Although the region will be in a wind advisory from 2 this afternoon through 11 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecasts that the former hurricane’s brunt in Tennessee will be further west.
“We’re on the periphery of a weakening storm,” Derek Eisentrout, a meteorologist with the NSW in Morristown, said around noon today.
As Irma laid waste to Florida over the weekend and moved into Georgia, the storm’s trajectory went westerly, meaning that the Chattanooga and Middle Tennessee areas would receive more impact with heavier rains and stronger winds.
In the Tri-Cities, you can expect winds gusting up to 20 mph this afternoon. Eisentrout said the peak likely would be overnight — between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. — with sustained winds around 25 mph gusting to up to 40 mph.
By the time sunrise arrives, the threat should be down to around 15 mph with gusts up to 25.
Rainfall is expected to be minimal in Northeast Tennessee compared to more western areas. Eisentrout said to expect one-third inch to one-half inch of rain, again mainly at night — between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.
West of here, Great Smoky Mountains National Park authorities are discouraging people from visiting. Local news outlets report that officials announced on Saturday the majority of roads in the park would be closed. Park spokeswoman Jamie Sanders says sustained winds of 40 mph (60 kph) are anticipated with gusts faster than that. Park meteorologists also expect 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of rain.