The third winter storm to hit southcentral Kentucky in a week’s time saw snow totals ranging from 3 to 5 inches Wednesday night into Thursday.
After previously holding strong without significant snow during the previous two systems, the so-called “Bowling Green bubble” finally burst with the lack of a “warm nose” in the atmosphere, WxOrNotBG meteorologist Landon Hampton said.
A warm nose is a pocket of warm air high in the atmosphere that turns potential snow into sleet or ice, he said. That occurrence was the difference between the last two storm systems, he said.
“A warm nose was very, very present in the atmosphere on Monday for over a 12-hour span,” Hampton said. “Compare that to what we saw on Wednesday, and that warm nose was only present for around an hour before it turned into big, fat snowflakes for the vast majority of the night.”
With about an inch of snow and ice still on the ground from Monday’s system, Hampton said the region’s total for the week was 4 to 6 inches.
The Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport took an official measurement of 5 inches of accumulation Thursday morning.
Areas southeast of Bowling Green had the largest snow totals in the region. Allen County and southern Barren County received more than 5 inches from Wednesday’s storm alone.
Moving forward, Hampton said the string of winter weather systems has finally reached its end for now.
However, many roads will still be hazardous with temperatures forecast to be in the low teens through Friday morning.
The good news is that without much ice being present in Wednesday’s storm, road crews have had a much easier time clearing roads.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3 Public Information Officer Wes Watt said despite roads being covered with snow Wednesday, crews were able to make significant progress in clearing them for the second time this week.
“Our Priority A routes (interstates, highways and U.S. routes) in particular are in really good shape,” Watt said Thursday. “Roads are rapidly improving due to our area receiving more snow instead of ice, and they will only continue to improve.”
Watt said roads in rural areas are still treacherous and will be the major focus moving forward. The state is well-stocked in salt treatment,Watt said.
“Our snow operations team does a great job of monitoring our salt supplies,” Watt said. “We have used a large amount of that supply, but we still have plenty of salt available and more is on the way.”
Crews in the region and in Bowling Green have been working tirelessly and diligently since Sunday night to clear roads. Watt said they deserve “all the credit in the world.”
City of Bowling Green Public Works Director Greg Meredith said roads and streets in the city were also doing well as of Thursday afternoon.
“Certainly, there are roads in subdivisions we haven’t gotten to yet, but the salt is working well,” Meredith said. “Snow like this is just a lot easier to melt. Our crews will be getting a break Thursday night since no more systems are moving through, and they will get back to work Friday morning.”
Drivers are still urged to use caution heading into the weekend as temperatures will not break freezing until Saturday before they climb to the high 40s Sunday.
By that point, Hampton said much of the accumulation will be melted away, and the region will be back to normal.
– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.