Sunday and Monday could bring accumulating snowfall to the northern Cumberland Plateau region, according to the National Weather Service.
A low pressure system is poised to begin impacting the region on Saturday, with rain likely mixing with or changing to snow during the day on Sunday, forecasters at the NWS's Morristown weather forecast office said.
The NWS has not yet issued any watches or advisories related to the storm's winter weather potential; a winter storm watch that has been issued for the mountains and upper East Tennessee extends only as far west as Claiborne County. However, the NWS said in a Friday morning briefing that three to five inches of snow were possible across Scott County and much of the rest of the northern plateau region.
In that briefing, the NWS said that it had low confidence in the current weather forecast for the northern plateau region, including Scott, Campbell and Morgan counties.
"Accumulating snow could start as early as early Sunday morning or as late as Sunday evening," the NWS said.
Separately, forecasters at the weather office said in a Friday morning forecast discussion that a tight snowfall gradient would set up somewhere in the region — meaning accumulation totals could taper from moderate to little or no snow across a relatively short distance.
"Pinpointing the gradient is very difficult," the forecast discussion read. "North of Knoxville to Tri-Cities continues to be the transition-gradient zone where the most uncertainty lies with totals."
In that forecast discussion, the NWS said that uncertainty over accumulations "will likely continue to be the case even as the event is close to starting."
Despite the potential for snow, temperatures are expected to be several degrees above freezing during the daylight hours both Sunday and Monday, with nighttime temperatures dropping below freezing only a few hours each night. As a result, the impact of deteriorated road conditions may be limited.
The region's first snowfall occurred earlier this week, with between one and two inches of snow reported across Scott County on Wednesday morning. Scott County Schools were closed Wednesday due to isolated slick spots on a number of secondary roads.