|Snow showers predicted for Saturday night in NWTN |
|By SABRINA BATES |
Chief Staff Writer
While other parts of the country are suffering at the hands of Jack Frost, Northwest Tennessee is expected to see it’s first bought of winter weather this weekend as temperatures are predicted to drop the same time that moisture descends from the clouds.
For an area that rarely experiences wintry precipitation, the possibility of snow showers Saturday night is something Weakley County Emergency Management Director Mark Seat advises people in Northwest Tennessee to be cautious as they venture out to holiday gatherings.
“The main thing is if you don’t have to be out, don’t get out. If you do have to be out on the roads, be careful of the other drivers,” Seat said on Friday.
Seat explained that while temperatures do not have to be below freezing for the area to see frozen precipitation, temps play a factor in whether frozen precipitation will stick and stick around.
“We can still see snow and sleet if the temperatures are above 32 degrees (Fahrenheit), but it’s not likely to stick or offer any accumulation,” Seat said.
The NWS is calling for rain beginning Friday night and becoming heavy at times on Saturday. As the ground is already saturated, there is a possibility for flooding of creeks, rivers and their tributaries this weekend with a 90 percent chance of rainfall on Saturday.
There is a potential for roadways, farms and low lands to acquire standing water also.
Jack Frost is expected to sweep in the area around 10 p.m. on Saturday as a deepening low pressure system heads to Northwest Tennessee from the east.
A low temperature of 29 degrees Fahrenheit will marry with precipitation to bring snow showers throughout the night on Saturday.
“I spoke with the National Weather Service of Memphis today (Friday) and we went over scenarios for accumulation. I don’t expect anything over one-half inch, if that, in some areas,” Seat offered. According to the NWS, researchers say that 70 percent of the fatalities related to snow and ice occur in automobiles, and about 25 percent of all winter related fatalities are people caught off guard, out in the storm.
Winter weather can bring threats in the form of more than just frozen precipitation; vehicle accidents, house fires from heaters, hypothermia, and frostbite due to the extreme cold are risk factors during the winter season.
The NWS considers near freezing temperatures to be “extreme cold” in the South. Infants and the elderly are at a higher risk to be affected by winter temperatures. For a complete guide to preparation before a winter storm, as well as what to do in the event of dangerous weather, visit http://www.weather.gov/om/winter/index.shtml.