Good news! Looks like the rain is ending and temperatures have reached 32 degrees. That means the worst of the weather is over for Friday. The next concern is when temperatures fall back into the 20's late tonight, causing wet roads to refreeze overnight and Saturday morning.
Here is a quick update on your East Tennessee forecast:
Ice Storm Warning until 7pm Friday with possible ice accumulation from 1/4" to 1/2" across the area. Freezing rain is still falling across most areas, but we are seeing some snow towards the north and northeastern sections of the viewing area.
Until 2pm - look for freezing rain and wintry mix to continue.
2pm-4pm - we should be drying out from the west towards the east with temperatures hopefully climbing near freezing, if not a little above freezing.
4pm - 10pm - we will see gradually clearing skies with temperatures falling back into the 20s.
Main concern for the rest of the day and into tonight will be ice on the roadways and possibly a few power lines. Tonight there is also the possibility of black ice.
The National Weather Service has issued an Ice Storm Warning until 7pm Friday as wintry precip continues to fall across the area.
THe biggest threat is that the temperatures are not looking to get about freezing this afternoon. With that, the freezing rain may pick up a bit across the area this afternoon. The threat is that the ice accumulation may be anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" possible.
Throughout the rest of the day this is what we are expecting:
Until 4pm - expect precip to continue to fall. Freezing rain will continue, may see some transition to snow near the Tri-Cities area
4pm - 10pm looks to clear out, clouds will stick around for a while until evening, hopefully temps will get above freezing
10pm - through the evening, look for skies to gradually clear, but lows will drop into the 20s again, which means that roads will remain hazardous into the early morning hours of Saturday.
Improving conditions throughout the weekend
We had a little break in the freezing rain Friday morning, but another round is expected between 10 am and 2 pm. There is more precipitation in this band, and with the temperatures still below freezing, it will likely all fall as freezing rain, creating more icing conditions.
Freezing rain is already falling in East Tennessee, with cars and other surfaces already being coated with a thin layer of ice.
As for roads, Knoxville Police report bridges and overpasses on the east end of Knoxville are becoming iced over. Secondary roads in south Knoxville also experiencing problems. Parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and vehicles are iced over. Untreated roads are becoming slick and iced covered.
We're getting reports from most East Tennessee counties that untreated roads are becoming very slick.
The freezing rain is expected to continue falling, and may intensify as the morning goes on.
Please be very cautious if you have to get out, and if you can stay home, please do so!
Snow and ice are back in the forecast for East Tennessee, and our Friday could be a very messy one!
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the area, as well as a Freezing Rain Advisory starting Friday morning early ending Friday evening.
Chief Meteorologist Todd Howell is watching this system closely, and as is always the case in East Tennessee, the forecast could change, but here's what he is expecting as of Wednesday afternoon.
In the overnight hours Thursday into Friday, sleet and freezing rain could fall, creating dangerous driving conditions for the morning commute. When this could happen depends on where you live, and the temperature:
For the southwestern valley and southwestern plateau (McMinn, Monroe, Loudon, Rhea, Meigs, Roane, Cumberland), 1/4 of an inch of ice accumulation is possible, starting between 5-7 am.
For the central valley, rest of the plateau, mountains (Knox, Sevier, Blount, Anderson, Scott, Campbell, Morgan, Fentress, Union), up to from 1/10 to 1/4 of an inch of ice accumulation is possible, starting between 7-8 am.
For upper East Tennessee (Hamblen, Greene, Grainger, Jefferson, Claiborne, Cocke, Hancock, Hawkins), 1-2 inches of snow is possible starting Friday morning.
This forecast, and whether you get ice or snow where you live, is heavily dependent on where the "freezing line" is, and that could change before Friday and even during the day.
The freezing rain and snow could continue throughout the day on Friday, ending in more rain showers. All the precipitation is expected to be out of the area by 8:00 pm on Friday.