The National Weather Service on Sunday afternoon issued a wind chill warning for Scott, Campbell, Morgan and other Cumberland Plateau counties, effective from 3 p.m. Monday afternoon until noon on Tuesday.
The NWS's Morristown weather forecast office warned of wind chill values of at least 15 degrees below zero due to a combination of bitterly cold temperatures and strong winds.
"A wind chill warning means the combination of very cold air and strong winds will create dangerously low wind chill values," the NWS said in its warning text. "These conditions can quickly result in frost bite, and can lead to hypothermia or death if precautions are not taken. Those venturing outdoors should dress warming, making sure that all exposed skin is covered."
The NWS has also issued a winter weather advisory for all of East Tennessee, which takes effect at 10 p.m. Sunday night and continues through Monday morning. NWS forecasters warned that travel will "likely become hazardous once the wintry precipitation begins."
Light rain began on the Cumberland Plateau shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday evening and was expected to continue for several hours as temperatures dropped to below freezing. Snow totals forecasted by the NWS's Morristown office could range from one to three inches.
Further west, the NWS's Nashville office was forecasting less than an inch of snow for Middle Tennessee, including Fentress and Pickett counties immediately west of Scott County, and canceled a winter weather advisory there.
Still, meteorologists at both NWS offices warned that travel conditions were likely to deteriorate Sunday night as temperatures plummet quickly into the 20s and teens.
Both the Scott County School System and the Oneida Special School District canceled classes for Monday, as did the Morgan County School System, in anticipation of the extremely cold temperatures.