The snow's over, but the cold remains

Brandon Paykamian • Jan 29, 2019 at 10:12 PM

If Monday and Tuesday’s weather taught us anything, it’s that looks can be deceiving.

When the Arctic blast began to move into the Tri-Cities region late Tuesday morning after Monday’s mild and sunny weather, the conditions changed within hours as the snow began to fall.

The National Weather Service projected 2 to 3 inches of snowfall in lower elevations, with the possibility of up to 6 inches in higher elevations, but the weather cleared up and the sun came back out before 3 p.m.

Despite this, meteorologists still projected wind chills as low as minus-15 degrees across the higher elevations and 5 degrees to minus-5 degrees in lower elevations from Tuesday night into Thursday morning.

Along with some stray flurries in the coming days, this cold spell could create the possibility of dangerous road conditions in some isolated spots, according to meteorologist Mary Black.

“There might be a few stray flurries into the early morning hours, but we are not expecting any more accumulation,” she said, adding meteorologists expect Wednesday overnight lows between 5 and 10 degrees.

“Any places on the road that have not had a chance to dry out over the course of the day could definitely have some re-freezing.”

For most places, the roads should be fine, but it never hurts to be cautious, according to Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesperson Mark Nagi.

“We will continue to monitor weather forecasts in the days ahead. One of the concerns will be frozen conditions on the roadways. Our crews have been treating interstates and state routes since the early morning hours,” Nagi said Tuesday afternoon. “The forecasts at the present time don’t appear to lend themselves to dangerous road conditions, but obviously those can change.”

He advised local motorists to stay up to date on the conditions in their area, especially in some of the higher elevations.

“Motorists can utilize the TDOT SmartWay system for real-time information on Tennessee roadways, including details on crashes, construction, backups, traffic camera, etc. on smartWay.tn.gov,” he said. “But people should never use it when behind the wheel.”

Additional weather information for Johnson City can be found at www.weather.gov/mrx.