Winter is coming--- but what can we expect this year?

The last two winters have featured above average temperatures across much of the nation, including right here in East Tennessee. As a result, we saw below average snowfall last winter.


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This winter season is probably going to be a little bit different. We think it is probably going to be colder than what we experienced last year, although overall we may still have warmer than average temperatures. But because we may be a little bit colder, parts of the Plateau and Valley could see a little more snowfall this winter compared to last year.

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We talked with Anthony Cavallucci at the National Weather Service in Morristown to get his thoughts on the upcoming winter season and what lies ahead?

“La Nina is starting to rear its head, perhaps," he said. "There’s still a 50 to 60 percent chance that La Nina may develop So what does that mean for us? Well, it means usually warmer and near normal precipitation."

So, with a weak La Nina being forecasted, we expect our winter temperatures to be a little warmer than average overall, but colder when compared to last year. And overall, our winter precipitation is expected to be close to average this year.

With slightly warmer than average temperatures expected this winter season, some icing events in the Tennessee Valley cannot be ruled out.


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Anthony said, “We could still see a few cold outbreaks along with some snow and ice and things like that, The big things we have to pay attention to are: How deep is the cold air? Do we have moisture in place? And do we have some sort of lifting mechanism to get the atmosphere to rise to produce precipitation?”

We are forecasting snowfall to be near to slightly above average, and more than we received last year. For the Valley, we are forecasting 5 to 9 inches of snow this winter (average is around 6 inches). For the Plateau region, we are forecasting 9 to 14 inches (average is close to 12 inches). And for the lower elevations of the Smokies, 14 to 20 inches of snow this season.

Our favored time for snow, as usual, will likely occur from mid-January through mid-February. But as we've seen before, an early spring snowfall in March is always possible!

So there you have it. Colder than last year with a little bit more snowfall expected, but overall, near average conditions expected this winter season. But we do live in East Tennessee, so we will be keeping an eye out for any surprises!


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