This morning, I wrote that the forecast for early next week looked too warm for any kind of snow or ice.
I may have spoken too soon. The latest technical discussion from the Paducah office of the National Weather Service is quite ominous. Here's the first sentence:
MAIN CONCERNS FOR THIS FORECAST ARE NEXT WEEK WHEN POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR A SIGNIFICANT ICE STORM FOR PORTIONS OF THE AREA MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY.
The discussion explains that a major shift in the weather patterns is expected next week. One computer model, the ECMWF, is calling for cold air to invade from the north while loads of moisture arrives from the Gulf of Mexico. That's bad. Another model, the GFS, isn't quite as ugly, but still suggests the possibility for ice.
Here's the really scary part: (emphasis added)
IF THE ECMWF IS CORRECT IN GENERATING HALF TO THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH...THERE WILL BE A MAJOR ICE STORM SIMILAR TO THOSE LAST FEBRUARY. WITH CONTINUED SOUTHWEST FLOW AND PLENTY OF ENERGY MOVING THROUGH IT...THERE COULD BE MORE THAN ONE SHOT OF FREEZING RAIN THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF THE WORK WEEK.
Ouch! There's no reason to panic yet, since computer models are notorious for flip-flopping. Tomorrow's models could just as easily call for warm weather and sunshine next week. In the meantime, the official forecast for Monday is fairly conservative, only calling for a "40 percent chance of rain or freezing rain."
At this point, all we can do is wait and see.