JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – As winter approaches, Northeast Tennessee residents are keenly looking at forecasts to anticipate what the season might bring. The Old Farmer's Almanac, renowned for its long-standing tradition in weather prediction, forecasts a colder and snowier winter for the Appalachian region, including Northeast Tennessee. They predict above-normal precipitation and snowfall, especially during late December, mid-to-late January, and early to mid-February, with temperatures expected to be below normal overall (The Old Farmer's Almanac).
In contrast, Mark Reynolds, the Chief Meteorologist from WJHL, offers a more nuanced outlook. He predicts an increase in snowfall, averaging around 6-9 inches for the Tri-Cities, with the potential for heavy rains and warm temperatures if the region is on the warmer side of passing storms. Reynolds also raises the possibility of severe weather and unusually warm periods from December to late March (WJHL).
Historical weather patterns in Northeast Tennessee reveal a wide range of winter experiences. The region typically sees an average annual snowfall varying from four to six inches, with more than 10 inches over the northern Cumberland Plateau and the mountains of the east. Notably, at an elevation of 6,594 feet, Mt. LeConte receives an impressive average of around 75 inches of snowfall each year (Tennessee Climatology).
As residents prepare for the upcoming winter, they face a season potentially filled with a mix of heavy snow, warm spells, and even severe weather. This year's winter in Northeast Tennessee is shaping up to be a season of contrasts and surprises, reflecting the region's diverse climatic patterns. Local authorities are advised to prepare for various scenarios, from heavy snowfall to unexpected warm periods and potentially severe weather events.