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First Alert Friday: rain to snow to rain to cold

Meteorologist Ben Cathey is watching the next storm, which could bring snow to the Valley
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 3:14 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2021 at 10:00 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - While we start with cold liquid rain Thursday, many will see snow falling by Thursday night. Some will watch snow sticking on Friday. Much of that will be in the mountains and Cumberland Plateau. That’s why Friday is a WVLT First Alert Day.

More snowy slush comes late Monday night after a calmer weekend.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Frost is back at higher elevations on Thursday morning. We’re full of clouds for much of the day but temps should still be standard for the first week of January. That means we’re just shy of 50°. Rain doesn’t arrive until the later afternoon near Watts Bar Lake, Monroe, and McMinn Counties. We expect a few sleet pellets at the very beginning of this but most that get rain Thursday will watch it stay frigid, liquid rain.

Rain turns to snow in the early morning hours of Friday. That kicks off the First Alert. We’ll have sloppy and slippery roads, snow falling fast on the Plateau and Mountains, reduced visibility: long story short, driving and commuting will be tougher Friday.

Rain does linger later in the bottom of the Valley, Knoxville included, but snow should stick even in grassy areas, atop your roof, and on metal surfaces like cars. The best chance to get sticking snow is over Morgan, Scott, Fentress, Cumberland, and parts of Anderson Counties. Meanwhile snow should easily stick in the mountains. Much of this comes in the hours around dawn Friday. We get a slight lull in the action, but then a second surge of cold air and moisture brings more snow in the National Park and Cherokee National Forest.

From the WVLT Weather Center, custom made for your neighborhood
From the WVLT Weather Center, custom made for your neighborhood(WVLT)

LOOKING AHEAD

The weekend clears out and stays chilly. Monday comes with rain showers again, and now a chance to see that change to snow showers Monday night. This system looks more potent, and less like a ‘mountains only’ type storm. We’ll watch it very closely to see how far west the snow line can get towards Interstate 75.

There’s a few mountain-top snow showers Tuesday and Wednesday but the rest of us are partially cloudy and generally cold.

We should warm up a little bit next Thursday, at least!

Stick with WVLT News for the latest on our local forecast!

Forecast from WVLT
Forecast from WVLT(WVLT)

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