Interstate 75 had minimal traffic and city streets also had few travelers during the morning commute.
Preparations began Monday in anticipation of the storm beginning Tuesday, but lower humidity and colder air had not come into play.
Bradley County and Cleveland City School systems announced closings Tuesday afternoon after David Hotz of the National Weather Service in Morristown said he “was confident” that the storm was on track to dump up to seven inches of frozen precipitation in the form of sleet and snow on the Cleveland area community.
The event began earlier today with sleet.
A number of Facebook users locally kept posts up-to-date.
Allen Mincey of United Way of Bradley County said sleet began falling in north Cleveland at 5:37 a.m., stating it sounded like the breakfast cereal “Rice Krispies” as it struck the ground.
Temperatures overnight hovered around the freezing mark.
At 8:30 a.m., the thermometer fell to 31 degrees at Wacker in Charleston.
During the weather webinar held at the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, Hotz explained the elements of the storm had finally begun to agree with one of several forecast models that meteorologists had been observing the past few days, trying to determine what could happen and the impact it could bring to the South.
Some forecasters are calling the storm “historic” and could be “catastrophic” due to the forecast calling for crippling ice expected to fall on Georgia, the Carolinas and into the Virginias before scooting up the coast toward New England.
They also indicated nearly 100 million people in the South could be affected.
Bradley County Road Department and Cleveland Public Works officials prepared salt trucks and other equipment.
State roadways and the Tennessee Department of Transportation began treating roadways and had snowplows traveling interstates and highways early.
Cleveland government officials stated, “If the forecast for 3 to 6 inches of snow holds true, Cleveland residents with business at any city office or facility, including city court, should watch for closing announcement through [local media outlets] or by visiting the city website at www.clevelandtn.gov.”
CBCEMA officials urge residents in Bradley County and the surrounding areas to sign up for Nixle alerts by going to www.bradleyco.net web page and clicking on the EMA link, which will guide residents through the process.
“The public information service is free and as postings about emergency information are posted, they are instantly sent to your smartphone or email addresses,” said Troy Spence, director of CBCEMA.
CBCEMA officials are continuing to monitor roadways and conditions.
According to NWS Morristown data, snowfall through Thursday at 9 a.m. can be expected. Humidity levels are high and temperatures are expected to remain slightly below or just above the freezing mark until Thursday afternoon, before dropping into the upper-20s Thursday night.