Heavy Impact Winter Storm

Hazardous travel likely and power outages possible
Posted at 7:27 AM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-14 21:47:56-05

Activity has picked up tonight as some freezing drizzle and mist have fallen and frozen onto roads in southeastern and eastern KY creating issues for travel. Use extra caution if you must travel overnight as more light drizzle and well-below freezing temperatures continue.

The big show begins overnight as an initial wave of snow and freezing rain arrives from the west. Precipitation rates will increase as we move into Monday morning where roads will start to see impacts. Due to ice still on surfaces and temperatures remaining below freezing, it will not take long for snow to begin accumulating. Quick accumulation will even occur on roads as surface temperatures remain low and below freezing. Bridges, overpasses, turn lanes and shoulders will collect snow the quickest. Travel will become impacted early Monday morning and will continue to be through the day. Ice will also have a chance for accumulation in the southeastern counties where temperatures will run above freezing above the surface. The initial wave could bring 1” to 3” of snow and around 0.10” of ice accumulation. Impacts will be felt with wave one, but greater impacts will come in the second wave.

A brief break in the action will occur late Monday morning and into the early afternoon. This calm will separate the initial batch from the second wave. Wave two will begin in the mid-afternoon hours on Monday bringing renewed snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Heavy showers with high precipitation rates will continue through the overnight into Tuesday morning.

Travel will become near-impossible for most areas starting Monday evening and lasting into Tuesday morning at least. Power outages are possible as well. This is a system where you need to stay off roads at all costs. It’s likely wherever you are Monday morning is where you’ll be staying put through Tuesday morning at least. Treated roads will improve through the day Tuesday. It will take several days for untreated roads to recover.


The National Weather Service has upgraded most of the state to a Winter Storm Warning which will be in effect tonight through 1 pm Tuesday. An Ice Storm Warning will be in effect for our southeastern counties. A Winter Storm Watch will be in effect for Bell, Harlan and Letcher counties until 1 pm Tuesday.

When it is all said and done, we’re looking at 4” to 8” of snow especially in the Bluegrass region with locally higher amounts likely west. A line of heavy sleet with 2" to 6" of snow is possible on the back side of the storm in a portion of the state from south central KY all the way up northeast through Richmond and toward Flemingsburg. Then ice accumulations between 0.25” and 0.50” possible for east and southeastern counties with a trace to 2" snow on top as the storm winds down.