Are you enjoying your Tuesday? Take a step outside if you get the chance as conditions are gorgeous for this time of the year. Temperatures right now are in the low to mid 60's across the Valley with sunny skies overhead. We are 20+ degrees above average for this time of the year with a big flip in store ahead.
Based on the current surface map, an area of low pressure is working through the Central Plains dumping lots of snow as it works east. With the arrival of this system tomorrow afternoon, we'll see cloud cover on the increase tonight through Wednesday. With it will come a mixed bag of precipitation. First, we will start in the form of rain before a transition to mix and snow is likely overnight as temperatures drop. Looking at this model in particular (below), a more realistic play-by-play is pictured. Oppositely, other trends show a faster transition with more snow in the forecast. Given our climatology, the latest trends with similar systems in the past, and the overall agreeance in ensemble data, I am incline to agree with lesser amounts (more details below). Once this system works through, you can anticipate cooler temperatures Thursday before trending back upward as another system arrives for the weekend.
Continuing on, model data is still rather uncertain. Some data suggests better totals while others suggest little to none. Given the dynamics of this system, snow ratios will be much lower than 10:1 (meaning 1 inch of rain = 10" of snow and visa versa). I would put ratios in the 8:1 ballpark as overnight temperatures are expected to be right around the freezing mark. Given this, amounts in the left graphic (below) will be much less. Moving to the right graphic, a more realistic outcome is presented. With the Plateau several thousand feet higher than the valley locations (likewise for the Smokies), snow is more likely in these areas. As of now, my snow forecast is as follows:
Valley: trace to a dusting (mainly idle cars, trees, and elevated surfaces
Plateau: up to half an inch with locally higher amounts possible
Smokies: up to half an inch for the foothills with 4+ inches likely as you head up in elevation
Keep in mind there is still a lot of uncertainty within the data so changes are likely. Be sure to check in for more details as we work into Wednesday, but for now, I don't anticipate too much excitement for those in Valley locations (good news for travelers).
Be sure to enjoy the sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures across East Tennessee today. Changes are in the forecast ahead with rain, mix, and snow all likely. Check out more details below!
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