A fast-moving system could produce at least an inch of the white stuff Friday, meteorologists believe.
Projections call for frozen precipitation to fall by early Friday morning, creating the first snowfall of 2011.
Early indications provided through data from the National Weather Service show snow could begin to fall just after midnight Thursday.
Temperatures are expected to be in the vicinity of 34 degrees, with a fairly low dewpoint and moderate to high humidity level, which will begin to increase as moisture is pulled into the system.
According to the NWS discussion, the “stronger winter system for Thursday into Friday will have a colder temperature profile and deeper moisture to work with. The forecast appears to be on track.”
Radar indicated two systems moving eastward across the U.S.
One system coursing across the Rocky Mountains could bring cold air by today. It is expected to drop down through Kentucky and Tennessee and could cause the predicted snowfall, according to Tim Troutman, Warning Coordination meteorologist with NWS.
“This system could bring significant snow showers to the area with greater accumulations further north. Some areas could have hazardous conditions,” said Troutman.
The other system, moving across Texas, should bring moisture but will possibly stay farther south and be dominant Sunday. Data for that system indicated drier air and lower dewpoints as well as lower humidity levels.
The possibility of a significant event beginning Sunday evening through Tuesday looms in the forecast, but at this point, it appears weak, according to Troutman.
Long range, Troutman indicated forecast models predict colder temperatures by Jan. 18 that could last several days, but models can change, he noted.
On Christmas Day, some 4 to 7 inches of snow fell in the Bradley County area, creating an historic White Christmas.