A winter storm warning is in effect in the mountains of East Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and western North Carolina from Friday to Saturday night, and up to 15 inches of snow is possible at elevations above 5,000 feet, forecasters said.
Snowfall of between four to eight inches is expected for locations above 2,500 feet, including Interstate 40 in North Carolina and I-26 in Unicoi County, according to the National Weather Service in Morristown. Up to 12-15 inches of snow is possible on the highest peaks above 5,000 feet, including U.S. Highway 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The NWS said the winter storm will create life-threatening conditions in the affected mountain areas from 8 p.m. Friday to 8 p.m. Saturday. Hazardous and life-threatening travel conditions are expected on roads from significant snowfall in the winter storm warning area, the NWS said. Downed trees and power outages are possible, and travel, hiking, camping, and any other outdoor activity is “highly discouraged,” forecasters said.
The NWS said there is an 80 percent chance of rain Friday night near Oak Ridge, with a low around 33, and rain and snow are likely before noon Saturday, with a 60 percent chance of precipitation. A new snow accumulation of less than a half-inch is possible.
Forecasters said it’s part of a complex weather system moving across the eastern U.S. that is bringing a variety of hazardous weather to the region on Friday and into the weekend. Much colder weather is expected by Saturday, along with numerous showers and accumulating snow in the higher elevations of the Appalachians. Rain and snow will move into northern New England on Sunday.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See information on a winter weather advisory here.
See information on a freeze watch here.
See the Oak Ridge seven-day forecast here.