KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Frigid conditions are coming to the East Tennessee region this weekend with the temperatures getting down to the single digits in some places. There is a chance for a few rain/snow showers over the Plateau early on Friday. Snow showers will taper off Friday evening but may linger over the higher elevations of the Smokies through Saturday morning.
A Winter Storm Warning and Wind Chill Warning for the higher elevations of the Smokies will go into effect Friday afternoon and continues through Saturday morning.
While the snow may not stick, the cold will. Some areas will stay below freezing from Friday afternoon to at least midday Sunday. Wind chill values Saturday will be in the single digits to below zero across the area. Saturday’s high is only 32 degrees even with ample sunshine by the afternoon. It will only get colder into the night.
Wind chills are what are going to make it feel even colder. This is because when it is windy, body heat is pushed away from a person. When there is a high wind chill, it is suggested that you limit time outdoors as hypothermia and frostbite can occur in minutes. It is best to cover exposed skin when outside.
According to the National Park Service, the average high in January is 35 degrees and the average low is 19 degrees for Clingman’s Dome. At a lower elevation, Gatlinburg’s average high is 51 and the low is 28. In Knoxville, the coldest that has even been recorded was -24 degrees on January 21, 1985.
With high wind chills expected, look at the map below for an idea of what the temperature is going to feel like. To put those numbers into perspective, water freezes at 32 degrees and can occur at any temperature below 31 degrees.
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