National Weather Service closely watches approaching storm

National Weather Service closely watches approaching storm


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The National Weather Service (NWS) issued their latest predictions on an approaching winter storm that could dump freezing rain and sleet on East Tennessee.

On Thursday, the service revised down its initial estimates of ice accumulation, though the storm is still expected to cause some headaches for motorists and residents.

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The NWS said it expected the hardest hit areas to be Roane County and areas west of Knoxville, particularly Roane, Anderson, North Knox, Cumberland, and Morgan Counties.

Those areas are predicted to receive about .3 inches of ice starting between 6 and 8 a.m. Friday and continuing through 1 to 3 p.m. Sleet and ice accumulation are both possible, according to weather officials.

The NWS said both Knoxville and Chattanooga will have the potential for "a hazardous morning commute," with the potential for slick roads, downed trees and power lines, and localized power outages.

In the Knoxville area, .15 to .2 inches of ice are expected and sleet is also possible. The timeframe for the storm to move through Knoxville is 6 to 8 a.m. through 11 a.m.  to 1 p.m.

McMinn, Monroe and Cumberland Counties will receive the initial impact of the storm. It's expected to hit the area between 5 and 7 a.m. and end between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Between 0.10 and 0.20 inches of ice accumulation are expected.

For Hamblen, Cocke and Greene Counties, the storm is expected to arrive between 7 and 9 a.m. and end between 2 and 4 p.m. with .15 and .30 inches of ice accumulation predicted.

In the Smokies for elevations above 3,000 feet up to the highest elevations, forecasters are now predicting rain instead of snow as originally expected.

Between one and three inches of snow are expected in Southwest Virginia, including Lee County.

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