We’re a little over 24 hours from the next winter storm that will bring snow to a good portion of the forecast area. Areas that have not had measurable snowfall, including Lexington, are expected to record the first of the season through the day on Thursday. As for now, things are gearing up for quite the opposite. Temperatures are starting cold, but above freezing. Breezy southwesterly winds are pumping in *warm* air (relatively) . This will translate into the afternoon where temperatures warm into the upper 40s, or about 5 degrees above normal.
The first feature overnight will be a dry cold front. This will bring an early shot at cold air for the morning hours tomorrow, which is not going to help us any. It may not bring any snow, but the freezing air it delivers will be enough to cool road surfaces down to freezing before the snow arrives. Once the snow does get to the forecast area (mid-to-late morning), it will have no trouble sticking to cold surfaces, and colder/untreated pavement. Some warmer air will allow road surfaces to warm above freezing briefly through the early afternoon, but once the second round of cold air arrives, pavement will cool below freezing again. Snow will continue through the day Thursday coming to an end late in the evening and around midnight for far southeastern counties.
When its all finished, we’re expecting a general amount of 1” to 4” spread across the forecast area. The further south and east you live, the likelihood of higher snow totals. The Bluegrass region and I-64 east corridor are expecting to run in the 1” to 3” range. The Lake Cumberland Region and Southeast Cumberland Plateau will run in the 3” to 5” range with some locally higher amounts sprinkled in.
A WINTER STORM WATCH is in effect for the southeastern counties through Friday morning. Travel is expected to be most impacted in these counties, especially in rural locations. The rest of the forecast area will also be dealing with travel impacts, primarily due to the fact that this is the first measurable snowfall of the season. Commutes likely to be impacted across Kentucky will be the midday and evening commute Thursday and the morning commute Friday. If you don’t have to be out on the roads, it’s best not to be.
Don’t sleep on the cold air expected both days, although Friday will be a little worse. Temperatures will remain below freezing for all locations through the entire day Friday, which will keep a lot of the snow on the ground but make for bitter outside temperatures. “Bundle up” is the key phrase with lots of layers.