published Monday, January 4th, 2010

Colder weather, chance of snow this week

The new year has brought frigid temperatures to Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia, and weather experts said in some areas the coldest days in more than five years are expected this week, along with possible snow.

"We are actually having a winter this year," said Kent McMullen, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga. "I don't think we have had one in a long time."

Temperatures in the area could fall below 10 degrees by Tuesday night. If temperatures do drop that low, it would be the coldest temperature on record in some parts of North Georgia since 2003, Mr. McMullen said.

"It has been a while since we have had low temperatures in the single digits or teens," he said.

In Chattanooga temperatures fell below 10 degrees last January, said Mary Black, forecaster with the Morristown National Weather Service.

Lows in the Chattanooga metro area on Tuesday are predicted to be between 12 and 15 degrees, she said.

On Thursday, with a high in the lower 30s, there is a 50 percent chance of snow in both Chattanooga and North Georgia, forecasters say. Friday has a 30 percent chance of snow flurries.

"I don't think there is a question about whether or not there will be snow. The question is how much snow," said David Glenn, meteorologist with WTVC NewsChannel 9. "In the days ahead we will be able to see how much moisture we are dealing with."

With such cold temperatures earlier in the week the snow could accumulate up to an inch, Ms. Black said.

"The snow will be on such a cold ground that it will stick," she said. "We won't see the normal real quick melting."

Drivers should be careful about slick roads Thursday evening, Mr. McMullen said.

"There could be some problems with roads on Thursday night," Mr. McMullen said. "But a lot can happen between now and then."

Mr. Glenn said another surge of arctic air in the teens will sweep through the Chattanooga area this weekend. The area's normal temperature range this time of year is between 29 degrees and 49 degrees.

"I don't see anything above 40 degrees for the next seven days," Mr. Glenn said. "That is cold for us."

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

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