After a snowless and often mild start to the 2016-2017 winter season, Ol' Man Winter made his presence known last week, with a one-two punch that impacted much of the Volunteer State.
Frigid temperatures followed light snowfall on Friday, leaving the Cumberland Plateau region in the deep-freeze throughout the weekend. Temperatures dropped well into the single digits on Sunday morning and failed to climb out of the lower 20s on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Only about two inches of snow were recorded across Scott County, but the snowfall proved to have staying power, as area roadways remained slick into this week. The Scott County School System remained closed on Tuesday, the third consecutive day students were out due to the snowfall.
The winter storm began with light snowfall on Thursday morning, as a clipper system passing to the north prompted the National Weather Service to issue a winter weather advisory. Once snow began falling Thursday morning, both the county school system and the Oneida Special School District canceled classes for the remainder of the day. However, the one-to-two inches of snow accumulation that were forecasted never materialized, as the region remained mostly snow-free the remainder of the day.
No sooner had the weather advisory expired on Friday morning, however, than was another round of snow impacting the region. Road conditions deteriorated through the day on Friday, forcing many businesses to close. The Oneida Special School District released students at 9 a.m. By sunset Friday evening, many businesses in Oneida had closed for the day.
State routes were only snow-covered for a short time, as Tennessee Department of Transportation crews had begun treating highways on Wednesday with a brine solution. However, all secondary streets remained snow-covered and slick into Sunday.
Both Oneida and Scott high schools canceled home basketball games that were scheduled for Friday evening, while the Boys & Girls Club of the Cumberland Plateau canceled games that were scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The start of the county's middle school basketball tournament at Scott High School, which was to have begun Saturday, was delayed until Tuesday.
Official temperature readings were not immediately made available by the National Weather Service. However, the temperature unofficially plunged to three degrees in Oneida on Sunday morning, making it the coldest morning since Jan. 25, 2016, when the temperature also dropped to three degrees.
Some thermometers, though, read as cold as -2 degrees. If verified, it would be the first day Oneida saw sub-zero temperatures since Feb. 19, 2015, when the temperature plummeted all the way to -11.