'Snow squalls' in Louisville could impact travel; advisory in effect until Friday night

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The Louisville area was hit with a dusting of snow Thursday night, and more is falling Friday evening.

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 10 p.m. in Jefferson County and the surrounding region, according to the National Weather Service in Louisville. An advisory for snow squalls, or "scattered snow bursts," also has been issued until 6:15 p.m.

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Louisville forecast

Louisville's forecast Friday calls for temperatures in the mid-30s in the afternoon before plummeting in the night, according to Brian Schoettmer, a meteorologist for the weather service.

Bursts of snow could blow through the region, according to the weather service, leaving at least a dusting all over the region and notable accumulation in some areas.

Between one and two inches are expected in most areas, according to NWS meteorologist Chase Graham. Schoettmer said some areas will be hit harder than others, and the snow will be more likely to accumulate as temperatures fall.

"These are more showery in nature, a lot like you get with summer thunderstorms," Schoettmer said. "Some areas could get pretty intense snowfall for several minutes and then it'll move away."

Schoettmer said snow was expected to fall Friday in Louisville a day earlier, and that the following day's forecast "trended a little more robust and a little more aggressive" throughout Thursday.

Additional snow is not expected over the weekend. Temperatures are expected to hover in the mid- to upper-20s on Saturday before rising on Sunday.

'Snow squalls' impacting Louisville road conditions Friday

In an update, Mayor Greg Fischer said Louisville's roads were "in good shape" about 3:30 p.m.

The Metro Public Works Snow Team will monitor for any changes, he said.

One threat to road conditions are snow squalls. These occurrences cause sudden bursts of heavier snow accumulation and can cause lessened visibility.

The National Weather Service issued a snow squall advisory in the Louisville area from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. The event is expected to be accompanied by wind speeds of up to 30 mph.

Fischer also advised drivers keep an emergency kit in their cars that includes items such as jumper cables, blankets, warm clothes, snacks and water, a shovel and a flashlight.

Most of the snow is expected to fall before 8 p.m., according to the weather service, which could impact drivers during their commutes home.

In a Twitter post Friday morning, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 5 said crews were patrolling the roads in Jefferson, treating roads in Spencer and Oldham counties and were on standby in Bullitt County. No traffic backups had been reported as of 6:30 a.m.

Resources for houseless people

Operation White Flag, which goes into effect any time the wind chill dips below 35 degrees, is in place. The following shelters are participating:

  • Wayside Christian Mission is at 432 E. Jefferson St. During White Flag, those staying overnight do not have to leave during the day. Their number is (502) 742-7019.

  • St. Vincent de Paul, 1034 S. Jackson St., is a men's only shelter. Call (502) 584-2480 ext. 241 for more info. White Flag check-in is at 6 p.m. and walk-ins are welcome at any time. Checkout the following day is at 6 a.m.

  • Salvation Army Center, 911 S. Brook St., is a day shelter only. It can be reached at (502) 671-4904.

For more emergency shelter, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/homeless-services-division/emergency-shelter-options.

Emergency shelter beds can be reserved by calling Single Point of Entry at (502) 637-2337 from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week or by visiting the Ollie Green II Building, 1300 South Fourth Street, Suite 250.

Were schools closed Friday?

JCPS was open but classes were to be dismissed early.

Middle and high school students were to be let out at 11:45 a.m., according to JCPS, with elementary and early childhood classes to end at 1:15 p.m. All extracurricular activities are canceled, but buses will run for all students.

Catholic schools in the city were to release early as well, according to the Archdiocese of Louisville. Secondary schools were to dismiss at 1:30 p.m. while elementary schools would determine their dismissal procedures and release their plans individually.

Bullitt County Public Schools were in session, though North Bullitt High School students were currently under NTI due to staffing shortages at the school, but would release students two hours early, the district said Friday morning.

Hardin County Schools were also getting out early, the district said. Elementary students were to be released at noon, middle school students at 12:45 p.m. and high school students about 1:30 p.m.

Oldham County Schools called off classes on Friday due to the weather, along with Henry County Public Schools, Shelby County Public Schools, Spencer County Public Schools and Taylor County Schools.

In Indiana, Greater Clark County Schools were on e-learning on Friday due to inclement weather, according to the district. In Indiana, New Albany-Floyd County Schools and Clarksville Schools will each dismiss students one hour early, the two districts confirmed.

A mother and child were the first to sled on a hill at Colgate Park on Clark Boulevard in Clarksville Friday evening. Gusting winds with snow covered the area Friday afternoon and slowed rush hour traffic as dozens of fender benders occurred around the metro Louisville area. January 28, 2022
A mother and child were the first to sled on a hill at Colgate Park on Clark Boulevard in Clarksville Friday evening. Gusting winds with snow covered the area Friday afternoon and slowed rush hour traffic as dozens of fender benders occurred around the metro Louisville area. January 28, 2022

Where can I go sledding?

When snow accumulation reaches between two and three inches, Louisville opens six parks to use as sledding hills.

Residents can only sled on hills marked for sledding and only when they're open, usually from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

"The rule of thumb for determining if enough snow accumulation has occurred is that if you see blades of grass poking through the snow cover; it’s not deep enough to sled safely," the city says.

Participating parks include:

  • Cherokee Park (Baringer Hill, the intersection of Alexander Road and Scenic Loop)

  • Joe Creason Park (Trevilian Way, across from Louisville Zoo)

  • George Rogers Clark Park (1024 Thruston Avenue, behind the playground, near McKinley Avenue)

  • McNeely Lake Park (6900 Cooper Chapel Road, near Korean War Memorial)

  • Charlie Vettiner Park (5550 Charlie Vettiner Park Road, near Easum Road entrance)

For more sledding rules and safety tips, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/news/sledding-hills-be-open-following-local-snow-events.

Lucas Aulbach can be reached at laulbach@courier-journal.com, 502-582-4649 or on Twitter @LucasAulbach.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Louisville weather: Snow falls overnight Friday, with more coming