Warnings for black ice prompted area schools to close or put classes on delays today. Johnson City and Elizabethton schools announced a two-hour delay this morning. Schools in Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington counties were closed. Northeast State Community College announced a two-hour delay.
On Tuesday, temperatures reached the 70-degree mark and by Wednesday Johnson Citians were sloshing through rain-covered streets.
It seemed somewhat of a natural progression that by Thursday city residents were back in their winter weather attire as snow flurries and chilly winds whipped around the region.
David Hotz, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Morristown, said Thursday a cold front moved into the region during Wednesday’s overnight hours and progressed on Thursday morning, following the rain.
“(The cold front) kind of pulled the rain that we’ve been getting all toward the east and brought in the colder air into the Southern Appalachians,” Hotz said. “Temperatures are a lot colder than they were yesterday this time.”
He said that Thursday’s temperatures — around 37-39 degrees — were approximately 30 degrees colder than Wednesday’s temperatures.
Snow showers were also visible throughout the Tri-Cities Thursday and another slew of showers, bringing around 1-2 inches of accumulation to the area, were predicted to start around midnight Thursday and continue until around 9 a.m. today. Today’s highs are forecast to be in the upper 20s and 30s, which Hotz said could present some travel problems.
“It definitely will stick on the roads,” he said. “Be prepared for some travel hazards. (There’s) definitely going to be some snow and ice, slick roadways, especially during the morning commute. If you don’t have to travel, it’s probably best if you don’t. If you do have to travel, give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go to and ... just take it slow.”
As for the next several days, Hotz said that the wintry temperatures are expected to stick around.
“It seems like we’re going to stay pretty chilly for ... the rest of this week and into the weekend,” Hotz said.
He said temperatures aren’t expected to warm up until Monday and Tuesday with highs predicted to be in the upper 40s and then by Thursday they are expected to be in the low 50s.
Hotz said while there have been drastic temperature changes and weather this week, it’s not too unusual for the area.
“It’s not too uncommon to have large temperature swings this time of year because really this part of the country, during the winter, we’re kind of in the battle zone between the arctic cold air that wants to push on through and then we have kind of the more ... warm ... gulf air, that wants to push back to the north,” he said. “It’s not too uncommon to have a large variance in temperatures and weather types this time of the year. Be ready for everything this time of the year.”