Will Middle Tennessee see snow this week? It’s a definite possibility.
As a record-breaking cold front hits the eastern U.S. early this week, Middle Tennessee won’t be spared by low temperatures that dip well below freezing.
Residents will notice a stark 30-degree difference between high temperatures on Monday and Tuesday, coupled with blustery wind gusts and precipitation
Monday’s weather is expected to be mild in the low 60s until the cold front moves in late afternoon and early evening, said Brittney Whitehead, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Nashville office.
Temperatures will drop “drastically” throughout Monday evening as rain moves through the region, Whitehead said.
“Depending on how fast that precipitation moves east and how quickly the cold air moves in, we’ll see a changeover from ran to a rain-snow mix in the evening,” she said. “If we have precipitation after midnight, it will likely be all snow.”
The good news is that only trace amounts of precipitation are expected, and surface temperatures will still be well above freezing on Monday, which should fend against slick spots on roadways, she said.
Areas near the Cumberland Plateau may see longer periods of snowfall and up to three-quarters of an inch of accumulation.
However, by Monday night and early Tuesday morning, roadway conditions may become slick as surface temperatures fall below freezing.
Commuters are advised to carve out some extra time for their morning drive into work on Tuesday, and remember that elevated surfaces like bridges and overpasses are the first to be affected by freezing temperatures.
“On Tuesday morning, we could see a little more widespread slippery areas, and it really just depends on how fast that precipitation moves out on Monday night,” Whitehead said.
With Tuesday morning’s temperatures well below freezing, it’s likely to feel even colder when you factor in wind chill.
Wind gusts between 10 and 20 miles per hour are expected Tuesday morning. That means the “feels like” temperatures will be in the low teens — and maybe even dip into single digits, according to Whitehead.
Pet owners are advised to bring their furry friends inside, and anyone spending time outside should make sure to wear extra layers.
Tuesday’s high is expected to hit just 32 degrees, but the wind gusts and partly-sunny skies should also help dry wet and slippery roadways throughout the day, Whitehead said.
Temperatures will climb back up into the 40s and 50s by Wednesday and through the rest of this week.
Nationwide, the NWS is forecasting more than 170 potential record-setting cold high temperatures between Monday and Wednesday.
While cold fronts this time of year aren’t completely out of the ordinary, this one will push temperatures “much further below normal than what we’d typically see,” Whitehead said.
Reach Elaina Sauber at firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-571-1172 or follow @ElainaSauber on Twitter.
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