The weekend system is the main story, of course. Quick notes about short-term:
The clouds are lingering with this NW flow. This may help limit how much of a “drop” we see tonight in the cloudy zones (mid to upper 20s). Those that can remain clear have a better chance to get into the upper teens by sunrise. Cold and dry through Friday night.
Saturday/Sunday Potential Snow Event
1/16-17 Mix to rain
1/20-22 Rain or snow
As you guys know, forecasting snow events around here is a challenge hours before (sometimes even during it!) ...let alone 3 days out. So below is the data trends I am noticing so far but it is crucial that you check back in with the latest forecasts on the WAVE 3 Weather App.
The air will be dry Friday night so that will buy us some time. This would mean our first chance at anything reaching the ground would be after 3 or 4am Saturday morning. It does still look to be in the form of snow and yes, it looks to accumulate. This is where a quick couple of inches can accumulate with slick roads likely through sunrise. A delayed timing of this would help on road conditions.
It is the daytime period of Saturday that remains challenging. The track of the low pressure itself is still wobbling in the data. On top of that, I am seeing an influence of low-level dry air punching into the system for a few hours from TN to about I-64. This could allow for some modest warming to either end precip altogether for a few hours, or change it to light rain/drizzle. It would also mean the roads would become slushy/wet. The “reach” point of this dry air potential is crucial as those that can avoid the dry punch...would likely stay snow. This looks to be north of Louisville at this time...but close. Accumulations would then likely continue with slushy main roads but slick side roads.
Once we move into Saturday night, the backside of this low moves in and cools all of us down again back to snow with another period of accumulations that look mainly light with the exception of a few banding features that may enhance some of this snow. The location of those bands can’t be determined yet.
Slick roads would develop again Saturday night with improvements Sunday.
I can’t give you numbers officially or even ranges yet. We just aren’t there. What I can tell you is accumulations do look likely early Saturday and again Saturday night. So I do see us getting at least “something” out of this system. If we get this Sat daytime mix or rain setup, it would really complicate the snowfall forecast as the morning round would likely dwindle away before the second round. Which means impacts would not be that bad at all for us.
My concern is for the zones that can keep precipitation falling all day (likely snow). That looks to be north of Louisville at this time but we are only talking about a slight shift in all of these factors and we have a winter storm on our hands.
Here is how the risk zones look to me for now:
To get a plow-able snow...
North of I-64 60%
Along I-64 40%
South of I-64 30%
This is the best way I can explain the data trends for now. The video will have all of the visuals.
It will be an interesting system for sure. Tomorrow is going to be a key day to lock in some of the details so be sure to check back!