High-Impact Winter Storm incoming for the TN Valley. Significant Travel Impacts Expected

A WINTER STORM WARNING remains in effect for almost all of our viewing area counties (except Morgan County, AL that has a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY) until 6:00 AM Tuesday morning. This is for high confidence in significant accumulations of snow, sleet, and a bit of freezing rain… depending on what specific parts of the area you are in… and widespread hazardous travel conditions that will be in place across the area.

Our latest forecast thinking maintains a heavy snow band of 4 to 6 inches of snow accumulation (with localized heavier totals possible) across a large part of southern middle Tennessee, into extreme northwest Alabama, and back into north Mississippi. In our viewing area, this heaviest snow band runs from the western side of Giles County TN, back through much of Lawrence, Wayne, and Hardin Counties of TN, into north and west central Lauderdale and northwestern Colbert Counties of AL and back into the northern half of Tishomingo County in MS. Surrounding that, 3 to 5 inches of snow accumulation (with isolated heavier totals possible) is expected in our viewing area as far north as Lewis, Maury, and Marshall Counties of TN, southward through the northern side of Limestone County AL, through the Quad Cities of the Shoals metro of northwest Alabama, back through Cherokee AL and into central Tishomingo County MS. South of there, we have seen a clear trend toward some warmer air around 5,000 ft mixing in during the day on Monday for areas south of the Tennessee River in northwest Alabama and then over toward Athens, the Huntsville metro, and on into northeast AL. This would cause sleet and freezing rain to mix in across these areas. We have lowered snow totals there a bit (2 to 3 inches with isolated heavier totals possible from Athens to south of Muscle Shoals to Town Creek, Russellville, Red Bay in northwest AL and then back into southern Tishomingo County MS… and areas south of there from Phil Campbell through Moulton, Decatur, Hartselle and northeastward in the 1 to 2 inch snow range), but in these areas, there may also be 0.1 to 0.25 inches of accumulation of a sleet and freezing rain mix. Widespread hazardous travel is likely areawide, regardless of what specific precipitation type or types occur at your house. We are already getting light sleet reports in north Mississippi from activity beginning to develop. That is part of the evaporational cooling process to prep the atmosphere for snow to reach the ground. That will likely move into northwest Alabama over the next hour or so, but we don’t expect any real problems from it. However, snow and sleet starts ramping up across the area as early as 5:00 PM, and travel could start going downhill as early as sunset. We urge people to wrap up travel and be heading home by 5:00 PM this afternoon in our viewing area.

In addition to the widespread hazardous travel, there may be some scattered power outages within that heaviest snow band area. Despite this being a little more powdery than most snow events we have here, the heavy nature of that snow in the heaviest banding area may be enough to weigh on some tree limbs that have already been weakened by the last few high wind events. This opens the door for at least a few isolated to scattered power outages being possible in these areas.

You can see the overall timeline of the winter storm above, both in the timeline summary graphic as well as the Futurecast image gallery. The Futurecast images are in chronological order from top left to bottom right. You can click on any of these images to bring them to full screen.

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