Bill Meck's Sunday Outlook

Bill Meck forecast.jpg
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jan 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-16 12:30:13-05

We’re now a day away from Kentucky’s next round of winter weather. Winter Storm Warnings have been posted for much of the area, including Lexington, Sunday and Sunday night. Even from about 24 hours out from the onset, this remains a remarkably complex scenario.

The complicating factor is really what will be going on over your head (which in all honesty is where weather comes from…). Specifically, we’re expecting a warm layer of air a couple of thousand feet up to really mess things up, but unfortunately, that’s a typical Kentucky winter setup.

What that does is mess with precipitation types and thus the overall snowfall amounts. Most of us should see various forms of precipitation, especially early on with this storm. There may be a point where even at the onset there is just plain rain, even up into the Bluegrass. Evaporative cooling should quickly change that to sleet and then eventually snow as the column of air chills. There may be a decent period of a wintry mix south of Lexington, and in fact over southern and southeastern Kentucky a significant period of non-snow is possible.

We expect this to begin Sunday morning across southern Kentucky, and for a time maybe rain and a wintry mix. We’ll watch the precipitation shield spread northward during the morning and into the early afternoon. Travel conditions will likely deteriorate during the afternoon and into Sunday night. As the afternoon wears on, everything should change to snow, and may come down heavily at times.

The snow totals remain tricky and there has been little model consistency both run to run of a model and from model to model. With that said, we’ve only made a few tweaks to what we put out yesterday. We kept Lexington in the 2-5 inch range. If there is less sleet, we may go a bit above, but at that point, we’re quibbling over about an inch. A slightly heavier line of snow is just south of Lexington and I-64 east where we continue with a 4 to 8-inch band. There will be a decent amount of a wintry mix which will play havoc with the snowfall totals. We feel that overall though there should be enough liquid equivalent of stuff falling out of the sky to overcome that mix. Across the south and southeast, we’ve expanded the area and cut the snow totals back to 3 to 6 with a significant amount of sleet, freezing rain and rain with this. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got a 1 to 3-inch snow band northwest of Lexington. There will likely be a very tight gradient of who gets snow and who doesn’t and those numbers should fall quickly as you go north and west.

This remains a complex and changing storm. We’ll continue to bring you the latest both on-air and online with LEX 18 StormTracker Weather.