Winter Storm Not as Bad as Forecast but Still Causes Problems

A complex storm system developed over the southeast U.S. late on Tuesday January 25th.  The storm strengthened as it worked its way up the east coast into Wednesday January 26th.

Surface Analysis Images (click on an image to enlarge)

7 pm EST Tue Jan 25, 2011

1 am EST Wed Jan 26, 2011

7 am EST Wed Jan 26, 2011

1 pm EST Wed Jan 26, 2011

Across east Kentucky, the precipitation associated with this storm began as rain.  By Wednesday morning up to 3/4" of rain had fallen across parts of the Cumberland Valley.

Precipitation Amounts Ending Around 7 AM EST Wednesday

The rain began to change to snow from west to east after dawn on Wednesday across east Kentucky, but the precipitation stayed rain in the deeper valleys of far eastern Kentucky until the early afternoon hours.  This late changeover significantly limited snowfall amounts from what was originally forecast.  By the time all was said and done, snowfall amounts ranged from a trace or nothing in the deepest east Kentucky valleys, up to 6" or so on the higher ridges along the Virginia border, where the rain/snow changeover took place the earliest.

Some of the higher amounts from this map include...

INCHES  LOCATION                 ST  COUNTY           TIME
------  -----------------------  --  --------------   -------
  6.0    BLACK MOUNTAIN KY  HARLAN           0400 PM
  5.0    3 SSE WHITESBURG         KY  LETCHER          0400 PM
  5.0    FONDE                    KY  BELL             0210 PM
  3.1    4 ENE JACKSON            KY  BREATHITT        0300 PM
  3.0    3 N HARLAN               KY  HARLAN           0400 PM
  3.0    1 SSW LEATHERWOOD        KY  HARLAN           0400 PM
  3.0    FRAKES                   KY  BELL             0210 PM
  3.0    ISONVILLE                KY  ELLIOTT          1215 PM

While the snow was not as heavy as first forecast, it did still cause problems.  Several automobile accidents were reported across the area due to the slick roads.  Also, the heavy, wet nature of the snow caused power outages across the area with close to 1,000 customers reported to be without power across Breathitt and Perry Counties alone Wednesday afternoon.  Most of these customers had their power restored by Thursday morning.

The storm dumped a lot more snow up the east coast.  Here's a snapshot of the snowfall produced by the storm as it streaked from Kentucky and Tennessee to down east Maine.



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