Major winter storm forecasted to hit Louisville Thursday night

All aboard the polar vortex


The arctic blast storm is expected to blow in on Thursday night.

The Polar Express isn’t the only thing coming to town this holiday weekend. A polar vortex is rolling into Derby City tomorrow night — and it’s projected to bring the coldest air since February 2015.

But before you start dripping the faucets and putting on an extra pair of socks, let’s take a look at the storm that’s sweeping the nation.

LOUtoday_arctic blast map

Mixed precipitation and heavy snow is possible for River City.

Image by NOAA

The arctic blast storm will work its way down from Canada, through the Midwest, and eventually into Kentucky.

This kind of weather movement occurs when a surge of high-pressure Arctic air funnels through milder parts of the globe, bringing sudden, extreme cold and bursts of heavy snow. During this type of cold front, temperatures can drop 40 degrees or more in a span of 24 hours, or in some cases, within minutes.

Here’s a closer look at the storm projected to hit Louisville Thursday night:

  • Overnight flash freeze
  • Wind gusts between 40- and 50-mph
  • Snow accumulation Thursday night and into Friday morning
  • Temperatures in the teens and single digits through Saturday night with wind chills reaching 10-20 degrees below zero

🌨️ How the city is planning to tackle the storm

The Louisville Metro’s Snow Team checked their equipment on Monday and is basing their plan of action on the temperature — that’s because the materials they use to fight snow and ice are only effective or efficient at a certain temperature.

You can stay up to date on the city’s snow removal movements via its Snow Route Map, which provides up to the minute progress of snow clearing.

🌨️ How can you prepare

Metro is urging citizens to check or get a weather emergency kit and plan for potential power outages.

Louisville Fire & Rescue is also asking Louisvillians to remain cautious of fire hazards as they increase use of space heaters, fireplaces, and generators.

Follow these tips from Louisville Water on ways to keep your pipes from freezing.

DYK: Anytime temperatures or the wind chill drops below 35 degrees, Metro’s Operation White Flag goes into effect. Meaning, participating shelters open for people experiencing homelessness to seek refuge from the weather.

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