Commonwealth Journal

March 1, 2014

Winter’s not quite finished

by Chris Harris
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — Brace yourselves: Winter is coming ... back.

A stark contrast to Sunday’s relatively pleasant temperatures will be seen when getting up Monday morning. And according to meteorologists at the National Weather Service Office in Jackson, Ky., it won’t be fun for those on the roads.

“Travel will be treacherous Sunday into Monday morning,” said meteorologist Pete Geogerian. “It’s a good time to hunker down.”

The high on Sunday is expected to be a very moderate 52 degrees, but rain is likely. Temperatures will drop quickly going into the nighttime period, however.

“It should start out as all rain across the Somerset area,” said meteorologist Kevin Sullivan. “Eventually it will be changing over to freezing rain and sleet Sunday not as the colder air pours into the area behind the departing storm system.

“By daybreak Monday, it should be primarily snow.”

The freezing rain and sleet is likely to hit as early as midnight, and the snow at about 5 a.m.

Geogerian said there will be a quarter to a third of an inch of ice on the ground, making travel conditions hazardous.

How much snow accumulation there will be, however, is very much up in the air.

“There’s still some uncertainty there,” said Geogerian. “One thing is more certain: The amount of precipitation has increased with models, but it remains uncertain what kinds of precipitations will be using up that total.”

On Friday, Sullivan pointed to the direction of the low pressure system as being greatly influential on the kind of snowfall Pulaski County would see.

“If it goes north, it could delay precipitation,” he said. “If it goes south, we could be in for more precipitation.”

The part of Kentucky near the Tennessee border is likely to see less snow, maybe an inch or less, said Sullivan, while six inches could be possible further north in the Rockcastle County area.

Depending on how the low pressure goes, Pulaski could be anywhere in that range, Sullivan said Friday.

On Saturday, Geogerian said that Pulaski could likely be looking at one to three inches of snow, and how much you get could depend on where you live.

“It’s one of those systems where the southern part of the county could see one inch (of snow) and the northern part could see three or more, depending on how it plays out,” said Geogerian, “one of those systems where a few miles makes all the difference in precipitation types and amounts.”

Temperatures will bottom out by Monday morning at about 29 degrees, and won’t rise much above that, with a low of 13 degrees — although the precipitation should be halted by mid-day.

The amount of ice Pulaski could see could potentially bring down tree limbs or cause power outages, noted Sullivan.

“It’s definitely an arctic air mess coming through,” said Sullivan.

The rest of the week will be better, with temperatures climbing steadily throughout until reaching the 50s again Friday and mostly sunny skies — tough there’s a chance of snow again on Thursday.