Despite Friday’s influx of warmer weather, meteorologists with the National Weather Service said the region will have at least one more bout of wintry weather before entering a “warming trend.”
For the second time this week, the NWS station in Morristown has issued a winter weather advisory for Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia that began on Friday and is expected to end at 10 a.m. today.
NWS meteorologist Jerry Hevrdeys said that, in addition to any snow that may be lingering from this week’s earlier snowstorms, 1 to 4 inches of snow could land on the region, along with other, more treacherous forms of precipitation.
“You could see a little bit of sleet going with it,” Hevrdeys said. “We could get some ice and snow.”
That forecast of sleet, ice and snow could also be coupled with freezing temperatures throughout most of today. With all those possibilities, drivers may find themselves again facing hazardous road conditions. According to figures collected by Washington County 911, 84 accidents occurred in Washington County between Wednesday and approximately 3 p.m. Friday. 911 staff added, however, that it was unknown whether inclement weather conditions played a role in those accidents.
Nevertheless, the combination of rain, snow, and freezing temperatures could make for some dangerous road conditions. Mike Arsenault, assistant director Johnson City’s Public Works Department, advised that drivers take extra care this weekend because of those factors, as well as Friday’s warmer weather.
“Everyone needs to be cautious because of what we experienced (Friday),” Arsenault said. “There was a lot of snow melting and it’ll get cold. By all means, people need to be alert to the fact that it could re-freeze.”
Arsenault added the wet conditions will limit some of the pre-treatment options available to Johnson City’s street division, but the division was still prepared to deal with any upcoming wintry weather.
“Given that it’s supposed to begin with rain, we are not laying any treatment down,” Arsenault said. “We have used a good bit of salt, but we have enough to deal with whatever will come this weekend.
“Other than being tired from the last few days of battling snow, everything is fine.”
As far as the state’s level of preparedness, Tennessee Department of Transportation Community Relations Officer Mark Nagi said that road crews had been scheduled to work on Friday evening in anticipation of the winter weather.
“They will treat the roads, if necessary, overnight,” Nagi said, on Friday afternoon. “We will continue to monitor our forecast, and adjust our game plan if necessary.”
As of Friday evening, the NWS forecast temperatures to warm to the 40s by Sunday. From there, according to NWS meteorologist Mary Black, the region is predicted to enter into a “warming trend” that should serve to eliminate any remnants of winter weather.
“On Monday, temperatures should be climbing right around to the 50-degree mark,” Black said. “We’ll push it to the upper 50s as we go into Tuesday, and we’ll probably be right around 60 degrees for Wednesday. We’re definitely going to see a warming trend through the course of this coming week.”
Anyone wishing to keep track of the weekend’s forecast can do so by visiting the NWS Morristown station’s website at srh.noaa.gov/mrx.