Ice Potential on a Regional Scale
As temperatures around the region drop below freezing this afternoon and as rain moves into the Southeast tonight, travel may become difficult for several corridors through many locations north, east, and southeast of the Tennessee Valley.
The highest accumulations of ice and greatest travel impacts are expected to occur from Northeast Alabama through Eastern Tennessee and Northern Georgia, although glazing could occur from West Tennessee to as far South as Atlanta.
Timing: Midnight to Noon
An arctic air mass will continue moving into the region from northeast to southeast today and much of the Valley will be near or below freezing within a few hours of sunset. Rain will be spreading across the area after midnight and will likely be falling onto roadway surfaces that are near or below freeing. Glazing, especially on the bridges an overpasses will be possible and especially in our eastern counties by the morning commute.
Precipitation is expected to last longest in areas around Jackson, DeKalb, Franklin(TN), and Marshall Counties , and these are also the areas expected to stay near or below freezing deeper into the day. Consequently, these areas and further north or northeast through Chattanooga are expected to be the most likely to have travel problems in the Tennessee Valley tonight through tomorrow morning. This does not mean we will not see slick spots further west, but rain should be lighter from Madison County to the west and temperatures should rebound a bit faster tomorrow morning, limiting ice accumulations and improving the roads faster.
Traveling to Nashville
Travelling north to Nashville may be problematic between midnight and tomorrow morning as slick spots from light freezing will be possible, especially on the elevated surfaces. Temperatures are expected to climb above freezing fairly soon after dawn from Nashville south, which would alleviate most of the problems along I-65.. Lingering rain and colder temperatures from Nashville east will likely mean a higher probability of more widespread and longer lasting travel issues.
If you plan to travel in the general direction of Chattanooga or further northeast, you will definitely want to check road conditions before heading out. The area from Northern Georgia through Eastern Tennessee is the area of greatest concern for slick roads and accumulating ice.
The Atlanta metro will have a chance for some icing as well, but odds are the travel impacts to the city will be more sporadic in nature.