The NWS is holding off on issuing us a winter weather advisory…for now. That’s an indication that they are still uncertain as to whether or not we will meet even the minimal criteria for an advisory to warn of wintry weather. They have issued winter weather advisories for the mountains, northeast Georgia, and portions of North Carolina for 2-4 inches of snow.
Incidentally, this is a very, very complicated storm for the Carolinas and I’ve seen so many forecasters on Twitter sharing their thoughts. Our forecast is often tricky here but this one is absolutely brutal for those folks in the Carolinas. They could end up with just about anything…including nothing. (ha) Winter storm watches have just been issued for coastal northeastern North Carolina and the Virginia Beach area. That is definitely an unusual area to see heavy snowfall! That has been the trend with this system, though, to be more of a threat for folks south and east of our region.
I still expect a winter weather advisory to be issued for Cumberland County for tomorrow. I’m not sure if Fentress will have enough snow to warrant an advisory. The advisory would be for one inch or less, I would assume.
The precip is coming up from the north. So, you folks south of I-40 have the best chance for precip. You also have the best chance for warming above freezing by Thursday afternoon. You folks north of I-40 will be colder longer tomorrow, but the moisture will be much more limited. It’s the typical cold air and moisture cat-n-mouse game on the plateau. (ha)
Marginal temperatures in the low to mid 30s and limited moisture should keep this a low impact event. I would be really surprised if the main roads get bad tomorrow, especially since pre-treatment is taking place right now. Back roads, bridges, and overpasses will be the places to watch out for.
Accumulations should stay on the light side. I don’t expect anyone to get more than an inch. The snowflakes should stay on the small side and precip will be light, for the most part.
If moisture moves in earlier in the morning than is currently expected, travel impacts would be worse. If the snow holds off until mid morning the roads will be in much better shape. We’re getting into the later parts of February and that sun angel is already getting higher. That can really help keep the roads clear.
I should reiterate that any change in the track of this storm will change snow amounts. This is a Gulf low, so there is plenty of moisture. With the current expected path, we stay on the northern fringes of the moisture shield. If that track shifts northward, snowfall amounts will go up.
I’ll keep watching it for you all and I’ll post at least a couple more updates later tonight. Right now, my biggest concern is that snow begins at or just before daybreak. That would certainly make for some trickier travel in the morning. I’ll keep you all updated.
My best short-term model is just now beginning to get a handle on that morning forecast. At this point, it’s looking like snow would start around 8:00 a.m. in the Crossville area and moving north with time. That timing could change and it’s something I need to keep an eye on.
WHAT: Light Snow
WHEN: Thursday (beginning around 8:00 a.m.)
WHERE: Mainly along and south of I-40
HOW MUCH: North of I-40 = less than one half inch
South of I-40 = less than one inch