MURRAY — Below average temperatures Monday into Tuesday next week could cause some dangerous driving conditions in addition to very cold temperatures, with lows in the teens.
Justin Holland, official observer for the National Weather Service’s Paducah office, said that a large cold front will be passing through the area Monday, bringing with it colder than average temperatures for this time of year. The system will also bring with it some light precipitation that might take the form of the first snowfall for the coming winter season.
Holland said that snowfall totals likely won’t amount to much, but that freezing precipitation could create black ice, which should prompt motorists to use caution.
“We will have a cold front to come through Monday, and we will probably have a band of light rain out ahead of the cold front,” Holland said. “It is going to be one of those days where the temperature drops throughout the day.”
He said depending on how much precipitation and moisture there is, some of the precipitation could take the form of snow.
“Once the temperature gets below 32, some of that light rain could change over to light snow,” Holland said. “It is still a question as far as how much precipitation there will be, but it looks to be a pretty light system. Even if we do have some snow, we are not talking about anything major, it’d be less than an inch if we had any accumulation at all.”
He said that the main concern for residents should be the potential for black ice when traveling, and said that it might be a good idea for drivers to take extra precautions when driving to work Tuesday morning.
“We will probably have enough rain on Monday to create some puddles, and if temperatures drop fast enough, that could create black ice on roadways,” Holland said. “That could happen pretty quickly after the sun goes down Monday. We are still days away, so there will be a lot of adjustments and changes to the forecast. But Tuesday morning could be a pretty tricky drive.”
Holland said that this is not the sort of system that should prompt people to run for the grocery store, but could be the third earliest snowfall the county has seen on record.
“It could catch people off guard since it is coming fairly early in the winter,” Holland said. “Typically we don’t get snow and ice until around Christmas, or even into January or February.”
Holland said that very low temperatures would likely be what people are more concerned about, rather than snowfall. He suggested taking precautions to ensure that pipes do not burst, and that pets and other animals be brought inside.
“I think the big story will be the really cold temperatures,” Holland said. “We will have lows down into about the mid teens for Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning. So people need to check their pipes, take care of their pets and make sure they have some fresh water that is not frozen over. It is going to be a big shock to the system. We got down to about 25 degrees (Friday) morning, so it’ll be about another 10 degrees colder next week than what we had (Friday).”
Holland said that daytimes highs on Tuesday will likely be between 28 and 29 degrees.
“We should stay below freezing all day Tuesday, and that is going to be about 25 degrees below normal for this time of the year,” Holland said.
Holland said that temps should rise above freezing Wednesday and Thursday, but that signs of another cold front with another system could be present the following weekend.