Sunday, December 30, 2012

12/30 - 8pm - Anyone Up for a Third Round of Wintry Weather?

With two winter weather events within a week's time in the books for Kentuckiana, it's apparently time for a third! Unfortunately the timing for this one is pretty bad. Just as folks are going home from New Year's parties in the early hours of Tuesday morning we could have snow, sleet, or even freezing rain falling in the region. The good news here is that regardless of what falls from the sky, there won't be much of it. Precipitation amounts will remain light since heavy rain and storms in the South will be stealing our moisture here up north in Kentucky and Indiana during the time of the event. As far as timing goes, a few snow showers will move through tomorrow afternoon as this system begins to move toward us. Going into the evening is when things get tricky.

As a weak area of low pressure continues to approach we'll see some warming aloft out ahead of it. This warming has the potential to turn our falling snow into sleet or even freezing rain. The GFS is leading the charge at the moment on the potential for freezing rain in Louisville as it has a layer above freezing from 4,000 to 7,000 feet at 4am on Tuesday morning that would support freezing rain. The NAM model keeps us all snow with the entire atmosphere being below freezing. Given that the models have overestimated temperatures aloft with the past two snowstorms we've seen lately, I'm inclined to think that Louisville will stay mostly or all snow. Another thing to focus on will be surface temperatures. Should they be just below freezing this snow, sleet, or freezing rain will stick to the roads and make for tricky travel on late Monday night. If they're just above freezing then only expect to see accumulation on the grass and elevated surfaces. We do have a bit of snowcover in Louisville now, so that might lean us more in the direction of below freezing instead of above for this event overnight Monday into Tuesday. We're going to be awfully close to freezing for much of the night regardless. Areas north of the city will likely stay all snow and below freezing while those areas to the south will see a wintry mix and temperatures just above freezing until the early morning hours. National Weather Service offices across the Plains have issued Winter Weather Advisories due to this system, in purple on the image to the left, but uncertainty about precipitation type and amounts in the Ohio Valley has NWS Louisville waiting for more agreement before they issue any advisories.

Like I said before, accumulations are going to be light for this event. The NAM (right) has up to an inch of snow in many areas and the GFS model has been a little more optimistic at times today with 1-3" across the area. Like the last two snow events, I'm thinking that the amount of precipitation being put out on the models will adjust upward a bit as we get closer to time (tonight and tomorrow morning). Given the trends I'm seeing right now I think we'll see 1-2" of snow in portions of Louisville and points northward with up to an inch of snow and mixed precipitation to the south. Once again... grumble grumble grumble... Louisville is right on the line between feast and famine with the snow. Southern Indiana has been the big winner with snow over the past week while folks south of the Ohio River are raising their hands in favor of more. That is, if you're a snow lover of course. So, we'll be looking to see over the next few hours how the models handle the amount of precipitation forecast, and temperatures both aloft and at the surface. Shifts in these could mean some significant changes to the forecast for many areas!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Some of us want snow in MS, Mr. Ryan! So, if we are to get these thunderstorms, is it going to warm up considerably?....cause it's actually cold here now, to me at least it is! :) Hope you have a Happy New Year!! Stay safe!