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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 1-11-24 at 7:00 PM ET

Windy Friday before Arctic air returns much for a quiet winter! Thought I'd send out a quick update. As you're probably well aware at this point, the weather pattern takes a turn for the worse over the next week. It all starts tonight and into tomorrow (1/11) with extremely high winds in place.

In a quick overview, an area of low pressure, currently out in Texas, will intensify as it heads northeast into the Ohio Valley. Showers will start pushing into Western KY late tonight and eventually spread across the rest of the state through the morning and afternoon hours. All told, the highest accumulations will likely be across Western KY, in the 1-2 inch range (image above). Those numbers diminish as one moves east across the state, staying under a half inch for most of Eastern KY. Looking at the snow forecast, the latest model runs are hinting at little in the way of snow activity on the backside of the system. Most should see little to no accumulations.

The much bigger story tomorrow will be the WIND. If you thought it was windy on Tuesday, that was just an appetizer. The strength of this low-pressure system is pretty impressive and will result in 40 to 60 mph wind gusts at times throughout the day. Below is a look at the most current warnings and advisories from the National Weather Service as of 7 PM on Thursday. Most of the state is under a Wind Advisory, although Western KY and a couple of counties in SE KY have been upgraded to a High Wind Warning. Don't count it out that you see some upgrades of those advisories, either!

Take caution if out and about tomorrow as downed trees and powerlines will be in play. Power outages will definitely be on the table. In addition, this would be a good time to keep those semis parked! In the end, this system isn't necessarily that different from the March 3rd windstorm last year, but don't look for wind gusts quite that high.

Attention then turns to the weekend and the early stages of next workweek as Arctic air returns to the region. Temperatures will fall on a daily basis, bottoming out in the single digits midweek. Depending on any accumulating snow (more on that in a second), it could be even colder. In addition, some healthy winds will also take wind chills below zero at times.

It's been a while since we've seen this kind of cold. In fact, you really have to go back to the Arctic air in December of 2022. Livestock cold stress will run in the Danger to Emergency category for most of the Sunday-Wednesday timeframe. There could even be cold stress as early as Friday night as wet hair coats from earlier in the day would reduce the insulating factor. Now's the time to take precautions. This includes adequate shelter, windbreaks, dry bedding, plenty of water, and sufficient feed. Just like the last Arctic event, it's not so much the magnitude of the cold as it is the abrupt change.

Looking at snow, we COULD see a couple of rounds, but this is still a low-confidence forecast. Models just haven't come together yet. The eventual storm track and moisture availability are still very much up in the air. Give it some time, and I'll try to push out another update later this weekend. In addition, I've included links to the local National Weather Service briefings below for more information. Stay safe!

Local NWS Office Weather Briefings

Western Kentucky: Paducah NWS

Central Kentucky: Louisville NWS

Eastern Kentucky: Jackson NWS

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