Mark Nagi, community relations officer for the eastern portion of the state, said main travel corridors will be given extra attention.
“All primary routes including interstates and four lanes will be brined before leaving for the day in Upper East Tennessee,” Nagi said. “The salt trucks will be loaded and ready for call out unless the forecast changes or otherwise directed before leaving today as well.”
The National Weather Service in Morristown had the cold and wet weather projected to begin last night, with it ramping up into severe weather and freezing rainfall, possibly turn to light freezing rain through Wednesday afternoon, what the organization is calling a “strong storm system.”
With many travelers on the road for the Thanksgiving holiday, preparations are being made for increased vehicles on the roads.
Sam Roberts, a meteorologist in Morristown, said the time with the greatest chance of accumulative snowfall will begin early Wednesday and carry into the morning commute. He stresses due caution for commuters, saying they should give themselves extra time on their rides to work, and to pay attention to others on the road.
As for snow totals, Roberts said there will be a difference between the snow falling and the snow that collects on the ground. Because of the rain that will drench the ground today, there’s a good chance it won’t have enough time to freeze, giving the ground a chance to sop up any fallen snow. He said a safe number for the Johnson City-area would be around two to three inches.
Coming into work Monday afternoon, Roberts said he noticed the roads had been salted in preparation for any snow or freezing rain that could wreak havoc on holiday travelers. Weather maps show the storm mass moving toward the Northeast, giving the possibility of the weather missing the region, but either way, Tennessee plans to be ready.
Nagi said the state would be prepared no matter what, even if the weather misses the Johnson City area.
“Our crews will stay on the job as long as the threat of inclement weather is with us,” he said.