It has been anything but a typical start to winter in the Tri-State. Temperatures have fluctuated between the normal 40-ish degree range to breaking record highs with the temperature passing the 70-degree mark on Christmas Day. The warmer-than-normal temperatures will continue for the final week of 2021 according to the National Weather Service in Paducah, but it looks like there's a chance 2022 could get off to a messy start for parts of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. How messy depends on where you live in those states.

The Paducah office posted the graphic below on Twitter Monday morning showing the potential for severe weather in the southwestern part of Kentucky on New Year's Day which includes a few of the areas still in the process of cleaning up and rebuilding from the historically devastating tornado on December 11th.

As they state early in the post, and in the graphic itself, there is both "a lot of uncertainty" in the forecast, and their confidence in this system developing into something severe is "very low at this point." However, considering the current situation in that area, it makes sense they would want to give residents in the potential path as early a heads up as possible so they have time to prepare to the best of their abilities in the event it does turn into something. The good news is, neither the post nor the graphic makes any mention of a threat of tornadoes at this time.

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First Snowfall of the Season?

For those of us in the Tri-State that don't live in the areas of the map above shaded yellow, there is a chance we may be dealing with our first snowfall of winter on New Year's Day. According to the National Weather Service's forecast for the area, after dealing with above-normal temperatures and a nearly consistent chance for rain between now and Saturday, that could be heavy at times, we'll see a sharp drop in the temperature, with the low for Saturday night currently forecast to be around 30-degrees after a high early in the day in the low 60s, that could turn any rain we may see into snow overnight. The chance for snow continues into Sunday where the temperature is currently forecast to sit right at the freezing mark with possible wind gusts of between 20 to 25 miles per hour.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service

In case the graphic is difficult to read, it says:

Saturday Night - A chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. West southwest wind 9 to 13 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.<br />Sunday - A chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 32. Northwest wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

Nothing Set in Stone (or Ice?)

As we know all too well here in the Tri-State, the weather can change on a dime, and what the NWS is forecasting now is highly likely to change between now and Saturday, for better or for worse. It's entirely possible atmospheric changes could cause what they're forecasting now to completely fall apart and never form in the first place, or it could hold and shift farther south out of our area. It's also entirely possible the system could hold the path they're forecasting now, which given the early heads up, gives us plenty of time to prepare ourselves for it, whichever we're expected to get.

Stock Up on These Winter Essentials Before It Snows

Winter is coming! Before you get caught with three feet of snow and no snowsuit, make sure that you have the essentials to get thru this winter and stay warm!
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