PERIODS OF RAIN TODAY AND TONIGHT
FLOOD WATCH FOR SOUTHEAST KENTUCKY THROUGH TONIGHT
WE ARE TRACKING COLD AIR MOVING INTO THE REGION TODAY
RAIN WILL RETURN TO THE TRI-CITIES SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY
WINTER STORM WATCH FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS SUNDAY
Today: Rain likely with thunderstorms possible. Rain may be heavy at times. Breezy. Temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Southwest wind 5-15 mph.
Tonight: Rain likely. Rain may mix with sleet or light freezing rain before ending late. Lows 32-38. Northwest wind 5-15 mph.
Saturday: Slight chance of a morning rain or snow shower. Colder. Highs 38-46. North wind 5-15 mph.
We are tracking a major storm system heading toward the Tri-Cities. Dangerous winter weather is occurring across the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys. Freezing rain, sleet, snow, and bitter cold are occurring behind a cold front that will approach the Tri-Cities today.
We will remain on the wet side of this system today. Occasional rain showers are likely today and tonight. Rain could be heavy at times and a few thunderstorms are possible. A flood watch is in effect for southeast Kentucky through tonight.
Excessive rain is also possible for those border counties along the Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia state lines. This would include Buchanan, Dickenson, Wise, and Lee Counties in Virginia, as well as Hancock County, Tennessee.
In general through Friday night, 0.5" to 1.5" of rain is expected for the Tri-Cities area, 1.5" to 3.0" near the Kentucky/Virginia border, and 0.5" to 1.0" eastern areas.
Colder air will spread into the Tri-Cities today, and even more so tonight. Some sleet or light freezing rain may develop for a brief time toward morning Saturday near the Kentucky/Virginia border.
Right now, it appears Saturday will be mostly dry... with perhaps a shower in spots early. Temperatures will be much cooler this weekend. Another wave of moisture will arrive in the Tri-Cities Saturday night into Sunday bringing more wet weather for the second half of the weekend.
Cold enough air will be in place for the rain to begin as freezing rain over the mountains of North Carolina and into parts of southwest Virginia. A brief period of sleet or snow may also occur over the northern counties of southwest Virginia. By later Sunday afternoon, temperatures should be above freezing everywhere allowing for just rain (except near the Blue Ridge where temperatures may struggle to get above freezing).
The rainy weather will likely continue into Monday. As a strong cold front sweeps across the southern Appalachian region Monday night, colder air will be ushered into the Tri-Cities. Rain showers may mix with or change to snow showers Monday night and Tuesday before ending.
Rainfall totals through Monday night will likely be in the 1.5" to 4" range, with higher totals west and northwest of the Tri-Cities.
The main danger we need to alert you to over the next few days is the possibility of heavy rainfall. The StormTrack 5 weather team will track any flood threat closely and bring you any alerts that may become necessary. The ice storm threat for areas near Wytheville, VA to near Newland, NC on Sunday will continue to be monitored.
Highs will be mainly in the 50s today. Highs will be much colder this weekend through Thursday, with temperatures topping out in the 40s Saturday and Sunday, lower 50s Monday, and the upper 30s to lower 40s Tuesday through Thursday. Lows will drop into the 30s tonight through Monday night, and upper 10s to lower 20s Tuesday and Wednesday night.
You can always get the latest weather alerts, forecasts, and radar on News 5, WCYB.com, and on the StormTrack 5 weather app.
Our normal high is 50°, normal low 29°.
Meteorologist David Boyd