A winter storm warning will go into effect at midnight for much of central Tennessee.
“Significant snowfall” is expected Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service. The warning will remain in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday.
Not the entire region is under the winter storm warning — a winter weather advisory will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday for Stewart, Montgomery and Houston County, NWS said. He will get up at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
NWS Nashville posted a series of tweets explaining that forecasting snow totals has been difficult as the storm moves in, but 1-9 inches are possible.
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“To say this is a tough forecast is the understatement of the year, and it’s January,” NWS Nashville tweeted. “The rain is expected to start turning to snow late this evening through tomorrow morning.”
Nashville and Columbia could see 3 to 4 inches of accumulation, while Clarksville could get 1 to 2 inches, the NWS reported Friday afternoon. On the Cumberland Plateau, including Jamestown and Crossville, about 8 to 10 inches could accumulate.
“Snow totals will be very much dependent on near-surface temperatures and changing from a rain or rain-snow mix to all snow early Sunday morning,” NWS said. “Any change of a degree or two in either direction will have big impacts on final snowfall amounts.”
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Nashville saw between 0.5 and 3 inches of snow Jan. 2-3, followed by 6-8 inches on Jan. 6. Multiple snowfalls totaling more than 1 inch in a single winter are “pretty rare” for Nashville, NWS Nashville chief forecaster Sam Shamburger tweeted Friday.
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Civil servants: Anticipate the impacts of travel
The Tennessee Highway Patrol urged drivers to prepare vehicles for winter conditions Saturday, including maintaining at least half a tank of gas and keeping a cell phone charger in vehicles.
Areas along Interstate 40 and in the Plateau region are expected to experience travel impacts regardless of snowfall amounts, the NWS said. Dangerous travel conditions could extend into Monday.
The Natchez Trace Parkway has been closed between Collinwood and Nashville due to the impending winter storm, according to a National Park Service advisory. The closure was in effect from 3 p.m. Saturday and is expected to remain in place until the storm passes and road conditions improve, the notice said.
THP began pre-treating some roads on Friday and will have crews ready to be dispatched Saturday evening when snowfall begins, according to spokeswoman Rebekah Hammonds.
People in need of roadside assistance can contact THP by dialing *847 (THP) to have a trooper dispatched to them.
“Heavier” snow could cause power outages
Meteorologists expect this snowfall to be “wetter and heavier” than what Nashville experienced during its last two snowfalls earlier this month, NWS tweeted on Saturday.
If snow accumulates on trees and power lines, power outages are possible.
Nashville Electric Service has urged Davidson County residents to ensure appliances and backup batteries are fully charged, though the severity of the storm system remains unclear.
Davidson County residents can report power loss to NES by calling (615) 234-0000, texting 637797 (NESPWR), or logging into their NESPower.com account.
Nashville Area Weather Radar
Three-day forecast for Nashville
Saturday: Showers likely throughout the afternoon, changing to a wintry mix overnight and snowfall early Sunday. High: 47; Bottom: 32
Sunday: Winter mix and possible snow all day. High: 33; Bottom: 24
Monday (MLK Jr. Day): Rather cloudy. High: 41; Bottom: 25
Rachel Wegner contributed to this story.
Contact reporter Cassandra Stephenson at [email protected] or (731) 694-7261. Follow Cassandra on Twitter at @CStephenson731.