Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter Storm Warning in Effect for Southern Kentucky

Active Alerts for Warren County:

Winter Storm Warning in effect until noon CST Thursday
Flood Watch in effect until 6pm CST today
Flood Advisory in effect until 730pm CST today


Good afternoon, winter storm warnings are now in effect for the entire state of Kentucky as a combination of freezing rain, sleet, and snow is expected to affect the region later this afternoon and overnight. Currently, a positively-tilted longwave trough axis is off to our northwest with an embedded jet streak containing wind speeds greater than 200 knots. The jet streak is responsible for the advection of moisture into the southern U.S. Multiple rounds of rainfall tapped into this moisture last night and earlier today. Many locations in Warren County have seen anywhere from 1.5-2" of rainfall over the past 24 hours. As a result, a flood watch and flood advisory is in effect until this evening, so be on the lookout for high water. This moisture will be in place as our temperatures drop below freezing behind a cold front currently over middle Tennessee. Once temperatures drop below freezing, the fun will begin.

Temperatures are currently in the middle 30s across southern Kentucky. Short-range model guidance is in decent agreement that surface temperatures will drop below freezing in Warren County by around 4pm CST today. Once this happens, we will see a very brief transition to a mix of freezing rain and sleet. This wintry mix is expected to continue for a few hours thanks to a nose of warm air aloft. As colder air moves in overnight, precipitation is expected to change over to all snow around 7pm CST. Increasing snowfall rates will lead to accumulating snowfall on roads beginning after sunset this evening. Snowfall will be heavy at times and will last throughout the night. By tomorrow morning, we can expect snowfall accumulations of 4-8" with less than an inch of sleet accumulation at the onset of precipitation. It is important to realize that if we see a slower transition from rain to wintry mix or wintry mix to snow these totals will be less. Additionally, models have been consistently picking up on a band of heavy snow setting up over central Kentucky tonight, if this band runs through our area, snow totals could be higher. According to the Weather Prediction Center, Bowling Green is on the edge of a high (70%) risk for at least 4 inches of snow to occur.

Day 1 probability of at least 4 inches of snowfall (Courtesy: WPC)
Snow will still be falling by daybreak tomorrow with a frontal boundary positioned just to our south. Snowfall will gradually taper off through the morning with an additional inch of snow possible before noon tomorrow. Flurries will be possible during the afternoon as skies become mostly cloudy. The very cold air mass left in the wake of this cold front means that high temperatures will struggle to reach the middle 20s tomorrow. High pressure will settle over the Ohio Valley tomorrow night as skies become mostly clear. A combination of light northerly winds, snow on the ground, and clear skies will allow temperatures to approach the 0° F mark with wind chills reaching as low as -10° F. Bundle up.

The jet stream flow will become nearly zonal throughout the weekend which suggests that southern Kentucky can expect a slight break from the active weather pattern we have been experiencing this week. A gradual warming trend will take place through Sunday with temperatures possible making a run at 50° by the end of the weekend. Expect mostly clear skies throughout the weekend with a few sprinkles possible Sunday morning as a disturbance passes to our north.

Today 3/4 - High: 37° Low: 19° Winds: N at 5-15 mph
Scattered rain showers until 4pm with an additional 0.25" of rainfall. Rain mixed with sleet and snow until 7pm with sleet accumulations of around 0.5". Snow after 7pm with snow accumulations of 4-8".
Skies: Cloudy

Thursday - High: 26 ° Low: 3 ° Winds: N at 5-10mph
AM snow showers with additional snow accumulations up to 1". Mostly cloudy skies during the day will give way to mostly clear skies overnight.

Friday - High: 30 ° Low: 15 ° Winds: NE at 3-7 mph becoming Calm overnight
Skies: Mostly Clear

Saturday - High: 41 ° Low: 23° Winds: SW at 3-7 mph
Skies: Mostly Clear

Sunday - High: 48 ° Low: 28 ° Winds: SW at 3-7 mph
Skies: Partly Cloudy

Forecaster: Zack Leasor

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