Weekend Snow Update #2

Interesting things are afoot weather wise this weekend, with all forms of winter precipitation in play at this point starting Saturday night through Monday. While I think a lot of it will be snow and that might cause problems especially on Sunday, things look a lot better than they did yesterday. Here’s the update!

First of all, let’s get the outlook out there and then I’ll discuss things further below that.

  • Tonight-Partly cloudy. low 28.
  • Saturday-Partly to mostly cloudy, a small chance of rain late. High 44.
  • Saturday night-Mostly cloudy, light rain changes to snow. Low 32.
  • Sunday-Snow likely, could mix with ice or rain at times. High 38.
  • Monday-Cloudy with scattered showers. High 37.
  • Tuesday-Partly to mostly sunny. high 42.

We’re north of any rain right now, which is definitely a good thing. We’ll have dry weather tonight and that will follow up through most of tomorrow. Light rain is how this whole thing should start either late tomorrow afternoon or Saturday evening.

From there, things get a little more sticky than it looked yesterday. What I know for sure is that the rain will change to snow overnight into Sunday morning. Also what hasn’t changed is that there’s still a good chance of accumulating snow on Sunday. All of these things are almost definite at this point.

What’s changed is the temperatures on Sunday. A lot of the computer models are confused. Some keep temperatures in the 30s with snow all day Sunday, while a few bring in enough warmth to mix the snow with rain or ice from time to time. Any mixing of precipitation types will definitely diminish our final snow total by the time the snow stops late Monday.

So, I’ve dropped my prediction, but only slightly as far as snowfall is concerned Saturday night through Monday. Right now, the Tri-Cities should end up at 3-5 inches of snow by the end of the whole thing. Up in the mountains (where Winter Storm Warnings are up right now), there could be lots more than that since it should stay all snow up there. Higher elevations could get up to a foot of snow before it’s all said and done. There are possible higher amounts near Asheville, too.

The confidence in this forecast, I have to say, is minimal. Hopefully the next computer runs will be a bit clearer, and I’ll get on the blog tomorrow to bring a new forecast.

So what to do for now? Prepare for the worst. What do you need if we get 6-8 inches of snow? Make a list and go get it by Saturday evening, then be where you’re going to be before snow starts piling up. That way you’ll be ready, whether we get flurries or half a foot of snow or more.

Also, stay tuned to the blog and follow me on Twitter @wxmc. I’ll have updates here before the storm, most updates will be on Twitter during it, and then a final snow report will be posted here after things are all said and done.

More updates are forthcoming throughout the weekend!

Weekend Snow Update #1

Posts have been running all over social media about the chances of snow this weekend. Well, as usual, those folks posting computer model forecasts have brought about all the questions about this coming storm system coming out of Texas.

First, the forecast for the next few days. Nothing exciting, maybe a few flurries tonight or Friday morning. We’ll have mostly cloudy skies otherwise, all the way through the majority of Saturday. That’s when the rain should begin, late in the day. We’ll have highs in the low 40’s and lows near 30 between now and then.

As mentioned, rain starts Saturday either late in the afternoon or early evening. That will change to snow overnight for all of us. Of course, in the higher elevations, that change will happen quicker, and they’ll get more snow. Everything should be fine for most of the area through Saturday evening.

That’s not the case for Sunday, it appears. Snow will likely accumulate starting Saturday night, and for most of the day on Sunday before tapering off on Monday. The National Weather Service office in Morristown has us under a Winter Storm Watch effective Saturday night through Monday at noon. That will likely get upgraded to a warning by Friday.

So…how much snow? You may have seen folks online post computer models showing anything from a foot in the Tri-Cities to 23 inches in Boone. Those models take in every single bit of moisture in the atmosphere and dump that into the amount of precipitation that’s possible. The mere falling of snow and rain will diminish those numbers to some degree, as will any rain to snow transitions that happen.

Considering all of that, Saturday night through Monday could see 4-6 inches of snow in the Tri-Cities, with less snow south and west of the I-81/I-26 interchange. In the Southwest Virginia and North Carolina mountains, 8 inches to a foot of snow is possible. It’s not a linear transition from the valleys to the mountains, so your mileage may vary at each individual location. Some may stop at 3 or less, and others might pop up at 8 or 10 inches.

Power outages are possible, especially with higher snow totals. Temperatures look to stay in the 30’s for the most part, so that could be wet snow. That kind of snow is heavier than the fluffy stuff in colder conditions, which may result in trees coming down on power lines or that kind of thing. That’s the big worry in situations like this. I don’t think widespread power outages are likely, but have a plan for what to do in case that becomes a reality.

The bottom line is, snow is coming, so take the next couple days to prepare, getting supplies you need by the end of Saturday so you’re good to go. By all means, be wherever you want to be Saturday evening so you don’t get stuck somewhere you don’t want to be on Sunday.

I’ll post updates to the forecast here periodically through the storm, so make sure to bookmark the blog!

February 2, 2018 #TriCitiesWx Forecast

The snow has come and gone, and we have clear skies as of just before 4 PM. We’ll have calm weather into Saturday before our next chance of some sort of precipitation comes in Saturday night and Sunday. Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast for tonight through Tuesday!

A few snow totals passed on to me by the National Weather Service folks earlier today:

  • Wise, Virginia 3″
  • Lebanon, Virginia 2″
  • Jonesville, Virginia 1.5″
  • Abingdon, Virginia 1.5″
  • Blountville, Tennessee 0.9″
  • Tri-Cities Airport 0.8″ (half of that before midnight and half after)

That pretty much fell as expected, although I thought the Tri-Cities would get at least 1 inch, and the higher Southwest Virginia totals would be 3-4 inches. I’ll take that! Another winter weather situation is possible this weekend, though, and with that comes the outlook through Tuesday:

  • Tonight-Partly cloudy and cold. Low 13.
  • Saturday-Partly to mostly cloudy. High 44.
  • Saturday night-Cloudy with rain developing, changing to snow. Lows near 30.
  • Sunday-Mostly cloudy. Snow to start, changing to freezing rain then cold rain. High 44.
  • Monday-Partly cloudy. Highs near 40.
  • Tuesday-Increasing clouds, a small chance of rain. Highs near 50.

Other than frigid conditions tonight, our weather stays calm for the next 24-30 hours (starting at 4 PM). A cold front brings in rain Saturday night, which will eventually change over to snow. Then on Sunday morning, the snow will transition to rain, with a time of freezing rain in the middle. There’s probably going to be a mix of everything for a time as well.

All of this changing of precipitation types will keep us from getting a lot of snow or ice, it appears. The more rain or freezing rain, the less snow we will get. So as of right now, Saturday night and early Sunday should only yield an inch of snow in the Tri-Cities if that, with 2-4″ in the mountains. It looks like this time higher totals might be in the North Carolina mountains this time as opposed to Virginia.

We will change over to all rain Sunday, ending with flurries Sunday night. Two mostly dry days will ensue, as we warm up to near 40 on Monday and 50 on Tuesday. Rain is a possibility late Tuesday as another cold front approaches at that time.

Bottom line at this point is to be careful driving Sunday morning, especially early. Snowfall from overnight with a short amount of freezing rain might make driving rather difficult. That said, everything will change to rain during the day, and the ice threat will eventually come to an end.

Thanks for checking here for the forecast! I post one every day (except most Saturdays) between 4 and 7 PM. I’ll have another one late on Sunday. Have a great weekend!

January 17, 2018 #TriCitiesWx Forecast

We’ve had our snow, and some snow days to boot. Now, we get the cold weather over the next couple days. Warmer weather is not too far ahead, though. Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast for tonight through Sunday!

Snow totals from yesterday generally stayed where I thought they would. Most locations received over an inch of snow and less than two, namely Pound, Kingsport, Lebanon, Blountville, Bristol, and Bluff City. There was a report of two inches of snow in Greeneville, and 3 in St. Paul. The big winner around here, of course, is Roan Mountain with 3.5 inches of snow.

These numbers are tripled when you look at central North Carolina today. To the northwest of Raleigh there have been reports of 8-10 inches of snow, with 11 reported in a location or two. So that’s the good news…we didn’t get a big snow.

With that said, we’re going to have cold weather in the near term, but warming up to above average later on. Here’s the outlook:

  • Tonight-Partly cloudy, frigid. Low 8.
  • Thursday-Sunny. High 38.
  • Thursday night-Mostly clear. Low 12.
  • Friday-Sunny. High 48.
  • Saturday-Mostly sunny. Highs near 50.
  • Sunday-Mostly sunny. High 58.

Our average temperature for this part of January is around 45 degrees, and we’re clearly well below that with our high of 22 today. We’re much closer to that tomorrow, and a touch over it for Friday.

This weekend looks fantastic, like car washing weather, honestly. I think I’ve featured my little red car (which I’ve named Ashley because of this story) on the blog before, and that poor automobile is a nasty mess. So this weekend I know I’ll be off to get the thing cleaned up! We’ll see temperatures getting to around 50 on Saturday and well above that for Sunday.

Our next chance of rain at this point comes in on Monday with an approaching cold front. So there’s a lot of calm weather ahead of us if you can endure the cold for the next couple days!

January 16, 2018 #TriCitiesWx Snow Update

You’re not seeing snow as of about noon, right? Right. That’s pretty much by design, and snow is indeed on the way.

The surprise was the fact that the sun was out this morning! That’s helped us warm up to close to 40 in spots this afternoon. That all is about to change as a cold front is in the process of moving through.

Proof of that is in the temperatures, going from east to west from Virginia through Tennessee:

  • Mountain Empire Airport (Marion/Wytheville): 40
  • Virginia Highlands Airport (Abingdon): 38
  • Elizabethton Airport: 39
  • Tri-Cities Airport: 39
  • McGhee Tyson Airport: 39
  • Knoxville Downtown: 39
  • Oak Ridge: 33
  • Crossville: 19
  • Cookeville: 18
  • Nashville International: 14
  • West Nashville: 12
  • Clarksville: 10
  • Paris: 10 (with 7 inches of snow reported)
  • Union City: 9

Snow is falling in most places west of I-75 and through much of Eastern Kentucky at this point. Snow is nearly over in Nashville, and the reports there are coming in between 1 and 3 inches, with most at or below 2. Parts of Kentucky are seeing 3-5 inches of snow.

As for our area, clouds increased today rather than last night for the most part, allowing for that sunshine earlier. The sun is gone now (at least in Blountville) and snow will begin in the next few hours.

And as indicated by the temperatures above, the farther we get into the snow, the colder it’s going to get. Middlesboro, Kentucky, started to see snow around 9am, and they’ve dropped from 32 degrees to 25 in that amount of time.

By 3pm or so, we should all be seeing snow and traffic conditions should start to deteriorate as the day wears on. It might be a good idea to be home by 5 if that’s at all possible.

I’ll have a full forecast coming up at about that time this afternoon.