You may notice that I’ve added something to the 5-day outlook this morning. I continue to work to make this site even better, and I hope you like the changes! I’ve added morning, noon, and night to each day’s header, and I’ll highlight in yellow the times of possible hazardous weather. If there’s no hazardous weather, it will simply remain blue. For instance, the only time of possible hazardous weather in the next five days will come Sunday night and Monday morning. I’ll also write a one-word text describing the primary threat. In our case for Sunday night and Monday morning, the primary threat is ice, in particularly on the roads.
After a very cold and frosty start this morning, we’ll warm into the mid 20s with lots of sunshine, though we will see clouds pass through from time to time. Tonight we dip back down to around 10 degrees.
On Sunday, a storm system to our south will be taking shape and sending some clouds our way. We should be mostly cloudy by Sunday afternoon, with gusty winds. The earliest any precip should move in would be after midnight Sunday. All guidance continues to indicate that all the wintry precip will be light in nature. The system bringing us light wintry precip will be to our south, while another system will be moving through the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, our arctic high that has plagued us with bitter cold air will be off to our east. The combination of the system to our north and the high to our east will create strong southerly winds for us on the plateau on Sunday. So, while temps will be warmer, it will feel much colder due to the winds.
We have a LOT of dry air here at the surface and any precip that falls into it will evaporate at first. Evaporation is a cooling process and that will lower the temperature of our air a bit. I think any precip that does make it to the ground Sunday night will be a mix of light snow and sleet, followed by a transition to light freezing drizzle/light freezing rain for Monday morning. The system to our south will keep the heaviest precip south of TN and the system to our north will feature heavier precip around the Great Lakes region. This leaves us sandwiched in between, where moisture will be rather limited during the time period that our surface temps are below freezing. Therefore, we do NOT expect an ice or snow storm from this scenario. As I’ve said for the past several days, the greatest impact (by far!) will be to travel. If you have travel plans through mid-day Monday morning, you’ll want to pay attention to the forecast.
All area National Weather Service offices have decided not to issue any advisories for now. They will discuss this again this afternoon and whatever they decided to issue I will immediately pass that along to you via here and Facebook. I expect them to, at some point, to issue winter weather advisories for late Sunday night and Monday morning.
We’re now only about 48 hours from this winter weather event, and things are becoming clearer. Never the less, stay tuned for any changes to this complicated forecast. It only takes a thin sheet of ice to make a travel nightmare, so please be cautious if you have to travel Sunday night and/or Monday morning. Everything should be fine by noon Monday, if not before. FYI, if you have travel plans toward Knoxville Monday the colder air may be slower to move out of the valley, creating slick conditions for a longer period of time than what we may see here on the plateau.
We’re still looking at a nice warm up for the middle of next week. I’ve adjusted temps upward a bit from yesterday, as guidance shows a strong ridge building in that will favor good warming. The only downside is that it looks like precip chances will come with that warm, southerly air, as is often the case this time of year. The rain chances should hold off until Wednesday night, lasting through Friday.
I’ll be watching it all day and I’ll keep you updated! You all have a great weekend and stay warm!