Area meteorologists say “pump the breaks” on big snow forecasts

This map circulating on social media is premature and only tells part of the story according to several area professional meteorologists. They stated on Thursday that real snow accumulation forecasts would not be possible until closer to Sunday. (Image Provided)

REGIONAL NEWS — A map from some “social media weather experts” has some real meteorologists in a bit of an uproar on Thursday. The official looking NAM weather map suggests that part of the Tennessee Valley, which would include Lynchburg, could expect over a foot of snow Sunday night, but WTVC News Meteorologist Brian Smith from Chattanooga says locals need to “pump the brakes” until more info become available. A weather app generated the map but Smith says the image examines just one dimension of multiple layers of things that must happen before our area receives significant snow.

“What is happening, is the low is pulling up warm moist air, and if strong enough, the warm moist air will split, some going east, some bending back in the cold air on the back of the low. The warm air goes up and over the cold air and an can ignite a significant snow growth process … even thundersnow. This can lead to big snow amounts in some cases,” he stated through social media. “Now, no one knows where this band will or if it will set up. Sometimes it is not know until it happens. Is there a potential of such a band of snow setting up? Yes.”

Nashville weatherman Davis Nolan of WKRN agreed. He reminded his viewers on Thursday that reliable forecasts for total accumulations can’t be made until about “48 hours out” from a weather event. Huntsville WAFF Meteorologist Brandon Spinner stated on Thursday that current models are “way too far out for forecasted totals to be anywhere near accurate.”

Right now there just no consensus on what, if any, snow Moore County might expect to receive. On Thursday, Nashville meteorologists predicted just a mere dusting for Lynchburg on Sunday with the northern parts of Tennessee receiving the major snowfalls.

“We’re cheering on our forecast models and hoping they can start to align, but as of this afternoon they’re still flip flopping on the location of heaviest snow amounts,” the National Weather Service said Thursday afternoon. “What they do agree on is that some places in Middle Tennessee could see around four inches or more of snow. It just depends on the track of a low pressure system to our south and where the heaviest band of snow sets up.”

The Lynchburg Times will monitor the situation and post updates as Sunday approaches. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned newspaper in Lynchburg and also the only woman-owned newspaper in Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}