Good afternoon and happy Saturday! This next weeks system is complicated and hard to forecast. Being that this is a challenging forecast, many changes can occur from now to mid next week. With this said, the models are starting to be more in sync with their runs. In a general understanding, a low pressure system is expected to pass through the Great Lakes region late Monday night into early Tuesday morning. This will allow for a line of precipitation to pass through our area with cold air to quickly follow behind. The likely result will be precipitation falling in the form of rain (at first) and then quickly followed by a transition to sleet and snow. Cold air advection, which can be explained as cold air moving into an area of warm air, will make temperatures feel very cold and also allow rain to change to snow. The temperature outlook for this coming week looks to be the coldest of the year, and possibly the coldest for the entire winter season. Below are the temperature and precipitation type runs for the North American Model (NAM) up to Tuesday night at 7 pm. Though this is the farthest the model can run (at this time) you can see the very cold Arctic air plunging in Monday night into Tuesday. I expect temperatures to be very cold mid next week with highs in the 20's to low 30's for a few days. With the high's predicted to be very cold for east TN, adding in the wild chill values will make temperatures feel much much colder. Wind chill values for Tuesday afternoon can make temperatures feel in the upper teens at times. Wednesday will likely be the coldest of the days with high's in the mid to upper 20's. Wednesday night will have another small round of cold air making temperatures drop into the single digits and have wind chill values feel in the negatives (yes, NEGATIVE).
So What About Snow Chances?
This could be the first real snow for most of all east Tennessee. Like I said above, this system will likely start out as rain before quickly transitioning to a frozen precipitation. With this, I expect snow accumulations to be in the 1 to 3 inch mark for a majority of east TN with higher elevations receiving higher amounts. This means roads will likely be very messy with the combination of very cold temperatures, rain (turning to ice), and snow. With all of this said, remember the weather can always change especially since we are still days out and this being a somewhat challenging system to predict. All in all, I am pretty confident in the chances that east TN will see their first real snow of the year this coming week. Please remember if you are to be out and about this week to bundle up. Temperatures, like I said, will be extremely cold in combination with the wind chill values.
Stay up to date with here and on Twitter (@SecretCityWX) for the latest updates with this system. It is likely to change slightly and when it does, I will be here to let you know what you can expect. Until then, enjoy a nice weekend with high's in the mid 40's and partly cloudy skies before the "heart of winter for east TN" hits early to mid next week.