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Record Cold in Kentucky; What Does This Mean for Winter 2012-2013?

By Shawn Crowe

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Hello and welcome to winter ... er, I mean, fall. Temperatures over the past 10 days have been more reminiscent of late October than September. In fact, yesterday we touched 37 degrees in Lawrenceburg. This morning many of the Kentucky mesonet sites hit the freezing mark. In many towns this is the coldest start to Sept. 24 we’ve seen in almost 90 years. And the record setting cold might not be done just yet.

Temperatures this week will modify and southerly winds will bring a little more humidity to the air.  It will feel more normal for this time of year. Thunderstorms may also move through Kentucky on just about any day this week as a slow moving front sort of stalls out near the Bluegrass. The last week of September looks to go out pretty nice overall. We could still use some rain and we should get at least some rain this week. Enjoy the warmth, because there are some signs that this week may be the end of warm weather for 2012.

Next week, the computer models are indicating that a couple more large troughs could sweep into the eastern U.S. and drop our temperatures once again as we start to get into October. Areas that didn’t see frost this morning will have another shot at it by the end of next week. A lot of folks are wondering what this means for winter. A cold pattern is already setting up here in our part of the world and it’s still September. Let me preface this by saying that nobody has proven any ability to accurately forecast winter from months away. It’s just not yet possible to make accurate winter forecasts. Having said that, early indications are that the eastern half of the U.S. including Kentucky may see a cold and snowy winter coming up. There are a lot of global indices and patterns showing signs of this. It is too early to make a winter forecast right now, seeing as how we just began astronomical autumn a few days ago.  Next month I’ll do a more detailed look at what winter 2012-2013 may have in store for us.

The official government forecast, just for grins and giggles, calls for mild and dry weather throughout winter (December-February) in Kentucky. Obviously they are interpreting the signs that are showing up in a totally opposite fashion compared to all the private sector weather forecasting companies. But here are a couple of maps they've released recently showing conditions compared to average that they expect. You can see the above average temps, and an area of below average precipitation almost centered right on top of Kentucky.

Interesting, huh? Like I said, this is one forecast and there are many signs pointing toward just the opposite. So let’s give it another month of fall weather and look at the data again and then I’ll put out a winter forecast. Take care and enjoy the weather this week ... it’s going to be nice!