NORMAN, Okla. — With much warmer temperatures after a bout with frigid weather earlier this week, forecasters say rough weather could be in store for much of Tennessee, including the northern Cumberland Plateau region, this weekend.
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center on Friday highlighted a broad swath of the eastern United States, extending from the Great Lakes to the Deep South, for the potential of severe weather on Sunday. The greatest threat outlined by the SPC exists primarily in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and parts of Tennessee.
In the outlook posted Friday, SPC meteorologist Greg Dial highlighted the risk of damaging winds for the Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley regions.
With the potential for tornadoes dependent upon features that are not yet clear, Dial wrote, "storms will likely evolve into lines along the cold front with a threat for widespread damaging wind as the activity develops eastward through the Ohio and Tennessee Valley regions."
The National Weather Service's Morristown field office, which covers Scott County and the rest of East Tennessee, was forecasting a 60 percent chance of rain with wind gusts to 20 mph Sunday afternoon and evening.
The NWS's Nashville field office, which covers the western Cumberland Plateau, was forecasting "thunderstorms likely" Sunday night with 25 mph wind gusts. In a forecast discussion posted Friday morning, the Nashville weather field office noted that the highest potential for severe weather is to the north of Tennessee, but added that severe weather is still possible in Tennessee and that potential could increase.
The autumn months are considered to be Tennessee's secondary severe weather season. The last severe weather threat was Halloween night, when high winds knocked out power and caused minor damage in several areas of Scott County.