I just sat in on a conference call with the NWS Nashville concerning our winter weather situation for the weekend. I wish I could say things are clearer today than they were yesterday but I can’t. The system responsible for this situation hasn’t developed yet. Until it does, we can’t track it unless we track the theoretical low the models spin up. We can track that low but we need the real thing to develop so we can have a much better idea of how it will behave. It will be developing within the next 24 hours.
It’s all about the track of the low. That’s how it always goes. If you can know where exactly that low is going to track you can know with great certainty how much of each type of precip you are going to get.
My thoughts are this….. I think most of the precip will hold off until at least Saturday afternoon. Before then, I think we’ll only see light precip around the area for Saturday morning. Northern areas of the plateau may not see anything until Saturday evening. That could be in the form of light snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, or all of those combined. I wouldn’t be surprised to see winter weather advisories issued for Saturday, hopefully expiring in time for evening Christmas parades.
By Saturday evening I think the precip will be all rain. A very cold rain.
Will it stay plain rain all night Saturday? That’s our BIG question, folks. I don’t like how close the ice line is to us. Anybody living in the counties bordering the TN/KY border ought to prepare for ice storm conditions Saturday night, just to be safe. That includes Overton, Fentress, Pickett, and Scott Counties. If this becomes freezing rain Saturday night you could be looking at a substantial ice storm.
That makes me nervous for us in Cumberland County, too, but I think we’ll be looking at a very cold rain Saturday night and into Sunday morning.
Then, the colder air moves back in and we should see that cold rain turn to snow by Sunday evening. I think that snow will accumulate and I think it could last all day Monday and into Monday night. By Tuesday morning we may be waking up to a few inches of snow on the ground.
Stay tuned. More data will be coming in this afternoon and evening.
We’re right on the line, folks.
At this time, the greatest risk for an ice storm Saturday night is for folks in the northern half of Fentress County, all of Pickett County, and northern Overton County. I’d say north of Highway 52. You all need to go ahead and prepare as if an ice storm were coming, just to be safe.
If this low tracks farther north, we ALL get cold rain. If this low tracks farther south, the ice storm danger becomes a snow danger and the ice storm threat will shift south to include Putnam, Cumberland and White Counties.
Below is the graphic shared by the NWS. Notice we’re in the mostly rain part on the plateau, but that ice line is too close for comfort for you folks along an north of a line from Livingston to Jamestown. If the low tracks a bit farther south, we’re all in trouble for ice on Saturday night. Stay tuned. This is a close call, folks.