More wet weather expected

Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:37 am

What had initially looked like a system that would drop ice and snow across East Tennessee turned, instead, into a rain event for the majority of the area.

Glenn Carrin, hydrologist with the National Weather Service office in Morristown, said most of East Tennessee received between 1.5 and two inches of rain, resulting in quick river rises around the area.

Although this has been a wet winter season, the rain events have been spaced far enough apart that the region’s rivers have been able to handle to increased water. With rain expected most of the week, that could change.

With the next rain event expected Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, Carrin said he wouldn’t be surprised if flooding warnings were issued later this week.

Late last week, the Internet was awash in warnings about an epic snowfall that could hit East Tennessee this coming weekend.

Carrin explained that this forecast was based on long-range computer models, which is a problem in itself.

“Because things are so dynamic, models have a hard time agreeing with each other,” the meteorologist said, explaining that recently computer models have changed from one part of the day to the next. Basing a forecast on a model more than a week out adds a lot of “noise” to the process.

Carrin said he has also examined the long-range models, and it appears to him a weather system will hit the area on Friday. One model, he explained, calls for the area to be cold enough for snow. Another shows it will bring rain.

“But they were both wet,” he said.

He explained that models are run four times a day, at midnight, 6 a.m., noon and 9 p.m. It’s not unusual for there to be inconsistencies within a single model run, depending on the quality and quantity of data input into the computer. The current forecast calls for precipitation for most days this week, but with daytime temperatures in the 40s and overnight lows in the 30s.

The next question mark day happens on Wednesday, when overnight lows are forecast in the upper 20s with the possibility of snow or freezing rain in parts of the NWS’ coverage area.

-By Denise Williams, Tribune Staff Writer

Headlines of the Day