Greene County is getting a brief taste of frigid winter weather this week, but warmer temperatures are to return for the weekend.
An Arctic front followed by a strong high pressure system from the North is the cause of the frigid temperatures since the beginning of the week, according to Meteorologist Matt Anderson of the National Weather Service’s Morristown office.
Temperatures will get a little above freezing on Wednesday, he said, with temperatures rising into the 40s on Thursday and the 50s on Friday.
“When it looks like you might be able to do something outside later this week, the bad news is the rain chance with those warmer temperatures is high,” he said.
For Friday into Saturday, there is a 60 percent chance of rain, he said.
Any measurable precipitation with the current system was forecast to occur Tuesday night over the mountainous regions of Greene County, where less than a half-inch was predicted by the National Weather Service.
A wind chill advisory was issued for the mountains as the forecast called for wind chills overnight to fall below zero. The remainder of Greene County was a bit warmer, with temperatures in the upper teens and 20s, but with wind chills around 14 degrees.
While the current system affecting the region is not expected to bring much precipitation, local road crews are prepared for when there is a significant amount of snow.
The Greene County Highway Department is completely stocked with salt and has several hundred tons in reserve if needed, according to Road Superintendent Kevin Swatsell.
Three additional trucks have been equipped with new salt spreaders that are ready to use, he said.
The department has also supplies of “chat,” small gravel and sand that can be spread in places where the salt treatment may not be effective, Swatsell added.
The Greeneville Public Works Department has salt and chat supplies ready for snowy weather, according to Town Engineer and Department Director Brad Peters.
Snow plows and salt spreaders have been installed on vehicles in preparation for responding to wintry precipitation, Peters said.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation prepares for winter all year long, according to Mark Nagi, TDOT community relations officer for Region 1 — East Tennessee.
“We get supplies of salt shipped to us throughout the year, to make sure that when the winter weather hits, we will be ready to go,” Nagi said.
In addition, maintenance workers also prepare equipment, including salt and brine trucks, to ensure that they are fully functional when needed, he said.
For the 24 counties in Region 1, TDOT has more than 200 salt trucks and more than 100 trucks equipped to spread brine.