Wintry mix on the table heading into Tuesday
Light amounts of freezing rain and sleet across parts of Central and Eastern Kentucky could make for a tricky commute Tuesday morning
We saw an interesting start to the week Monday across Central and Eastern Kentucky with a frontal boundary draped across the area. With cooler air on the north side of the front interacting with some low level moisture created some fairly dense fog during the early afternoon hours along the I-64 corridor. Visibility dropped to less then 1/4 of a mile at times as we saw quite a spread on either side of the boundary. By mid-afternoon, temperatures had dropped into the upper 30s in Lexington with mid-50s down south.
As the boundary drops south into early Tuesday, everyone will get in on the colder air and with some moisture riding up and over the front, we’ll see a set-up that favors sleet and freezing rain across parts of the area. Keep in mind it’s not the amounts that are a concern, it’s the timing and impact with much of this occurring into the wee hours of Tuesday with some slick roadways possible for the morning commute. Below is a look at where the favored areas are for the sleet and freezing rain. A Winter Weather Advisory is out for much of Central and Eastern Kentucky until 1pm on Tuesday.
Since we are talking freezing rain and sleet, the difference between the 2 are important. As the cold air settles at the surface and temperatures are at or below freezing, you get a “nose” of warmer air stack right above the surface. When the liquid falls from that warm layer and doesn’t have enough time to refreeze into an ice pellet, it freezes on contact with the below freezing surface and that’s when you get freezing rain and the glaze of ice that is so dangerous. On the other hand, if the warm layer is a touch higher, the liquid refreezes into an ice pellet and “bounces” when it hits the surface and accumulates similar to snow. Sleet can still cause some issues with slick roadways but it typically not as problematic as freezing rain but really the lesser of two evils.
We could see another round of a wintry mix for part so the region on Thursday, although it may end up being more of a chilly rain event. Below is the GFS model, which is the most aggressive of all the data with the others showing a much drier solution so at this point the trend may be for less moisture and less impact so it’s something we’ll watch once we get past things on Tuesday. Stay tuned.
MONDAY NIGHT: Colder with a wintry mix. Lows in the upper-20s.
TUESDAY: Cloudy and cold, more wintry mix late. Highs in the upper 20s to around 30 degrees.
TUESDAY NIGHT: Scattered clouds and cold. Lows in the low-20s.