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Mild Winter Brings Welcome Respite and Mixed Blessings

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This winter could to go into the books as one of this region’s milder cold weather seasons.

The moderate conditions have been a welcome relief to most, but a mixed blessing to some.

You might think south Louisville hardware store owner Mike Girard has been taking a financial hit with slower sales this season of snow shovels, ice melt and sleds, but after 36 years in business, he’s accustomed to seasonal ebbs and flows.

“You can get the big spurts and have two or three or four days of weather and once you’re out of the stuff, you’re out of it, and that’s it. And usually it goes back to below par. So, while you’ll get a good spurt sometimes, in the long run, we’d much prefer to have a couple of months of mild weather and go straight into spring,” Girard said.

Girard says the drop in sales of winter items has largely been offset by a brisker business in building materials to contractors taking advantage of more outdoor work days.

So what’s causing the unseasonably mild winter? Meteorologist Tom Reaugh with the National Weather Service in Louisville says it’s the result of a cooling of waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, an event better known as La Nina.

“Typically, when we’re in a La Nina, the Ohio and Tennessee valleys experience winters that are warmer and wetter than normal. And indeed we’ve seen quite a bit warmer than normal temperatures this winter and a resulting lack of snowfall as well,” Reaugh said.

The Louisville area can get more than 15 inches of snow over a given winter, but the biggest storm of this season struggled to leave an inch on the ground, much to the dismay of sledders and snowman builders.

Jefferson County Public Schools shut down for two days this academic year because of weather, but that was in August, when high winds caused some power outages.

While Louisville’s Public Works Department has applied hundreds of tons of salt to roadways in anticipation of several snow events this season, spokeswoman Lindsay English says that’s a drop in the bucket compared to most years.

The department projects a savings of about $3.5 million, money that will help pay down the city’s budget deficit. Now, crews are getting a head start on road improvements.

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JCPS Dismissing Early

Due to predicted winter weather, Jefferson County Public Schools will dismiss two hours early today:

  • Middle and high schools at 12:20 pm
  • Elementary schools at 1:45 pm
  • Afternoon early childhood education is also cancelled
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Overnight Snow Expected, City Salting Roads for Morning Commutes

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Louisville and surrounding areas. Less than half an inch of snow is predicted, but the combination of precipitation, wind and cold temperatures is expected to make roadways slick for morning commutes.

Louisville Public Works officials tweeted around 9 pm that crews were salting roads in anticipation of more snow.

The weather advisory expires at 5 am.

 

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Louisville Metro Prepared for Snowstorms, Uses Social Media

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says the city will use social media to communicate with the public during snow storms this year.

Fischer announced winter weather plans while surrounded by members of the city’s snow team. The public will now be able to follow updates on the Twitter feed @LouSnowPlow or the Metro Public Works Facebook page.

The city’s response to snow was made infamous in 1994 when storms forced former Mayor Jerry Abramson to close many roadways.

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Surprise Winter Weather Blankets Western Kentucky With Snow

A surprise storm dropped snow than expected on western Kentucky Monday.

The National Weather Service in Paducah says parts of Marshall County were hit with eight to ten inches. As the storm moves east, other parts of the state may get between two and four inches, and northern Kentucky may have half an inch of accumulation or less.

Some reporting provided by the Associated Press

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Light Snow Expected Today

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 8 AM to 4 PM today. Forecasters expect we’ll see some snow accumulation over the course of the day.

The temperature is in the upper 30’s this morning, but it’s expected to drop to near freezing in the next couple hours. As that happens, the light rain will change over to snow. The snow isn’t expected to be heavy, but it could range from 1-2 inches.

Most of the snow accumulation will be on grass and elevated surfaces, but roads and overpasses might become slushy. there might be some slick spots as temperatures drop to the low 20’s tonight.

We’ll have updates today as necessary.

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Most Severe Weather To Stay North Of Louisville

by Sheila Ash

The large winter storm crossing the country this week is expected to bring strong winds, rain and light snow to Louisville.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian Schoettmer says Louisville and southern Indiana will see rain for most of Tuesday. The storm could bring about an inch of snow to the area, but Schoettmer says the wind is the biggest threat.

“…25, 35 mile an hour gusts into 45 mile an hour at times so any snow that is going to be blowing around through the overnight hours and by dawn will be blowing around could reduce visibilities,” he says.

Schoettmer says the temperatures will drop overnight and wind chills could be 10 degrees or lower by morning.

The weather will be more severe further north, with freezing rain expected for Salem and Scottsburg, Indiana.

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Snow To Be Followed By Cold Front

Relief from the winter cold is unlikely to come anytime soon.

Forecasters are predicting up to three inches of snow for the Louisville area Tuesday. After that, a cold front will come through, bringing winds and frigid temperatures for much of the week.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Denman says the snow and cold is the latest in what has been a surprisingly chilly and wet winter.

“We’ve had a lot of little systems come through, and that’s a little bit uncommon,” he says. “We’ve had like four or five separate snow systems come through, giving anywhere from one to four inches. It has been consistently cold this winter, very similar to last winter.”

Temperatures could rise to the mid or upper 30s on Thursday and Friday. The heaviest snowfall Tuesday  is predicted for southern and central Indiana.

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Christmas Eve Snow Predicted For Area

By Sheila Ash

More snow is on the way for much of Kentucky and southern Indiana, just in time for Christmas. However, accumulations are expected to be less than the two to four inches previously predicted.

That’s according to National Weather Service Meteorologist John Denman.

“There are some model runs which are giving the southern part of the state a little bit more than the north, however I have to admit there is another model run which is giving the north from southern Indiana more than the south. I think a general forecast of one to three inches everywhere is probably the most accurate at this time,” he said.

Denman says temperatures on Christmas Day will only be in the 20s with snow flurries or light snow possible.

He says temperatures will remain in the 30s after Christmas.

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Precipitation Expected For Holiday Weekend

There is a slight chance of rain and snow showers from Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon, but, following that, much of this week’s weather will be relatively mild.

Temperatures are expected to stay in the 30s, often above freezing, this week. They will drop again this weekend. Another round of winter weather is expected to arrive on Friday. But National Weather Service meteorologist John Denman says it’s unclear at this point exactly what kind of precipitation will fall.

“Our best guess at this point would be some sort of wintry mix, with snow being a little bit more likely across Indiana and possibly freezing rain or just rain down near Tennessee. And, along Interstate 64 in north-central Kentucky, it could be some mix,” he says.

Denman says temperatures will drop after Christmas and will likely remain low for the final week of the year.