Mild Start, Colder, Slightly Snowy End to Week

Mild Start, Colder, Slightly Snowy End to Week

This week will transition from mild to cold with Wednesday rain in the transition. Some snowflakes are in the forecast for Thursday.
Monday, January 9, 2012: Mild Start, Cold and Slightly Snowy End to Week

Good Monday morning, everybody.  A new week is here, and a weak disturbance is sliding east across central and eastern Kentucky.  Some scattered, light rain showers, occasionally mixed with a few sleet pellets, have been crossing the I-64 corridor and much of southern Kentucky.  Here is the mid-morning radar picture.

Courtesy: WSI Corp.

The weak wave promoting this precipitation is sliding east, and the rain will not be here long.  The afternoon will be a drier and eventually brighter time.  Measurable precipitation will generally remain south of I-64, and the bulk of it will be to the east of I-75 from midmorning through the final southeastern KY showers in the afternoon.  Here is the GFS forecast for precipitation today, ranging from no measurable rain in northern parts of the Bluegrass to 0.25" near Black Mountain.

Courtesy: Penn State Univ. Dept. of Meteorology

After a drier Tuesday, Wednesday will be a washout with soaking rain across the entire area.  1/2" of rain or more is expected in most places.  The real impact of the midweek storm, though, will be the arrival of much colder air as rain exits to the east.  Temperatures will tumble and we'll see highs in the 30s for the end of the week and through the weekend. 

Snow showers will occur on Thursday as flow from the northwest becomes established on the heels of the storm system.  With the help of the Great Lakes, a fraction of an inch of snow will be possible across central and eastern Kentucky.  As we experienced a week ago, it doesn't take much snow to cause big problems when temperatures are falling through the 20s.

Here is the latest GFS forecast for snowfall over the next five days.  Locally, this would fall on Thursday and into Friday morning.

Courtesy: Penn State Univ. Dept. of Meteorology

The cold air will be here for AT LEAST a little while.  Readings will remain below average, even for mid-January, through the weekend.  Beyond that time frame, there is some disagreement among the computer models.  Take a look at the mean position of the upper-level flow for the early to middle part of NEXT week, as forecast by the European Model (left) and GFS / AVN (right).


Courtesy: Penn State Univ. Dept. of Meteorology

If the European model is correct, and we go "zonal" (faster flow, west-to-east), the colder air would be barricaded back to the north over the arctic, and we would recover to milder weather by the middle of next week.  HOWEVER, the GFS model holds onto the trough across the eastern US, and we would continue to see flow from the northwest, keeping us colder through most of next week as well.

We'll have to see how all of this evolves with time.

Until then, we are confident in a big cooldown for the end of the week and through next weekend.

Have a great start to the week.


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