It’s nearly impossible to know exactly how a weather storm will impact an area some 12 hours before its expected arrival, but meteorologists are cautioning people that it’s not about how much or what — it’s about staying safe.
“With a mixed wintry weather system, it is always really, really dicey (predicting what will happen),” said John Jacobson, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, Ky. “We’re so close between rain and snow, being just a little off in any way can make a big difference.”
As of around 5 p.m. Thursday, the winter weather picture for Pulaski looked like this: An estimated one to two inches of snow was expected to begin falling in the area starting early this morning.
That means any winter precipitation will no doubt impact the morning rush.
“This is going to create really hazardous weather conditions,” said Jacobson.
Depending on how the system moves in, the area will most likely see a bit of freezing rain as well throughout the day today.
But Jacobson emphasized that today’s weather forecast can change in an instant. He said more snow could mean less ice, and less snow could mean more ice. Either way, he said the area will be getting some type of winter weather — and he said the bitterly cold temperatures over the last few days won’t help things.
“Anything that falls frozen is going to create a problem,” said Jacobson.
That’s because the road surfaces are cold, thanks to a frozen ground. Even treated surfaces may see some slick spots, depending on what comes down. Jacobson said drivers should be aware of what the weather is doing, and even try to avoid traveling if they can.
The area is under a winter weather advisory from 2 a.m. until 11 p.m. today.
According to the National Weather Service, the system is expected to move into the Pulaski County area between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. today. Forecasters expect to see some snow — possibly one to two inches — at first, with a change over to sleet and/or freezing drizzle as it moves east through the afternoon.
Forecasts Thursday called for around .13 of an inch of freezing rain for Pulaski today — which could change depending on how the system acts.
As of Thursday afternoon temperatures hovered around 28 degrees and that was expected to drop into the mid-20s overnight. This morning should see temperatures below 30 degrees. Forecasters have tentatively called for temperatures to hit freezing and maybe even go a bit above that by 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. this afternoon.
But, once again, that depends on how the weather system rolls through.
Local news channel outlets were predicting much the same as of Thursday afternoon, with some noting that southeastern Kentucky could see another round of wintry weather into tomorrow (Saturday) morning as well.
Those predictions could change on the turn of a dime, and Jacobson said people need to stay as up-to-date as possible on the weather situation.
“This weather system has its own personality,” Jacobson said.