Snow-covered East Rim Overlook Road off S.R. 297 in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area Sunday, Feb. 4. (Independent Herald photo/Ben Garrett.)


Ol’ Man Winter is expected to relinquish his icy grip on the northern Cumberland Plateau today, bringing to an end four consecutive days of occasional snow that have disrupted schedules and caused headaches for thousands of motorists.

Scott Countians awoke to a fresh coating of snow on the ground and roadways Sunday morning, which left roads slick and many area churches canceling Sunday morning worship services. Anywhere from one-to-three inches of snow were on the ground at dawn, depending on location and elevation.

After temperatures that had soared well into the 60s just days earlier, Sunday’s snowfall was the fourth in as many days as a series of weak disturbances rotated through the atmosphere, creating occasional snow and prompting winter weather advisories from the National Weather Service that began late Thursday. The final weather advisory along the northern plateau was finally lifted late Sunday morning as temperatures rose above freezing and snow-covered roadways quickly cleared.

While meteorologists expected temperatures to drop well below freezing again Sunday night, creating the possibility of patchy black ice on Monday morning, the trend was for milder weather in the days ahead. The weather forecast from the NWS called for winds shifting to the south after midnight Monday morning, signaling an end to the cold temperatures. By Thursday, temperatures are forecast to reach nearly 60 degrees in Oneida.

In what has otherwise been a winter season of relatively little snow, Sunday’s will go down as the biggest of the season, at least thus far. Previous snowfalls had failed to top one inch across much of the region.

While the individual snowfall events between Thursday and Sunday were minor — combined, about four inches of snow accumulated across Scott County over the four-day period — they nonetheless created plenty of headaches. In addition to canceled church services, local schools were closed on Friday, the sixth day since classes resumed after Christmas break that the doors were closed due to wintry weather. Scott County schools had also been closed a day earlier in the week due to the threat of severe weather. Scott High’s district basketball game at Stone Memorial was postponed on Friday, while Oneida High canceled its game at the Knoxville Ambassadors on Saturday.

Local law enforcement reported several accidents over the four-day period, most of them minor in nature.