When it comes to weather forecasts, most merely agree to disagree.
But area residents agree with this fact: It didn’t snow or ice over the weekend, restoring faith among many that what remains on the ground nine days after the original winter storm will eventually go away.
Is another round in the meteorological hopper?
It’s too early to know with any reliability, but forecasters are looking at the possibility of more snow or ice or both by early Friday morning just before the start of commutes to work and school. The last report late Monday showed the possibility of a “light wintry mix.” Yet, this has remained an off and on forecast for the past couple of days, and the latest charts this morning aren’t looking threatening.
Area residents already know the next part of the forecast ... “stay tuned.”
For those interested in such facts, the Cleveland and Bradley County area has received 19 inches of snow in the past year. This would include parts of last winter. But most of that has been accumulated since Christmas Day 2010 when anywhere from 4 to 7 inches fell in surrounding areas, and another 8 inches or more fell in the early morning hours of Jan. 10.
The Christmas Day snow, although it clogged area roads for most motorists, was considered “fun” by many because it was thought to be the first white Christmas in Bradley County since 1989 when a slight dusting was recorded. Earlier records show a white Christmas dating back to the 1960s.
Most of the Christmas Day snow melted within the next two to three days and this allowed households to resume their normal routines. Not so with the Jan. 10 storm that dropped a heavier accumulation; plus, and most significantly, temperatures did not climb above the freezing mark until late-week. Subsequently, side streets and secondary routes remained icy, especially each morning as nighttime temperatures plunged and re-froze the daytime melting caused by traffic.
Rain dominates the forecast today and tonight with colder temperatures later in the week bringing the possibility of frozen precipitation by late Thursday or Friday.
Data looking at the Thursday night and Friday chances is being provided by the National Weather Service in Morristown. NWS meteorologists believe what chances exist now could be greatest during the Friday morning commute and into mid-morning. If any frozen precipitation occurs, it isn’t expected to last more than a few hours.
Moisture-filled air will dominate and temperatures will be at about 32 degrees — a typical scenario for possible snow in the Southeast Tennessee area, NWS forecasters report. However, low temperatures aren’t expected to rival those from last week, according to current reports.
Last week, the Bradley County area didn’t experience above-freezing temperatures until Friday when the thermometer climbed to a high of 38 degrees at the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency Operations Center.
The mercury climbed from 8 degrees that morning and by 1:45 p.m. had reached 33.
Some outdoor strollers were even overheard remarking, “It feels like summer today.”