NWS Revises Forecast - Winter Storm Warning for Sullivan County

John M. Dabbs

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Winter Storm WarningTengyart/Unsplash

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Morristown, Tennessee has issued a Winter Storm Warning for portions of East Tennessee, in addition to the areas in Kentucky and Southwest Virginia.

Winter Storm Warning

The winter storm warning is in effect from 4 a.m. Sunday morning until 7 a.m. Monday. The previous forecast had placed our area in the winter storm watch.

The NWS says we should expect heavy snow, with 3 to 5 inches of accumulation. We can expect higher snowfall amounts in some local areas and in the higher elevations. Expect wind gusts up to 35 miles and hour.

This warning area effects Sullivan County, Claiborne County, Hancock County, Hawkins County, and Northwest Carter County. People in the impacted area should expect slippery roadways and sidewalks. It will likely effect your morning communte.

Light to moderate snowfall and light freezing rain will move into the region from the south overnight into Sunday morning. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for
the affect regions. The Winter storm will affect the vast majority of the region Sunday through Monday with moderate to heavy snowfall expected for some areas.

Storm watches, advisories, and warnings

Normally, a Winter Storm Watch is issued a day ahead of the storm. It means the potential for a hazardous winter weather event has increased (50% chance of occurring), but whether it will occur, where, and the timing are still uncertain. It is meant to give us time to make plans to stay safe.

As the event becomes imminent, a watch will normally be upgraded to either a warning or an advisory (indicating an 80% or greater chance of happening). A Warning means conditions could pose a threat to life or property, and travel will be difficult. An Advisory means conditions could pose an inconvenience. If you don't use caution, it could threaten life and property.

  • A Winter Weather Advisory is issued for one or more of the following:  Snow of 3 to 5 inches in 12 hours, sleet accumulation up to 1/4 inch, freezing rain in combination with sleet and/or snow, or blowing snow. 
  • A Winter Storm Warning indicates that heavy snow of at least 6 inches in 12 hours, or at least 8 inches in 24 hours, is expected. It can also be issued if sleet accumulation will be at least half an inch. 
  • An Ice Storm Warning indicates that ice accumulation of at least 1/4 inch is expected.
  • A Blizzard Warning indicates that blizzard conditions (low visibility of less than 1/4 mile due to falling and/or blowing snow, and winds at least 35 mph) are expected for at least 3 hours. 

Remember to keep an extra blanket, snacks, water, and a flashlight in your vehicle if you must travel, in case of emergencies. Emergency officials request every restrict unnecessary travel during this period. Please be aware of road crews working to keep the roads and highways open for emergency vehicles. Should you encouter a snow plow, please allow plenty of room between you and the truck.

NWS and TDOT officials remind everyone that you can dial 5-1-1 to check the latest road conditions in the state. You can also view the live webcams at www.smartway.tn.gov

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Bristol, TN
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