After analyzing all the available data today, confidence in the forecast is now much higher than it was yesterday. It now looks like precipitation will move in this evening, after dark, and will begin as a wintry mix of snow and sleet. The mixed bag of precip will continue through the night, gradually transitioning to plain rain by daybreak Sunday. A very warm and powerful southerly flow just off the surface will transport warmer air aloft, changing all the precip to rain by daybreak Sunday. Meanwhile, surface temperatures will be hovering right around the 33-degree mark. Therefore, any location that dips to 32 degrees will run the risk of having some minor snow/ice accumulation. For locations south of a line from Livingston to Jamestown, all wintry precip threats should be end by midnight, with little or no accumulation. Points north of that line will run the risk of wintry precip through the night, with minor accumulations possible.
- A wintry mix for all of us on the plateau from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, with little or no accumulation. Slick spots could develop in colder spots, so be careful.
- A wintry mix will continue for folks who live north of Jamestown through daybreak Sunday, with more significant travel impacts more likely.
This will not be a major winter storm for the Cumberland Plateau. At best, a few minor travel issues could develop between dark and midnight. That is the time period of most concern and one that I will be monitoring throughout the day.
Yesterday, I mentioned that tonight is the 20th anniversary of a surprise wet snowstorm we received back in 1998. This situation is completely different from that one, so the chances of a repeat of that are extremely small.
Looking at next week, another rain maker will move in next Tuesday and there are indications that this system will be quite the rain maker. We could see some substantial rainfall Tuesday night. I’ll have more on that system tomorrow.
Just an FYI for tonight’s system, folks around and north of Jamestown may have more significant travel impacts than those of us south of Jamestown. Also, folks north and east of Knoxville could have some travel impacts, as well. Just keep that in mind if you or someone you know has to travel in that direction tonight or tomorrow.
There are currently no advisories for our area for tonight, though that could change as we go through the day. I’ll keep you posted. The only winter weather advisories that have been issued so far (8:30 a.m.) for tonight are well to our east (blue-shaded counties).
I’ll keep you all posted! Again, if you have to travel across the plateau between 6:00 p.m and midnight tonight, be advised that there could be some slick spots with the onset of the precip. I wouldn’t be surprised if winter weather advisories are issued for the plateau foor the time period of 6:00 p.m to midnight tonight. If you have to travel at any point tonight north of Jamestown or north or east of Knoxville, travel impacts could persist through Sunday morning.
Also, remember I said we were below normal on precip for January? Well, the drought map release this week shows what I was saying. We are definitely getting too dry and we need all the precip we can get.