Snow from a 'bomb cyclone' is coming to Knoxville and Great Smoky Mountains

·2 min read

UPDATE: Here's our latest story on the snowfall can be found here.

The weather phenomenon known as a bomb cyclone is headed our way, bringing a rare March snowfall to Knox County and East Tennessee. Conditions could be even worse in the mountains.

A bomb cyclone, which occurs through the process known as bombogenesis, is basically a winter hurricane. The "significant storm" will bring everything from rain and severe thunderstorms to high winds and snow, according to AccuWeather.

All of East Tennessee is now under either a winter storm warning or a winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service.

Knoxville could get 2-3 inches of snow between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service warned. Snowfall totals will be higher in the northern parts of the state and in the Great Smoky Mountains.

"It appears the changeover from rain to snow will begin around 3-4 a.m. (Saturday). Periods of heavy snow will be possible for a few hours before waning in the late morning and early afternoon. Stay tuned for upcoming changes," the NWS office in Morristown wrote.

Snow, ice and wind gusts could make driving dangerous.

The high — yes, the high — on Saturday will be 28 degrees. That's in stark contrast to our local average March high temperature of 61. The low will be a chilly 13 (compared to the 40-degree average low we're used to).

If it's any comfort, we won't be alone in this misery. The storm could bring all sorts of problems to a huge swath of the country.

Tennessee weather radar

Areas from eastern Oklahoma to western portions of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, and even northern parts of Mississippi and Alabama, have a shot at up to a few inches of snow. Much heavier snow is likely farther to the east, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Thankfully, whatever accumulates on the ground won't stick around for long in East Tennessee. The high Sunday will creep up to 47 and then back to closer to the average for the rest of next week.

USA TODAY contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: 'Bomb cyclone' snow coming to Knoxville and Great Smoky Mountains