KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- A winter storm that is moving toward East Tennessee, is already causing a bit of sleet Northern Alabama and Georgia.
And just before 3:30 p.m., the National Weather issued a Winter Weather Advisory for all of East Tennessee. That's usually issued in advance of a winter storm that could drop minor accumulations of snow, sleet, or ice in the region.
The National Weather Service also issued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains of Monroe, Blount, Sevier, and Cocke Counties.
Pinpoint 8 Chief Meteorologist Scott Blalock says the storm looks like it will be here a bit earlier than expected, arriving as rain beginning around 6 p.m. Much of East Tennessee could see a changeover to snow by 8 p.m. By 10 p.m., you could start seeing some accumulations.
"We could actually see some moderate accumulation during that time, mostly on the grass," said Blalock. "But as the temperatures drop, some may stick to the roads."
The key hours, now will be midnight to 3 or 4 a.m. That's when the snow will change over to a mix of sleet, freezing rain, and rain.
Depending on how low the temperatures go, that could linger a little longer, but Blalock says most areas in the valley will just see a cold rain, and possibly some slush, through the majority of the morning rush hour as temperatures climb.
"Right now, we're looking at one of those events where you go to sleep with snow on the ground, but by the time you get up, it's raining, and the snow's gone."
Blalock is anticipating a half inch to an inch of snow in the valley, 1-2" of snow from the areas of Morristown north, up onto Jellico Mountain, and into Southeastern Kentucky.
Areas of the mountains could see up to 4" of snow.
Travel should be OK in the valley by the morning drive, but Blalock says there are always concerns about black ice on the backroads, and even some main roads, so always give yourself some extra time.
Travel problems could continue into the mountains throughout the night and even into early afternoon Thursday. If you're traveling On Interste 40 through the North Carolina side of the mountains, or Interstate 81 up into the Tri-Cities, more snow may fall making some roads more slippery.
Thursday night we should see some additional flurries, but no accumulation. However, as the temperatures dip, there will be a threat of black ice on the roadways especially in the higher elevations.
Blalock says there will be another chance to snow on Saturday.
Any school closings will be passed along as soon as we get them, on Volunteer TV News, and volunteertv.com. You can also sign up for text messages on your cell phone with snowto2go through voltv2go.com. We will send you a text message if your school closes. See the link below to subscribe.
You can get road condition phone numbers, utility phone numbers, and pretty much everything else you need to deal with the storm on our web channel home page in the section titled "Super Pinpoint 8 Winter Weather Center."
The best way to track the storm is to watch Volunteer TV News today. Blalock says it's likely the forecast will change multiple times before tomorrow night, so keep tuned to Volunteer TV News for the latest details.
You can also track the storm from your home computer on Pinpoint 8 Desktop Weather. See the link below to download it.
Stay connected to Volunteer TV News and volunteertv.com for continued coverage of this developing news story.