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Special Winter Wx Update (Issued at 3:20 pm Wed.)

I’ll say it again….the best advice I have is to be home, safe and sound, before it gets dark. Snow, heavy at times, will cause a rapid deterioration of roadways when it moves in shortly after dark.

If you have not prepared, you still have at least a couple hours left before dark. Here’s a handy check list.

I eluded to things I would be watching closely today in the previous blog, as well as in the discussion section of the morning blog. The answers are coming to those questions and I now feel confident in forecasting a nearly 100% snow event……areawide! That means snow totals for those of you across southern Cumberland County will likely match those of the rest of the county and plateau. I am also adjusting that snowfall forecast upward for all, to account for less sleet mixing in.

Remember, I’ve been watching today’s temps, dry air, the track of the low, sleet potential, and moisture. All are now in favor of a significant snow and not an ice event.

Please note, if more sleet than I’m expecting mixes in, which is MOST likely south of Interstate 40, then snowfall totals will be reduced. Never the less, we should all expect accumulating snowfall tonight, some of which will be heavy.

This will be another wet (as many say “pretty”) snow that will lay on the trees. That’s beautiful, for sure, but let’s hope that too much of a pretty snow doesn’t mess with the powerlines. I would prepare, just to be safe, for power outages from the wet snow weighing on the lines and breaking tree limbs.

Here is the updated time and precip chart that I’ve been tweaking today. The most significant thing that has changed is the belief that we will not be dealing with much ice. A glaze, at best, is all that is expected. So, ice has trended downward today, while snow has trended upward.

FYI, I hesitate to not add the trees and powerlines to the red. Just be aware that there will likely be at least some impacts to the power grid. Prepare accordingly. If you get the heavier snowfall totals, you are liable to lose your lights, especially if you live in an area that tends to lose electricity more often than other areas.

Higher snowfall totals are still expected across Overton and Fentress Counties, but any location on the plateau can expect 3-6 inches of snow, with localized higher amounts not out of the question. Again, if sleet mixes in that will cut down on accumulation and the greatest risk for that sleet can be found across the southern half of Cumberland County. Trends today have been for less sleet and more snow, even in southern Cumberland County.

A winter storm warning remains in effect from 6:00 pm this evening through tomorrow. However, the NWS is considering ending the warning in the morning if snow tapers off, as is now expected. Roads, however, are expected to be bad through much of the day Thursday.

FYI, if you’re heading east tomorrow beware! Freezing rain could be a big problem along I-40 to Knoxville. Advisories are in place for that but I wouldn’t be surprised to see those upgraded to winter storm warnings.

This is the radar at 3:15 pm. Activity is moving east and northeast. That blue-outlined area is a special discussion issued by the Storm Prediction Center, warning of especially high snowfall rates tonight. Snow could fall at more than one inch per hour at times.

You all take care. I’ll update again at 6:00. I expect snow to be moving in by then! Be ready!

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