Calm weekend ahead, coldest air of the season likely next week

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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - It will be a cold start to the weekend and the rollercoaster ride that is mountain weather is about to go around the loop again.

Today & Tonight
Some flakes could still be falling early this morning in the higher elevations, but most of us will be waking up cold and dry. Sunshine will take over today, but it will not do much for our temperatures, which will only top out in the upper 30s.

Tonight, if you're heading out to those high school football playoff games, bundle up. It's going to be cold. Temps by kickoff will be at or below freezing and will only get colder throughout the game. It looks like a ridge/valley split will set up tonight, which means lows will be colder in the valleys than on the ridges. Looks for upper teens and low 20s in the valley locations and mid-20s on the ridges.

The Weekend
Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away. Yes, those are the first words to the Sesame Street theme song, but it's also the forecast for the weekend. Look for sunshine both days, with highs on Saturday near 50 and near 60 on Sunday. Overnight lows will drop into the mid to upper 30s. Enjoy it. It'll be the last "warm" air we see for a few days.

Extended Forecast
It's the talk of the mountains right now: Will we see our first measurable snow early next week? Well, let's discuss what we know right now.

Monday looks dry for much of the day. Daytime highs should get into the low to mid-50s, or maybe even higher, before the arctic air from the cold front comes crashing in overnight. Models are lining up for a later start time for the moisture, which will likely start as rain and transition over to a wintry mix or snow overnight, depending on how fast temps fall and how much moisture is left once they do.

By Tuesday morning, temps will be in the low to mid 20s, which means any moisture still around at that point will definitely be snow. Remember though snowbirds, the ground will be coming off of 2 decently warm days, so it will be hard for anything to stick. Not trying to dash any hopes, just giving you the unfortunate reality. We're still monitoring that, so we'll keep you posted.

The biggest story is going to be the frigid air behind that front. Daytime highs on Tuesday will likely stay below freezing and drop into the mid to upper teens overnight. Wednesday, even with clearing skies, doesn't look much better. Highs look to get above freezing, but just barely.

There are still several days to go before this system arrives, so enjoy the weekend and keep it locked here for updates.