Snow in forecast for area

Jan. 17, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

If 5-8 inches of rain over the last three days wasn't enough precipitation, Sevier County will see even more rain today and possibly several inches of snow during the night.

The National Weather Service Center in Morristown reported a three-day total of 8.03 inches of rain at Newfound Gap and 6.35 in Sevierville.

Derek Eisentrout, meteorologist at the Morristown center, said the rain came from a cold front that moved in Monday. The front stalled out and moved slowly over the area, but rain continued to fall, leading to swollen rivers and flooding across the county.

Although that front has moved out, it "was moving so slowly that the next system was essentially here by the time it moved out," Eisentrout said.

He said this next system will bring more rain through midday Thursday, which will then transition to snow.

"The snow will remain through the afternoon hours and taper at the early evening, but it will persist in the higher elevations overnight," Eisentrout said.

The weather center predicts an inch or two of snow in lower elevations. Above 2,500 feet, the center predicts 4-8 inches for tonight. That may affect Gatlinburg.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the Smokies until 9 p.m. Thursday, and a flood watch is in effect for the county until 6 p.m.

rhargett@themountainpress.com