BY O.J. EARLY
The first winter weather system of 2014 is bringing frigid temperatures with a chance of snow to East Tennessee.
The approaching system prompted the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue a winter weather advisory for Greene County beginning at 6 p.m. tonight and ending at 7 a.m. Friday.
"When we get to mid-to-late afternoon, an Arctic front is going to move through and really drop the temperatures," said David Hotz, a meteorologist with the NWS in Morristown.
"Rain is going to change over to snow by this evening. That will continue through at least midnight."
Greeneville could see one inch of snow by Friday morning. Mountain areas in the region could see two-to-four inches.
Hotz's real concern, though, is bone-chilling temperatures greeting local residents early Friday morning.
"Wind chills are going to drop down to around zero to five above as we get into the overnight hours and tomorrow morning," Hotz said. "Kind of dangerous wind chills if you aren't prepared."
Much of the region was under a freezing rain advisory this morning. Hotz said his Morristown office received several reports of "slick spots" across the area.
Greene County 911 dispatchers reported instances of vehicles sliding off roads this morning. No serious injuries were reported.
Dispatchers reported slick patches along Baileyton Road, Kingsport Highway and Asheville Highway, particularly over bridge surfaces.
"Drive with caution," said Jerry Bird, county 911 director.
The same system striking the area this evening is expected to dump snow from Kansas to New York. New England could see a foot of snow, NWS forecasts.
Another wintry system could hit East Tennessee early next week, Hotz said. NWS forecasts a temperature high of 26 on Monday and 18 on Tuesday.
"It's probably going to bring about the same amount of snow, but it will probably be colder than this system," he said. "We'll really have to watch how that system develops early next week."
Staff Writer Ken Little contributed to this article.