Note: This story was last updated at 1:31 p.m.
A flood watch will be in effect for parts of East Tennessee, including Anderson County, and parts of southwest Virginia and North Carolina starting this afternoon (Saturday, February 21) and continuing through Sunday afternoon, forecasters said.
The flood watch follows a week of winter weather that included icy precipitation on Monday, snow on Wednesday morning, bitter cold on Thursday and Friday, and more snow starting Friday night.
But the National Weather Service in Morristown said the forecast calls for melting snow and ice Saturday night in addition to rain.
“After lots of snow and ice this week, warming temperatures and about an inch of rain tonight may cause flooding,” the NWS said. “Be alert if you live in flood-prone areas, especially near creeks and streams in the higher elevations where heavier snow cover lingers.”
The flood watch includes Oak Ridge, Clinton, Knoxville, Lenoir City, and Kingston, and Blount, Campbell, Scott, Loudon, Morgan, Knox, and Roane counties.
In an announcement posted at 12:49 p.m. Saturday, the NWS said minor flooding is possible as rain is expected to produce melting of ice and snow cover late Saturday and Saturday night. The rain will continue through the night ahead of a cold front.
“The rain and snow melt may result in periods of substantial runoff that could produce localized flooding or flash flooding, as well as river flooding,” forecasters said. “This threat is most likely during the period from late this afternoon through Sunday afternoon.”
Here is the NWS forecast near Oak Ridge for Saturday and Sunday:
Saturday afternoon: Rain. High near 41. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.
Saturday night: Showers. Areas of fog after 8 p.m. Low around 36. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming light and variable. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent.
Sunday: Rain, mainly before 2 p.m. Areas of fog before 8am. High near 42. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.
There is a slight chance of snow again on Monday and Tuesday.
More information will be added as it becomes available.