Saturday, December 12, 2009

12/12 - 11:45pm - Looking for Snow

I know many of us here in Kentuckiana are waiting for the first big snow of the season. While we generally don't see much snow around Louisville in December, the pattern right now in my opinion is very ripe for an early season snowfall. The long range computer models (GFS & Euro) heat things up this weekend and early next week, but temperatures quickly turn downhill again by the middle of next week. We may even see a small bit of snow next weekend with a possible clipper system. The southern storm track, the one that brings most of our snowfall, has been and will continue to be very active throughout the arrival of this new batch of arctic air next week. Receiving snow in Louisville is all about timing, which means we have to have an abundance of cold air in place as a low pressure system tracks to our south and east, preferably along the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Having one of these components out of place would mean rain or ice for us here in Louisville.

Many have asked: Does it look like we'll have a white Christmas? The answer is maybe. The possibility for light snow between now and the 25th looks pretty good right now, but getting a big storm in here will be tough. The GFS computer model has been hinting at some sort of snow event around Christmas for a couple days now, but accuracy that far out is very low. I'd say our chances for a white Christmas are probably the best since 2004, when we had a crippling snow/sleet system dump over a foot of snow in Louisville and Southern Indiana on the 22nd and 23rd of December. Just keep in mind that the pattern is ripe for snow, but that the specifics are blurry at this point.

If you're desperate to see some snow, head across the Ohio River to Paoli Peaks in Southern Indiana. They've been able to generate enough machine-made snow to open for skiing this weekend and they should be able to keep that snow on the ground through the warm spell we'll see early next week. Guess it's time to hit the slopes!

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