Less than 48 hours ago, it appeared that the northern Cumberland Plateau region was being set up for relatively significant flood potential, with as much as seven inches of rain being forecasted across a 60-hour span between Monday and Wednesday.
However, the storm system that was expected to bring heavy rain to much of Tennessee has shifted significantly southward, leaving much of the Volunteer State on the outside of the heaviest swath of precipitation. The week still looks wet — the National Weather Service’s Morristown weather forecast office is forecasting a 90 percent chance of rain in Oneida on Monday, an 80 percent chance of rain on Tuesday and a 40 percent chance of rain Wednesday and Thursday — but it looks like there will be much less of it.
The NWS noted in a forecast discussion Sunday afternoon that what had once appeared to be a phasing storm system — where disturbances along both the southern stream and the northern stream merge, forming a larger storm — would not occur, while the placement of a frontal zone was also going to be further south than originally anticipated.
“As a result, the main focus for heavy rain and the potential for flood issues will likely stay across southern portions of the forecast area across the TN/GA state line,” meteorologists at the NWS’s Morristown office said.
Indeed, the major global models that had showed heavy rain across Tennessee as late as midday Saturday had all backed off those projections, shifting the heaviest rains south of the state while also lessening the total rainfall expected to be generated by the setup. One model, the GFS that is operated by the U.S. government, was showing about an inch of rainfall for Scott County through the week, with less than two inches of rain for the entire state. Other models were even less impressive, projecting less than an inch of rain for much of the northern plateau region.