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Snow chance Thursday? Chief Meteorologist Bill Meck shares early thoughts

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Posted at 10:14 PM, Jan 03, 2022

(LEX 18) — If you’ve been around a newscast or a social media post today, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve learned of a potential snow maker for us on Thursday. There’s also a pretty good chance that we’re going to get something out of this, but of course, you want to know what’s going to be in your backyard Friday morning.

Let’s talk about the setup. Late Wednesday a pretty decent storm is heading up into the northern Great Lakes. What it’s going to do is yank a chunk of some of the brutally cold air from western Canada down our way with a cold front that passes through here benignly. That is NOT our potential snow maker. However, it’s the one thing we are really confident about. It’s going to get very cold to finish the week and it is a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Now here’s where life, and this snow, gets interesting. What should happen is a wave develops along the Arctic front. This will be the genesis for the snow, but the question is where will this development and phasing with the Arctic air take place. This really is the biggest variable to solve and the key to all of this.

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If this develops and phases somewhere around the Ozarks late Wednesday, as the Euro and Canadian model think, then some Kentucky folks get a nice lollipop of snow by Friday morning. If this develops later, say closer to, or on the other side of the Appalachians as the American models, GFS and NAM...and our in-house model, are saying, we get little or nothing out of the deal. In that scenario, the East Coast gets their second big snow in a week, and they likely will anyway regardless. Yes, we do realize that’s a nice wide meteorological barn door. Our point is getting you set up for this week’s big weather story and introducing you to the possibilities.

As you’ve watched us now for nearly a quarter century, we always take a reasoned and prudent approach to snow forecasting. Could we put numbers out now? Of course, but it’s also a foolhardy idea given the uncertainty, and for some, the money involved. Our philosophy has always been to give you good information you need to make informed decisions, with the time to do it, which in most cases is about 36 hours out. We can see what is on the playing field, not just in model land, and not make idle speculation.

Given all of the above, I do think we’ll enjoy some snow Thursday. I would also trend to the lighter side for most at this point just for the fact that so many things need to fall into place at just the right moments for a run to the grocery store snow. With that, even a little snow can cause problems. So, given this is snow in Kentucky, come back tomorrow as we update the information for you.