Thursday, January 11, 2018

Winter storm bearing down on area

The forecast for a winter storm predicted for western Kentucky is taking shape as it nears arrival.

A winter storm watch remains in effect and Crittenden County is at the center of the watch area. According to the National Weather Service at Paducah, travel could difficult during tomorrow mornings commute with sleet and snow accumulation of up to 2 inches and ice accumulations of up to a quarter-inch are possible. Gusty winds up to 30 mph could result in isolated power outages where ice accumulations exceed a 10 of an inch.

The watch is in effect from this evening until Friday evening.

Updates, including local cancellations will continue to be provided here.

Temperatures today will reach as high as 65, but should turn to freezing rain overnight beginning as early as 2 a.m. After 5 a.m., a mix of sleet and freezing rain is expected, with the low dipping to 25. Snow could also be added to the mix. After 8 a.m., a mixture of snow and freezing rain is forecast, with a high tomorrow of 28.

According to the NWS, a pair of upper-level disturbances will bring a decent chance of light snow to much of the region Sunday afternoon through Monday. Some light accumulations cannot be ruled out at this time. The mercury will then bottom out, with wind chills may falling into the zero to 10 below zero range Monday night and Tuesday night.

Anticipating a big news event, The Weather Channel will have live remotes tomorrow from all over the region, including Paducah.

Kentucky highway crews are out treating major corridors today with brine. When a brine is sprayed on pavement surfaces, it dries to leave a fine powder that is available to be activated in the early hours of a snow and ice event. It initially helps to improve driving conditions, but also keeps snow and ice from bonding to the paving making it easier to plow off as the winter event continues. Today's rain, however, could undermine those efforts.

If the power goes out
Both Kentucky Utilities Co. and Kenergy Corp. offer outage centers online to both report and follow outages with maps complete with estimated restoration times.

  • Outage center online.
  • Report an outage by calling (800) 844.4832 or texting KENERGY to 85700 if your mobile phone is registered with your account.
  • Outage center online.
  • For outage updates, customers with a registered online account can text STATUS to 454358.
  • Report an outage by calling (800) 981-0600 texting OUTAGE to 454358.
If you get stranded
If you get stranded on the roadway in the wintry weather, Kentucky State Police offer the following advice:
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers.
  • Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area.
  • Wrap your entire body, including your head, in blankets, or extra clothing.
  • Stay awake, you will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems.
  • Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let air in.  Make sure snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe as this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer.
  • Do not eat un-melted snow, it will lower your body temperature.
KSP is also asking travelers to observe for stranded motorists. If you see or suspect that someone is stranded, contact KSP at (800) 222-5555.

KSP utilizes several social media applications to disseminate pertinent, real-time winter weather information. These applications include Twitter, Facebook and the KSP Mobile App.