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Snow Could Snarl Commute, But APS to Dismiss on Time

by ARLnow.com — January 25, 2013 at 11:20 am 1,053 49 Comments

snow-traffic-5Arlington Public Schools students will be dismissed on-time from school today, despite a predicted evening snowfall.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Arlington and the D.C. region, warning of the potential for about an inch of snow between 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Though relatively light, the snow could wreak havoc with traffic during the evening rush hour.

(On January 26, 2011, a much heavier snowfall during the evening rush hour resulted in motorists abandoning their cars on the GW Parkway.)

While Montgomery, Fairfax, Prince George’s and Loudoun County schools have announced early dismissals, Arlington Public Schools announced at 11:20 a.m. that students would not enjoy the same abbreviated school day. All APS after-school and evening activities, however, have been canceled.

“Arlington Public Schools will dismiss on time,” the school system said. “All APS after-school and evening activities are canceled, including extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and recreation programs in schools and on school grounds. Extended Day will remain open until 6 p.m. but those parents are encouraged to pick up their children earlier if possible.”

From the National Weather Service:

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 9 PM EST THIS EVENING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 9 PM EST THIS EVENING.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW

* ACCUMULATIONS… AROUND AN INCH.

* TIMING… SNOW WILL BEGIN DURING THE MID AFTERNOON AND TAPER OFF IN THE EVENING. SNOW MAY BE MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY AT TIMES DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.

* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER 20S.

* WINDS… SOUTH 5 TO 10 MPH.

* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY… RESULTING IN HAZARDOUS TRAVEL DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING COMMUTE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

  • Hikin’ the pike

    I guess APS has a better insurance policy than other districts. Let’s roll the dice.

    • Mike Scott

      1-2 inches of snow is expected to fall from the period of 2-9 PM. I think they’ll be Ok.

  • GMo

    Well, Arlington is significantly different geographically and development (Roads/Sidewalks/Etc) wise than these other counties. I still feel sorry for these kids. Nothing sucks more than looking out the window at the snowfall and being stuck in the classroom.

    • ColdHeart

      You could be sleeping on a bench in the snowfall…

      At any rate, there’s still a good two hours of daylight to romp around in the snow after school lets out.

      • IceHeart

        That’s why you sleep under the bench. If you put a trash bag on side, it’s like a lean to.

    • chig

      Why wont anyone ever think of the kids!?

    • Hikin’ the pike

      There are some significant hills in Arlington. Yesterday’s 1/2 inch caused my car more trouble than 3 inches would as it packed down to make thin sheet of ice.

      • ClangClangTrolley

        Just imagine how fast the ice would make a streetcar fly! Wheee….

      • Buckingham Beauty

        This reminds me of a secret childish desire I’ve harboring: The next time we get any significant snow, I want them to shut down Walter Reed Drive north of Four Mile Run and a bit south of it (you know, where that HUGE hill is) to traffic and let everyone sled down it. That would be awesome, and some great stress relief. :)

        • Ziv

          My neighborhood had a hill that was shorter but steeper than Walter Reed, plus it had a blind cross street right at the bottom that allowed cars to come within 20 yards of the sledders before we could see them. Now that was “exciting” for both the kids and the drivers! LOL!

  • Alex

    I remember getting snowed in during high school and having to walk about two or three miles home because my car was stuck in the lot. That was no fun. Hope these kids have better luck, but given the accumulation predictions seems like this is a pretty light storm.

    • Bob Donovan

      It is not going to be a “storm” for Pete’s sake!!! Just a little snow. Get over it. Do we say it is storming each and every time a little rain falls?

      • drax

        Yes, it’s going to be a storm by the meteorological definition of the word.

        It even has a name over at the Weather Channel.

  • Nancy

    A big THANK YOU to APS. Signed, Working Parents

    • SoArl

      YES!

    • Puppymomma

      Dont do the crime if you cant do the time.

  • BluemontFred

    Its funny, if they would have announced an early dismissal, parents would be fuming because they can;t get off that early and what an inconvenience this is. This is the right decision, especially for working parents.

    • drax

      Also, if they released early and then the snow didn’t come until later tonight, people would bash APS for panicking.

  • Glebe Roader

    Let it be known that the photo for this article is not current. It is noon and it is not snowing.
    Arlington Public Schools, please don’t change your mind. This is a smart call.

  • John

    Oh please it’s a little bit of snow. APS should adopt the same snow policy as my hometown school district in NW Pennsylvania “parents are allowed to keep their children home on days with inclement weather if they feel traveling to school would be unsafe. If those students return to school with a note to that effect, they are given an excused absence.” the schools remain open, even this week when they’ve been hit with about 20″ of lake effect snow and realfeel temps in the single digits.

    • drax

      This is Virginia, not NW Pennsylvania.

      Compare:

      http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/#

      • Hank

        Wait, I thought I was in suburban Erie. This explains so much.

      • John

        My point being, keep the schools open and leave it up to the parents to decide what’s best for their family’s situation. Seems like a good common sense approach.

    • Mary-Austin

      There’s a reason there are so many people here from Western PA and NY…we don’t get 20″ of lake effect snow.

      • Agent

        The lack of 20″ of lake effect snow probably has very little to do with why there are “so many” people here from Western PA and NY.

        • drax

          It’s why they stick around though.

    • CW

      Do schools in Erie still give the first day of deer season off?

      • RockSpringer

        Yes, CW — I checked the 2012 calendar for the school district I attended (just south of Erie), and the Monday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26th (first day of general deer season) was a holiday.

        • CW

          Some things never change.

    • eskimo

      Oh please, John. You can keep your kids at home in Erie? Where I grew up, you went to school no matter how much snow there was. No excuses. In fact, the school was made of snow. People in Erie are such wimps.

      • John

        nice!

  • Safety Police

    The Safety Police predicts a rollover accident on Arlington Blvd due to (poor or inattentive) (snow) driving.

    • DCBuff

      While texting to another MD driver.

    • WeiQiang

      2-to-1 it’s on Wash Blvd. 50 is too straight.

      • DCBuff

        “too straight?” Wei, is that really you?

        • Westboro Baptist

          God Hates
          Roads
          That Aren’t
          Straight

  • dezlboy

    Streetcars have no difficulty in the snow. If all APS buses were replaced with streetcars……

    (sorry, just had to type something stupid)

    • Id

      Streetcars with rocket engines and plows on the front

  • fuzzy

    The people in this entire area are the biggest weather wimps in the world. Schools close because it might snow or snow an inch at the most? People walk around outside like it’s 20 below zero. I’ve lived here for 15 years now and I still don’t understand.
    I grew up in Milwaukee and I remember school being cancelled maybe twice my entire life (and not everyone had 4-wheel drive trucks). I remember in high school we staged a protest in the hallways because they wouldn’t close school early and there was already over 6 inches of snow on the ground.

    • arlingtongal

      Fuzzy stop being that person. Trust me, I moved here from Upstate NY and no one cares about our tales growing up in snowier climates. It’s just annoying.

      • Buckingham Beauty

        And I’d dare say that A) we have way more congested traffic even in sunshine than Milwaukee or Upstate NY, and way more transient people (i.e., people who’ve not grown up or spent much time around snow) who just aren’t used to it.

    • yorkshireman

      Who’d have thought thirty year ago we’d all be sittin’ here drinking Château de Chasselas, eh?
      In them days we was glad to have the price of a cup o’ tea.
      A cup o’ cold tea.
      Without milk or sugar.
      Or tea.
      In a cracked cup, an’ all.
      Oh, we never had a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.
      The best we could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

    • fuzzy’s gramps

      Yeah! And in my day, we didn’t find out about the weather from the Interwebs and Spacebook and all that newfangled stuff – we yelled the news from cabin to cabin, or nailed it to a tree!

      And we didn’t use nice warm buses to get to school, we walked through five feet of…well, you know how that one goes.

    • drax

      If you’ve been here 15 years, you should understand that snow is rare here so we don’t invest millions in a giant fleet of plows and warehouses full of salt and sand needed to clear roads like they do up North. Not worth it.

      • CrystalMikey

        ^this.

    • ColdColdHeart

      Maybe if Fuzzy had brought all their equipment, crews and supplies to battle this snow…that and do some eminent domain on property that abuts the GW Pkwy to provide more ingress/egress…

      • Fuzzy

        For an inch of snow, you don’t need snow plows, salt or sand. If people had a clue how to drive, there shouldn’t be any disruptions at all. This area’s wimpy aversion to any inclement weather simply screws parents with school-age kids, hurts business productivity and costs taxpayers money.

      • Glebe Roader

        CCH, there is not enough snow to “battle.” The less than inch we will receive will just blow around.

  • Panic in Flip Flops

    I was quite surprised to read that we will be experiencing winter weather during, of all times, winter :-O

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