National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Heavy snow developed across eastern Kentucky on Thursday, January 6th as a potent low pressure system developed over the Deep South in the morning, rode up the spine of the southern Appalachians during the afternoon, and off to the northeast Thursday night - a climatologically favored track for heavy snow accumulations across eastern Kentucky. The first flakes reached the I-75 corridor by mid morning and spread eastward across the remainder of the area by early afternoon. Snowfall rates of 1" per hour or more were observed during a majority of the event.

The nearly perfect combination of cold temperatures at the surface and aloft led to dry, fluffy snow-to-liquid ratios mostly between 12-15:1 and storm total accumulations on the order of 4 to 9 inches by the time snow tapered off late Thursday evening. The dry nature of the snow prevented any significant issues with downed trees and power lines. However, the warm roads, due to mild weather in recent weeks, partially melted the snow as it fell, leading to a slippery, slushy mess on area roadways. The most notable incident was a 50 to 75 vehicle pileup on I-64 near the Montgomery/Clark County line. Martin County also closed all county highways during the event. The hazardous travel contributed to many single vehicle incidents across eastern Kentucky.

Mount Sterling Multiple Vehicle Pileup
(Courtesy of Justin Logan)
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