This evening we're still dealing with plain rain as temperatuers begin to fall across the area. As of 7pm we're all still above freezing and that looks to be right on track with the forecast. Areas near Indianapolis, just north of our counties, have seen snow and below freezing temps this evening. The northwest side of this system just northwest of Bedford has only broken precipitation instead of a continuous shield and the radar returns up there are light to begin with. This means snow potential is pretty limited tonight as previously thought.
So, the snow really doesn't look to be the big problem here. While we will see a changeover in our northwest counties after 10pm or so and here in Louisville around midnight, snow amounts look to be light enough that accumulations will stay generally under a half inch. I could see the potential for some enhancement as this moves eastward along I-64 as you start gaining elevation in central and eastern Kentucky so I've taken the trace to 0.5" band toward Frankfort and Lexington as well. The rest of us will be hard-pressed for a dusting.
The real issue tonight will be the threat of slick roads in at least a few spots as these temperatures crash in the wake of this system as a cold front moves through. Rain has been falling for a good portion of the day and the snow showers tonight will only act to keep those roads wet tonight where they do fall. Could this be a flash freeze setup where temps drop into the 20s fast enough that the water on the road freezes? Possibly. At this point I'm not sold on this being a problem that everyone will see, though. In our favor tonight are the winds that will be gusting as this front moves through. This will help to dry the roads at least slightly. We'll have to see if that's enough to stave off issues but at this point that's not a bet I'm willing to side with since the Monday morning commute could be the casualty of that forecast if roads don't dry fast enough. There's also a chance of a little bit of freezing drizzle overnight so that's something to consider. I've already seen a report of slick roads in Illinois tonight where a similar setup occurred so this system does have a history of it. The HRRR model and the RPM, two short-range models we use, have been fairly consistent with the setup tonight and you'll find the HRRR model output of what the radar may look like at 3am, the low of 26° here in the city by 7am, and the wind speeds around 5am when the cold temps will really lock in.
The surface low with this clipper system is located just south of the Louisville Metro as of 8pm. This clipper is pivoting eastward as we speak, soon to head out toward the East Coast and create quite a BIG problem for the Northeast as it rapidly intensifies early Monday. Blizzard Warnings are up from New York City to Boston and into New England as more than two feet of snow and powerful winds are possible up there. This could be an historic storm should the forecast pan out. Travel to these areas will likely not be possible for at least a day or two starting tomorrow.
This pattern sets us up for another quick-hitting sysetm early Tuesday morning that could spread additional light snow and possibly even a rain shower in our western counties. A dusting can't be ruled out with this but at this point it doesn't look like a big weather-maker as the moisture in the atmosphere will be hard to come by after the current system we're facing. Highs by Tuesday afternoon will recover somewhat, making it into the upper 30s.
Wednesday looks quiet, sunny, and slightly warmer but rain returns Thursday and that may end as a snow shower or two early Friday. This is another one of these northern-stream systems diving down from Canada. Next weekend looks more interesting as cold air plunges in from the north. Temperatures should drop all day Sunday before we end up with highs in the 20s for the start of the next workweek. Can't rule out some overnight lows getting close to the single digits in this pattern! For you model watchers, I'd avoid looking at the GFS like the plague. It's just not handling this setup well and the ensembles alongside the Euro have been far more consistent. As far as snow goes, we may see a weak batch move through as the cold air arrives on Sunday of next week. Models have really been backing off on the idea of a phased system that would inject moisture from the southern stream in here for a big snow. Given how strong this cold air is that's pushing in I'm supportive of this, but only somewhat. We'll have to see if the idea of a phased system comes back to the models as we go through the week, especially since the Canadian has been trying to hold on to that possibility in a few recent runs. In any case, We'll need to watch for a southern stream system that may try to inject itself into the cold air by next week as that could bring some wintry precipitation to the area.