Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Jackson, KY

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000 FXUS63 KJKL 231155 AFDJKL AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION National Weather Service Jackson KY 755 AM EDT Fri Mar 23 2018 .UPDATE... Issued at 755 AM EDT FRI MAR 23 2018 Mid clouds have increased across the lower Ohio Valley this morning as mid-high clouds continue to stream toward the northeast out of western Kentucky. Otherwise, expect frost and any lingering fog to mix out within an hour or two as temperatures warm. && .SHORT TERM...(Today through Saturday) Issued at 411 AM EDT FRI MAR 23 2018 High pressure will maintain dry weather across eastern Kentucky this morning and afternoon as clouds steadily increase from the southwest. This uptick in cloud cover will be stemming from a shortwave trough and accompanying surface low migrating from the Great Plains into the Midwest. This will bring precipitation across the eastern portion of the Commonwealth this evening through tonight, beginning in the Lake Cumberland region and moving northeast through the night. While warm enough air should filter in to keep precipitation of the liquid variety south and west of roughly a McKee to Harlan line, areas northeast of this line will see a mix with snow and perhaps some periods of sleet. Not expecting freezing rain to be an issue given the presence of ice aloft. However, a tight gradient will likely exist between rain and a mix with snow/sleet as the recent cold dome holds strong across northeast Kentucky with the approaching surface low translating east/southeast through the Ozarks toward the northern reaches of Tennessee. Exactly where the accompanying warm nose and remnant cold air reside will play an integral role in where impactful snowfall amounts occur. Given recent trends, have opted to hoist a Winter Weather Advisory from early tonight through early Saturday night for points north and east of a Mount Sterling to Pikeville line. While storm total snowfall amounts may reach or slightly exceed 4 inches across portions of the Bluegrass and Big Sandy regions, the likelihood of this seems fairly low over a 12 hour timespan early Saturday given surface temperatures right around the freezing mark. The sun angle this time of year and the wet nature of this snow should also prove detrimental to significant accumulations, although a quick burst early Saturday morning could allow for some rapid accumulations. Omega profiles are rather stout above the surface and within the dendritic growth zone, but this latter feature does look to remain fairly high (above 13-14k feet) atop a saturated/isothermal layer just below freezing. Would therefore think that impacts will be more that of advisory level as road surfaces should see decent meltoff, especially after sunrise. The greatest of these impacts will be early Saturday morning and again Saturday evening underneath dark skies. Storm total snow accumulations should generally range from 1 to 4 inches through a 24 hour period from Friday night through Saturday evening, with isolated amounts of 4-5 inches in Fleming and perhaps Bath/Rowan/Elliott Counties. Will assess trends this morning and afternoon in regard to expansion of the advisory or a necessary upgrade to a warning. Additionally, may experience a few rumbles of thunder Saturday afternoon and evening across portions of southeast Kentucky as elevated instability increases. .LONG TERM...(Saturday night through Thursday) Issued at 457 AM EDT FRI MAR 23 2018 The extended period begins with the tail end of the system that mainly affected the short term period moving through and out of eastern Kentucky. Most areas will see rain as the dominant precip type, but areas in the northernmost part of the Commonwealth could see a rain/snow/sleet mix with the cooler temps Sunday morning. This system will move out of the CWA by the afternoon/evening and a period of drier weather will take hold as weak upper level ridging develops. However, as a surface low pressure tracks from the west, a warm front will progress to our north Monday into Tuesday, and with southerly flow, bring in moisture from the Gulf and increased chances of precip. As the main surface low progresses eastward, a cold front will move through eastern Kentucky Wednesday night into Thursday. This looks like to be the main source of precip for the extended and with temps on the rise, the main precip type will be rain. However, with this being towards the end of the forecast period, confidence is low. This is also because the models are in a fair amount of disagreement with timing, but moreso with the intensity of the precip. The GFS Thursday morning ranges from 0.70 to over an inch across eastern Kentucky. The ECMWF only shows a quarter of an inch at best in most areas. Overall, the ECMWF shows the center of heaviest QPF well to our southwest than the GFS. Therefore, will need to monitor future model runs to assess how this system develops and tracks. Temperatures will warm up after Sunday, with high temps reaching the 60s by Tuesday. This warm up is maintained until the cold front moves through later in the week. Lows temps will also warm from the mid to upper 30s Sunday night to 50s Wednesday night before the passage of the cold front. && .AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Saturday morning) ISSUED AT 755 AM EDT FRI MAR 23 2018 VFR conditions will continue to rule through this afternoon and this evening as clouds gradually thicken and lower ahead of an approaching disturbance. Light rain will begin to impact sites near SME and LOZ this evening, with snow and some periods of sleet impacting sites northeast of a McKee to Harlan line. Conditions will continue to deteriorate overnight with MVFR or worse ceilings overspreading much of eastern Kentucky by dawn. Snow and slippery/slushy tarmacs will be most problematic tonight into Saturday north of a KPBX to KJKL to KLEX line. Winds will largely remain below 10 knots as they veer from northwesterly today to east/northeasterly this evening. && .JKL WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... Winter Weather Advisory from 2 AM Saturday to 2 AM EDT Sunday for KYZ044-050>052-060-104-106-107-109-110-119-120. && $$ UPDATE...GUSEMAN SHORT TERM...GUSEMAN LONG TERM...CGAL AVIATION...GUSEMAN is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.