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January 19, 2016

TEMA at Level 4 Elevated to Monitor Winter Weather Potential

The State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville (SEOC) set its activation at Level 4 Elevated at 4 p.m., CST, this afternoon, Jan. 19, 2016. We are monitoring weather forecasts from National Weather Service offices in Memphis, Nashville and Morristown, Tenn., as well as Jackson, Ky. and Huntsville, Ala. Given the winter weather potential, TEMA felt it necessary to elevate our status to ensure staffing, procedures and equipment in order, given the potential for two waves of snow, ice, and possibly some heavy rain, today through Friday. Below is the updated forecast and overview of the latest from the National Weather Service for Tennessee.

West Tennessee
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for much of northeast Arkansas, the Missouri Bootheel and northwest Tennessee beginning at 9 p.m., CST, this evening and lasting through midday Wednesday. Cold ground temperatures will allow wintry precipitation to accumulate rather quickly beginning late Tuesday night. There is the potential for freezing rain possibly mixed with ice pellets through early Wednesday morning. A second system late Thursday night through Friday may produce wintry weather for the Midsouth.

Middle Tennessee
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for all of Middle Tennessee from 3 a.m., CST to 6 p.m., CST, on Wednesday. A wintry mix is likely on Wednesday morning across Middle Tennessee – generally between 3 a.m., CST, and 12 p.m., CST on Wednesday. Highest snow amounts will be near Tennessee’s Kentucky border and on the Cumberland Plateau. Areas north of I-40 and east of I-24 could see between 2” to 3” of snow (up to 4” possible in some areas) while areas along and south of I-40 and west of I-24 could see freezing rain and sleet with a light glazing of ice and a dusting of snow. Ice accumulations of up to one-tenth-of-an-inch will be possible for the entire area. Temperatures will be well below freezing on Wednesday morning, so any ice or snow would quickly accumulate on bridges and roads creating hazardous driving conditions. A Winter Weather Advisory will likely be needed for at least parts of Middle Tennessee on Wednesday morning. Another winter storm could bring more snow accumulations to Middle Tennessee on Friday.

East Tennessee
A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect Wednesday across the region. In the southern Tennessee Valley snow will switch over to a wintry mix during the day Wednesday. A wind chill advisory also is in effect for the higher elevations of the Southern Appalachians and Southwest Virginia. From 1” to 3” of snow is possible across the region. Ice accumulations across southeast Tennessee may cause tree branches to fall and may snap power lines, resulting in minor power outages. Maximum accumulations may occur between 11 a.m., EST and 3 p.m., EST, with the wintry mix ending mid-to-late afternoon. Rain changing to snow is possible late Friday afternoon also, with significant snowfall possible in the far eastern Tennessee mountains and lighter snowfall in the lower elevations.

TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders.