After a very soggy Wednesday, most places have picked up nearly half an inch of rain throughout the day. It has been a chilly rain too with high temperatures only reaching the mid 40s. This rain is only the beginning of the action coming our way. Tonight, scattered rain showers are expected as lows will remain above freezing (low 40s).
As of now, the morning commute should just be wet, but conditions will change during the day. The cold front will glide in beginning Thursday morning and the colder air combined with deep moisture will send us into a winter storm. Expect multiple types of precipitation with the worst being ice for a good amount of the state. Rain could change to freezing rain or sleet as early as mid morning for the Bluegrass region then the freezing line will gradually move south through the afternoon. Southern KY is more likely to see rain for most of Thursday before seeing a transition to rain/mix late evening.
An ICE STORM WARNING is in effect for central (including Lexington) and western KY. A WINTER STORM WARNING/WATCH for northern and eastern KY. Ice accumulation could reach 0.25"-0.5" by Friday morning with isolated spots up to 0.75". Half an inch of ice is likely to cause good coatings on cars, travel concerns and sporadic power outages. Last February, the icing totals got up toward 0.75" in southern KY and caused pretty big issues. Ice will be more confined to the north this round.
Travel will be hazardous as the temperatures begin to drop Thursday afternoon and evening. Please plan ahead and stay home if at all possible. Ice accumulation may also cause downed tree limbs and power outages, especially in the ice warning area.
A FLOOD WATCH is in effect for much of Southern and Southeastern KY until Friday morning. Up to 3 inches of rain is possible in these areas with little or no ice accumulation.
On the back side of this storm, we could see a little bit of snow falling on top of the ice or rain, but it will not be a significant amount. Once we move into Friday, we dry out, but remain below freezing. The weekend will be calmer and thaw by Sunday.