areas may not make the low end of the forecast if the mix lasts longer than anticipated.

The latest forecast models have minor variations, but they all have an overall similar look to my map above...

SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)
SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)
SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)
SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)

RAP

SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)

Updates will come your way later today and I will have updates through the day and on WKYT-TV. Have a good one and take care.

PREVIOUS UPDATE

Good evening, folks. I’m dropping by with an evening update with a NEW CALL FOR SNOWFALL. Here ya go...

For Snowfall
For Snowfall(WKYT)

Some of the late day forecast models continue to suggest a higher band of accumulating snow from the Lexington metro northeast...

EURO
EURO(WKYT)
Snowfall
Snowfall(WKYT)

That run of the GFS is much farther west than the earlier run of the model.

Updates later on. Have a good one and take care.

PREVIOUS UPDATE

Good afternoon once again. I’m dropping by to show the Winter Storm Warning that’s now out for much of central and eastern Kentucky. Here’s a look...

WSW
WSW(WKYT)

The new Hi Res NAM shows one amazing snowfall line across central Kentucky...

Snow
Snow(WKYT)

The same model run does show some freezing rain...

Ice
Ice(WKYT)

My previous update is below and has my current call for snowfall.

Have a good one and take care.

PREVIOUS UPDATE

Good afternoon, everyone. It’s all eyes on our developing winter storm set to impact central and eastern Kentucky Sunday and Sunday night. I expect Winter Storm Warnings to go up very soon for much of central and eastern Kentucky.

Our system moves into southern Kentucky later tonight and early Sunday. From there, this lifts to the north and northeast across central and eastern Kentucky Sunday. This begins as a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain before going over to snow as the day goes on. The heaviest snows fall in the afternoon and evening before tapering quickly overnight. Light snow then builds back in quickly on Monday as a system drops in from the northwest.

Winds will also be gusty during this time and may contribute to the issues from this being a heavy snowfall.

About that snowfall, It’s a work in progress and I’m trying to get more specific. This is my current call for snowfall...

Snow
Snow(WKYT)

You can see I’ve added my confidence levels to the forecast and the lowest confidence I have is from the Lexington metro and west. The back edge of the snow will set up in central Kentucky and 30 miles could mean the difference in 4″ of snow and nothing! This is NOT the final call and I will be updating that through the day and night.

The NAM fam and EURO are in good agreement and a little west of me, but not by much...

SNOWFALL
SNOWFALL(WKYT)
SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)
SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)

Do you see just how crazy sharp that line is across central Kentucky?? That’s absolutely crazy to see.

In addition to that line, freezing rain and sleet throw another wrench into the snow totals. Areas getting more of a mix see lower snowfall numbers. Areas getting little to now mix, obviously, come in with higher snows.

For those on the outside and looking in, hang tough. This is a harsh winter pattern we are just getting started on and I see plenty of additional snow chances over the rest of the month and into early February.

Updates come your way later today, so check back. Have a good one and take care.

PREVIOUS UPDATE

Good Saturday, folks. A developing winter storm continues to take aim at the region and is likely to bring significant snows and some ice Sunday into Sunday night.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

- Light snow impacts areas of western Kentucky today and a few flakes fly into the rest of the state. The west can pick up light accumulations, but most of the region won’t see very much.

- Our double barrel low pressure system is a complicated one, but things are much more clear on how things play out Sunday and Sunday night.

- The lead low works into east Tennessee and may get all the way into far southeastern Kentucky before weakening and letting the big daddy low take over. That low then strengthens from the Carolinas to New England through Sunday night.

- Snow and a wintry mix expands from Tennessee into southern Kentucky later tonight and early Sunday. From there, this spreads to the north and engulfs much of central and eastern Kentucky.

- Much of the early Sunday action may be a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain before going over to snow as the day wears on.

- A band of heavy snow is likely to develop across central and eastern Kentucky. The trend on this has been focusing a bit west with each run.

- Several inches of snow will be likely Sunday and Sunday night, but this will have a very sharp cut off on the western of it. The threat for freezing rain and sleet also complicates the snow forecast.

- This will be a heavy wet snow and some areas could be looking at some power issues. Roads will also become pretty nasty once again.

- The snow tapers Sunday night, but don’t sleep on Monday as it could drop another inch or so of snow as an upper-level system moves through.

My NEW CALL FOR SNOWFALL moved everything west by a little bit and added some light accumulations of sleet and freezing rain...

SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)

Again, I will have updates to that map through the day, so keep that in mind.

As far as what the forecast models are saying, here’s a look...

Snowfall
Snowfall(WKYT)
SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)
SNOWFALL
SNOWFALL(WKYT)
SNOW
SNOW(WKYT)
Snowfall
Snowfall(WKYT)

I will have updates through the day, so check back. Have a great Saturday and take care.

PREVIOUS UPDATE

Good evening, folks. I wanted to drop by for a quick update to freshen things up when it comes to our late weekend Winter Storm Threat.

Things are still on pace for this winter storm to impact central and eastern Kentucky, but how much of an impact it has depends on where you live. Here’s where my confidence is currently the highest...

Confidence
Confidence(WKYT)

My First Call For Snowfall has not changed from earlier...

SNOWFALL
SNOWFALL(WKYT)

Again, we are walking a very fine line with that system in central Kentucky and that is where the greatest changes to the forecast may show up.

A Winter Storm Watch continues for much of eastern Kentucky and that gets into areas of central Kentucky...

WSW
WSW(WKYT)

I will throw you another update later this evening and have the latest update on WKYT NEWS at 10 on the CW Lexington and then on WKYT at 11.

Enjoy the evening and take care.

PRIOR UPDATE

Good afternoon, everyone. We continue to watch a winter storm on track to impact our weather as we get into the upcoming weekend. The extent of that impact certainly depends on where you live with central and eastern Kentucky being in the main impact zone.

Here’s an updated breakdown on how things may play out:

  • A WINTER STORM WATCH is now out for much of central and eastern Kentucky. This will likely get moved around a bit as we get closer and will be upgraded to a warning. Winter Weather Advisories will also be issued for other areas of the state.
  • A period of light snow moves into the state tonight and early Saturday. This will then expand farther east during the day and should be good for some light accumulations. That’s especially the case south of the Interstate 64 corridor. Overall, this isn’t a big deal.
  • A band of heavier snow will impact areas of far western Kentucky during this time.
  • Low pressure moves into the Tennessee Valley and weakens Saturday night and early Sunday. A stronger low then develops across Georgia and into the Carolinas and rolls up the eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains.
  • This puts areas of central and eastern Kentucky in the line of fire for potentially heavy snow and some sleet and freezing rain Sunday into Sunday night.
  • Several inches of snow will show up in this area, but there’s going to be a super sharp cutoff on the western slide of the accumulating snows. This looks to show up near the Louisville and Cincy areas, but this is still subject to change.
  • Given the fact this will be a heavy wet snow, some power issues may show up for any area getting 4″ or more inches of the white stuff.
  • Snows taper off Sunday night with snow showers putting down additional light accumulations for Monday.

Here’s a look at my First Call For Snowfall...

snow
snow(WKYT)

Keep in mind, this is not the final call and changes will surely be made as we get closer. The forecast is complicated by the potential for sleet and freezing rain to get mixed in. The more of those two we get, the lower the snow totals.

I will have another update later today and on WKYT-TV beginning at 4pm. Until then, make it a great day and take care.

PRIOR UPDATE

Good Friday, everyone. A developing winter storm will take aim at the state over the weekend and is likely to put down significant amounts of snow for many.

Here’s a breakdown of how things look to play out:

- A period of light snow moves into the state Friday night and early Saturday. This will then expand farther east during the day and should be good for some light accumulations. That’s especially the case south of the Interstate 64 corridor.

- A band of heavier snow will impact areas of western Kentucky during this time.

- Low pressure moves into the Tennessee Valley and weakens Saturday night and early Sunday. A stronger low then develops across Georgia and into the Carolinas and rolls up the eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains.

- This puts areas of central and eastern Kentucky in the line of fire for potentially heavy snow and some sleet and freezing rain Sunday into Sunday night.

- Several inches of snow will show up in this area, but there’s going to be a super sharp cutoff on the western slide of the accumulating snows. This looks to show up near the Louisville and Cincy areas, but this is still subject to change.

- Given the fact this will be a heavy wet snow, some power issues may show up for any area getting 4″ or more inches of the white stuff.

- Snows taper off Sunday night with snow showers putting down additional light accumulations for Monday.

- I expect Winter Storm Watches to go up at some point on Friday.

Here’s a look at my latest Winter Storm Threat Maps...

Winter Storm Threat
Winter Storm Threat(WKYT)
Winter Storm
Winter Storm(WKYT)

Again, those are subject to change as things continue to become more clear on Friday. I will also have a First Call For Snowfall map out at some point Friday.

Enjoy your day and take care.

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