Friday Evening Update:
A winter storm warning remains in effect until 9 Friday evening. Heavy snow is moving east across the region and is expected to be out of the region later Friday night. Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Reporter Ryland Barton tweeted that snow has begun falling in Frankfort.
Total snowfall will range from 3 to 7 inches on top of earlier sleet and a glazing of ice.
Travel conditions remain difficult in west Kentucky - expect reduced visibility. Lows Friday night will have wind chill values as low as -1. Low wind chill values are expected to continue on Saturday.
After the snowfall moves out of the region, brace for a lingering period of cold temperatures. National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Shanklin said earlier Friday that the winter storm met overall expectations in their forecast, with some variation on ice levels. Cold is the next big event in the region, he said, with low overall temperatures for the next several days. A separate system on Monday may bring some light snow.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews were out treating and plowing major roadways across the region Friday. Earlier Friday, Keith Todd said crews would get some rest after nightfall on Friday and hit the roads again in full force early Saturday. Road conditions, particularly on rural and secondary roads, may be treacherous until crews can get to them on Saturday. Signs on I-24 urge motorists to drive slowly on snow and ice.
Friday Afternoon Update:
The wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will change mainly to snow today. Precipitation will end in a line from west to east in the early evening hours in west Kentucky.
Total snow and sleet amounts may reach as high as three inches. Ice will reach as much as two-tenths of an inch. A winter storm warning remains in effect until 9 p.m.
Snow and sleet accumulations ranged between two to four inches west of the lakes by noon Friday. More snow and ice accumulation is expected.
Matt Markgraf speaks with National Weather Service Paducah Warning Coordination Meteorologist Rick Shanklin about the impact of the winter storm in the region and look ahead at what to expect Friday night and over the weekend:
Travel conditions are difficult and visibility may be reduced. Road crews are out and tackling the major roadways first. Matt Markgraf speaks with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesperson Keith Todd:
Additionally, there are some gusting winds that may reach 35 miles per hour at times, which could cause some isolated power outages.
A winter storm in west Kentucky has left nearly 15 households across the region without power. Linecrews are already attending to those outages in McCracken, Livingston, Christian and Daviess Counties.
Most schools are closed and many businesses may also be closed - call in advance if you need to go somewhere.
Looking ahead to this weekend: cloudy on Saturday and sunny on Sunday. Both days will be cold, with highs in the mid to upper 20s. There's a chance of snow throughout the day on Monday.
Friday Morning Update:
There are many closing and cancellations this morning. All Murray State University campuses including: Murray, Paducah, Henderson, Hopkinsville and Madisonville are closed today. See a full list here, courtesy of WPSD TV. View road conditions here.
As of 6:00 am sleet continues to transition to snow. Total accumulations of snow are still predicted by the National Weather Service to be up to three inches, on top of up to two-tenths of an inch of ice. Temperatures have dipped into the 20s from highs in the 60's on Thursday. A winter storm warning remains in effect until 9:00 Friday evening.
Transportation crew are out plowing and treating roads this morning. Slush has been reported on Interstate-24 and traffic has been reported moving slowly. There has been a downed tree and powerline blocking US 45 between Water Valley and Fulton, crews hope to have the tree removed by noon.
Thursday Evening Update
A winter storm warning remains in effect region wide as significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected overnight Thursday and over much of Friday.
The warning ends at 9 p.m. Friday in far west Kentucky and 6 p.m. in northwest Tennessee.
The National Weather Service in Paducah says travel conditions will deteriorate Thursday night beginning in Missouri, then southern Illinois and eventually west Kentucky.
A band of freezing rain Thursday night will last for about two hours, followed by sleet with some snow.
Ice and sleet as well as reduced visibility are expected to make travel conditions dangerous Friday morning.
Areas in west Kentucky will see between one-tenth and one-quarter inch of ice and an average of one to three inches of snow and sleet accumulation.
Gusting winds may also cause some power outages, primarily in the Pennyrile region.
The storm is expected to gradually end on Friday. Expect colder temperatures over the weekend, with highs in the mid to upper 20s. There's a chance of snow on Sunday and Monday.
Thursday Afternoon Update:
The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a winter storm warning in effect from 9 p.m. Thursday to 9 p.m. Friday.
Significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected in the region Thursday and Friday. Rain will change to freezing rain and sleet and then snow over the duration of the storm.
Freezing rain is expected overnight and early morning Friday. Freezing rain and sleet, possibly mixed with snow will occur later in the morning, followed by snow primarily mixed with freezing rain. in the afternoon. Highs will reach the upper 20s on Friday.
Travel will be dangerous, particularly in the Friday morning commute. Some power outages and tree damage may occur due to ice accumulation.
Total snow accumulation of one to three inches may occur on top of up to one quarter inch of ice accumulations.
The system is expected to exit the region Friday night. Colder temperatures over the weekend, with possible single digit lows Saturday night. There's a chance of light snow Sunday afternoon through Monday.
Thursday AM Update:
The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a regionwide winter storm watch, in effect Thursday evening. Rain is expected to change to freezing rain and sleet late Thursday night, into Friday morning. A strong cold front will push temperatures to below freezing.
Gusting winds may also cause power outages. Ice accumulation may reach a quarter-inch in the region and up to a half inch in some areas (see graphic). One to two inches of sleet and snow accumulation is expected.
Sleet and ice accumulations could make traveling difficult.
The system will move out of the region by Friday evening. There's a chance of light snow on Sunday afternoon, through Monday.
The National Weather Service in Paducah said west Kentucky and southern Illinois are getting a taste of spring temperatures this week, only to be followed by a winter storm.
The region will experience temperature highs in the low 60’s on Thursday followed by rain and freezing temperatures Thursday night into Friday morning.
Counties along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers are expected to get a tenth of an inch of ice or less. Parts of Calloway, Marshall, Trigg, Lyon, Christian and Hopkins Counties in Kentucky are expected to get close to a quarter inch of ice.
Snowfall will start Friday morning and continue until around noon for the region.
Snowfall will stop in southern Illinois between 6 and 9 A.M, but will continue until noon for west Kentucky. Wind chills are expected to be below freezing and speeds are expected to be between 10-25 mph. Temperatures are expected to remain freezing until Sunday across the region.
The NWS and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are warning travelers in the area to stay alert as the storm moves into the area.
Paducah NWS meteorologist Rick Shanklin said returning Murray State students should wait as late as Sunday to travel back to the region.
“Things probably will improve some, you know with road crews out and that kind of thing, especially on the major highways. But the later they can come in the more it will allow that to happen.” Shanklin said.
KYTC said pre-treating highways with brine will be ineffective due to expected rainfall prior to the wintry mix.
They said accumulating ice before the start of snow could limit the ability of highway crews to improve driving conditions, particularly in the early hours of the event.
KYTC encourages motorists to closely watch weather forecasts as the storm arrives.