Tennessee took a break from the winter weather on Wednesday with temperatures in the mid-60s across most of the state, but the sunshine and warmth won't last, according to the National Weather Service.
A cold front is expected to move across the state starting Thursday night, bringing a high chance of snow in most places on Friday into Saturday.
Submitted by Ryan Mungwira
The front will move in from the west, hitting Memphis on Thursday night, bringing cooler temperatures and a 50 percent chance of snow during the day Friday, said Tim Doyle, a meteorologist with the NWS in Morristown.
A winter storm watch was issued for the western third of the state Wednesday afternoon, calling for up to three-tenths of an inch of ice before noon and up to four inches of snow between midnight Thursday and 9 p.m. Friday.
The front will then hit Nashville with highs around 30 degrees. Freezing rain is likely Friday morning in Middle Tennessee and will change to a mix of freezing rain and snow later in the day.
Some snow and ice accumulation is possible, although amounts were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon. Lows will be in the low 20s Friday night.
In Knoxville and East Tennessee, temperatures will start to drop Friday night and will come with an 80 percent chance of precipitation. That will likely start off as rain but turn to snow overnight Friday into Saturday.
Snow showers are also expected Saturday with highs in the low to mid 30s and a 60 percent chance of precipitation.
Up to half an inch of snow could fall in Knoxville by Saturday afternoon, while between an inch and 1.5 inches is projected for the Great Smoky Mountains and elevated areas north and northwest of Knoxville.
The weather is expected to clear by Sunday, with temperatures remaining in the upper 20s to lower 30s but mostly clear.
After several days of temperatures in the 60s, the change is drastic, but it's hardly unusual, especially when a major front is about to move in, Doyle said.
And while it has been warm recently, the temperatures were not quite high enough to hit new records Wednesday.
The record high temperature for Jan. 10 in Knoxville was set in 1949 when it was 76 degrees at McGhee Tyson Airport. By late afternoon Wednesday, the high was at 70 in Knoxville.
In Memphis, the high was at 59 mid-afternoon. The high temperature there for Jan .10 is 75 degrees, set in 1890.
In Nashville, the temperature hit 65 mid-afternoon. The record high is 72 degrees, also set in 1890.