Arlington County is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning through 8:30 p.m.
From the National Weather Service:
AT 742 PM EDT… DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM NEAR FAIRFAX TO NEAR TRIANGLE… AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ARLINGTON… COLLEGE PARK… VIENNA… FALLS CHURCH… BLADENSBURG… FORESTVILLE IN PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY… PIMMIT HILLS… MANTUA… THE I395 AND I495… GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY… NATIONALS PARK… CLINTON… CORAL HILLS… WOODBRIDGE… THE I66 AND I495… LANGLEY PARK… ANNANDALE… DALE CITY… CRYSTAL CITY AND HUNTINGTON IN FAIRFAX COUNTY.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS… DESTRUCTIVE HAIL… DEADLY LIGHTNING AND VERY HEAVY RAIN. FOR YOUR PROTECTION… MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS. HEAVY RAINS FLOOD ROADS QUICKLY SO DO NOT DRIVE INTO AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS THE ROAD.
Forecasters say severe storms are likely late this afternoon and this evening and that an isolated tornado is possible.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to reach the around the evening rush hour.
From the National Weather Service:
THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. A FEW OF THE THUNDERSTORMS MAY BECOME SEVERE WITH A THREAT OF DAMAGING WIND GUSTS…LARGE HAIL AND AN ISOLATED TORNADO.
Arlington County and much of the surrounding region is under a Flood Watch tonight through Monday morning.
Forecasters say rain will start falling this evening and continue throughout the night, raising the possibility of flooding in flood-prone areas.
From the National Weather Service:
* FROM 7 PM EDT THIS EVENING THROUGH MONDAY MORNING
* MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN WILL OVERSPREAD THE REGION THIS EVENING THROUGH TONIGHT… RAINFALL TOTALS AROUND ONE AND A HALF INCHES ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE GREATER BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METRO AREA. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE… ESPECIALLY ALONG AND IMMEDIATELY EAST OF THE BLUE RIDGE/CATOCTIN MOUNTAIN.
* EXPECT SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS TO RISE… POSSIBLY OVERFLOWING THEIR BANKS. IN ADDITION… FLOODING MAY OCCUR IN LOW LYING AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS.
A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS.
PLEASE MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP.
Arlington County and the D.C. region is under a wind advisory Tuesday night.
The National Weather Service says wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible tonight. From NWS:
… WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EDT THIS EVENING…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY… WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EDT THIS EVENING.
* TIMING… THIS EVENING.
* WINDS… BECOMING NORTHWEST 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS AS HIGH AS 50 MPH.
* IMPACTS… SCATTERED TREE AND POWER LINE DAMAGE. DIFFICULTY DRIVING HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.
A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND GUSTS OF UP TO 50 MPH ARE EXPECTED. SECURE OUTDOOR FURNITURE AND TAKE CARE DRIVING HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.
(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Schools are closed today, and Arlington County government offices and courts will be opening at 11:00 a.m.
Other county facilities also have delayed openings. Libraries, except for the Plaza library, are hoping open at 1:00 p.m., according to Arlington’s closing and delays page.
The Arlington Mill Community Center will open at 1:00 p.m., while other community centers will open at noon or later, as scheduled, according to the county.
After earlier saying that trash and recycling collection would happen today and Saturday, the county now says it has been cancelled.
Due to hazardous road conditions, all solid waste services have been canceled: brush, cart repair, collection, special collections, etc. We will resume collections on Monday, March 9. Thursday and Friday customers will be serviced on their next collection day. Carts should be removed from the right-of-way. The Customer Call Center will open at 11 a.m.
The federal government, meanwhile, is opening on a two hour delay.
Today, at 4:30 p.m., at Penrose Square — the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Barton Street — neighbors are being invited to participate in a snowball fight in what could be five or more inches of snow.
Pike resident Chris Slatt put out the call for the fight at just about noon on Twitter as a spur-of-the-moment idea. Over the phone, he told ARLnow.com that it seemed like a good opportunity for the shenanigans, considering schools, the government and many private offices are closed.
“My kids wanted to have a snowball fight, and it’s no fun with just three people,” he said.
Whereas last year’s snowball fight in Virginia Square was set up dodgeball-style and more than 100 people showed up, Slatt has no plans for anything remotely that organized. He said in the seven years he’s lived on the Pike, he’s never heard of another community-organized snowball fight.
“I have no idea what to expect,” he said. “It could be 10 people, it could be 100. No rules, just be neighborly and have fun.”
One thing attendees might expect: the rare opportunity to legally throw an object at a legislator.
Rumor has it that @Lopez4VA will be at the Columbia Pike Community Snowball fight. 4:30pm at Penrose Square Plaza…
— Chris Slatt (@alongthepike) March 5, 2015
Far from the frivolity, roads are getting increasingly dangerous. Route 110 at N. Marshall drive had to be briefly closed to clear an accident, and Glebe Road was closed in multiple locations for accidents, including a jackknifed ART bus.
According to scanner reports, S. Walter Reed Drive at Quincy Street was blocked at about 3:10 p.m. for a single-vehicle accident and multiple vehicles are stuck on the hill at Wilson Blvd and N. Lexington Street. Another ART bus was involved in a wreck at Washington Blvd and 3rd Street N., per the scanner.
Primary roads are being plowed as Arlington remains in Phase 2 of snow-clearing efforts, according to the county website. Residential streets will likely have to wait a while longer before plows begin to arrive.
— J Sonder (@jdsonder) March 5, 2015
The snow is expected to continue to fall into the evening, and Arlington will remain under a winter storm warning until 9:00 p.m.
Update at 5:00 p.m. — The snowball fight actually happened.
— Emmaly (@EmmaK84) March 5, 2015
File photo (top)
Most roads in Arlington are snow-covered as of noon today, as flakes continue to fall.
So far, 2-3 inches of snow accumulation have been reported.
The snow may have been responsible for one rollover accident this morning, near the intersection of 16th Street and S. Taylor Street. No injuries were reported but the road was closed for a period of time this morning. Other crashed have been reported in various parts of the county.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) March 5, 2015
Residents are being strongly urged to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. Most seem to be heeding the advice, as traffic is light even on busy roads in Ballston.
— SD from DC (@SDfromDC) March 5, 2015
Many flights in an out of Reagan National Airport have been cancelled. Those with air travel plans are being asked to monitor their flight status.
At Reagan National, the prospects of a flight out aren't so good. pic.twitter.com/4TnhhVyKBK
— mollenbeckWTOP (@mollenbeckWTOP) March 5, 2015
Most departures out of DCA are cancelled for the afternoon. Check with your airline for your specific flight info.
— Reagan Airport (@Reagan_Airport) March 5, 2015
— Rosslyn, Virginia (@RosslynVA) March 5, 2015
Today's SMART Start is cancelled due to weather. It has been rescheduled for Wed. 3/11 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. Call the Chamber with questions.
— Arlington Chamber VA (@ArlChamberVA) March 5, 2015
Tonight's School Board Meeting Canceled. An announcement will be sent if the meeting is rescheduled.
— Arlington Schools (@APSVirginia) March 5, 2015
The federal government is closed, and Arlington schools, government offices, courts and facilities are closed today due to expected snow.
Sleet is falling in parts of Arlington as of 7:30, as temperatures continue to fall. Conditions are expected to deteriorate later this morning.
Due to the expected snow, ART buses are operating on a modified schedule.
“Due to expected weather conditions (today) Thursday, March 5 – ART is running a Saturday service level on routes 41, 42, 45, 51, 77 & 87,” ART said in an email. “We will continue to provide updates as things change. Please be safe, and have a wonderful day.”
Solid waste collection, meanwhile, has been suspended for the day.
All trash and recycling services are postposed today, Thursday, Mar. 5, due to inclement winter weather. Collection services will resume when County offices reopen and will continue until all trash and recycling is collected.
Until services resume, remove carts from the right-of-way to allow snow removal crews to clear the roads. The Customer Call Center is closed and will reopen when County offices open.
Arlington County’s website says its snow crews are in a “Phase 2″ alert, meaning crews are ready to clear accumulation from main roads.
From APS’ “School Talk” email:
“All APS schools and offices will be closed on Thu, Mar. 5. Extracurricular activities, interscholastic games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County programs and operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.”
Parent-teacher conferences scheduled for Thursday will be rescheduled.
With forecasters calling for up to 8 inches of snow on Thursday, Arlington residents are hunkering down for yet another snow day.
Part of the ritual preparation for many includes heading to the grocery store to stock up on food and supplies, in particular milk, eggs, bottled water and bread.
“It’s going to be a freaking zoo in here,” an employee of Clarendon’s Trader Joe’s said, declining to give her name because company policy doesn’t allow staff members to speak to the media.
This afternoon, shelves were fully stocked at many of the grocery stores in the area, but that won’t be the case for long. Katie Butris was shopping at Trader Joe’s and used to work there. She said “crazy lines” are the norm before a storm.
“You can’t keep the shelves stocked,” she said. “Everyone gets here at once. And then the delivery trucks can’t get here so we were out of [many items] for days.”
Carolyn Marsh was shopping before taking off for a ski trip — benefiting from the snow many of her neighbors are dreading it — and said she was glad she could get the trip out of the way before everyone else was out of work.
“It’s awful,”she said. “The places look like they’ve been ravaged.”
A native of New York, Marsh said she never worries about loading up on milk and bread. She lives in Westover and can walk to get her food if need be.
“Washington sort of feeds on itself in these situations,” she said. “People see the big news stories and figure they should load up when everyone’s out and about a day later anyway.”
(Shortly thereafter, an ARLnow.com reporter was told by Trader Joe’s management to leave the store.)
Arlington and the D.C. area is under a Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight until 9:00 p.m. Thursday, with the heaviest snow predicted from late morning to early afternoon.
Up to 8 inches of snow are expected to fall Thursday, as cold air moves in and rain turns to sleet and snowflakes.
Arlington road crews — about 50 trucks total — are expected to start a “full team effort” to plow and treat roads at midnight, according to a Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman.
VDOT, meanwhile, said it has “all hands on deck” for Thursday’s storm. It has a website for residents to monitor snow-clearing progress: vdotplows.org.
VDOT issued the following press release Wednesday afternoon, urging drivers to stay off the roads Thursday.
Road crews in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington counties are preparing for another winter storm to include rain, sleet, and snow, followed by several days of frigid temperatures that will make clearing roads a challenge. By midnight, more than 3,800 trucks will be staged along interstates, major roads and neighborhood streets.
“We’re asking drivers to prepare now for a long couple of days,” said Branco Vlacich, VDOT’s district maintenance engineer for northern Virginia. “It will be vital to stay off the roads tomorrow, as conditions will be treacherous during the storm. Crews will also need that room to clear snow quickly during the day, because frigid temperatures overnight and through the weekend will mean repeated refreeze of any accumulation left on the road.”
With the storm expected to begin as rain, crews will not pre-treat for this storm. They will treat roads with salt and sand during sleet and freezing rain, and begin to plow as the storm transitions to accumulating snow.
What motorists and residents should know:
- Road conditions will be treacherous during the storm. Drivers should stay off roads throughout the day tomorrow to provide crews as much room as possible to plow and treat roads.
- Crews will plow and treat interstates, major roads and neighborhoods in northern Virginia concurrently.
- Residents are asked to park in driveways or on the odd-numbered side of the street to allow plows room to pass.
- Chemicals are not used in subdivisions, but crews sand hills, curves and intersections to provide traction. For most storms, one snowplow pass, about eight to ten feet wide, is made.
- Repeated refreeze and black ice are likely through the weekend, with single-digit lows overnight and below-freezing pavement temperatures forecasted to persist for the next several days.
Arlington middle schools and most elementary schools are already slated to be closed to students Thursday and Friday for parent-teacher conferences. Arlington Public Schools has yet to make a final call on closing schools entirely on Thursday.
Milder weather is expected this weekend and early next week — but those hoping that spring will be here to stay would be well-advised to remember last year — when a winter storm on March 3, 2014 dropped about 4 inches of snow on the area, lower than most forecasts at the time. That storm was followed by warmer weather then, two weeks later, a St. Patrick’s Day storm that resulted in 7-8 inches of accumulation.
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says they will have all 50 of their snow-clearing trucks ready to clear Arlington’s 974 lane miles of roadway. So far, the department does not have an estimate for when crews will be able to move from clearing main roads to residential streets.
“We are closely monitoring the weather and will have our full resources (approximately 50 trucks) available,” said DES spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. “The actual amount of snow that falls and the duration of the event (how long it falls) will dictate when our trucks can move from Phase 2 of clearing Primary Routes to Phase 3 – Residential Streets. We will notify the community when we shift phases.”
Whalen McDaniel said the heavy rain that’s expected today (Wednesday) will make pre-treating roads virtually impossible.
The National Weather Service, meanwhile, has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Arlington and the D.C. area.
… WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 PM EST THURSDAY…
* PRECIPITATION TYPES… WINTRY MIX… THEN ALL SNOW… HEAVY AT TIMES.
* ACCUMULATIONS… SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 4 TO 8 INCHES… ALONG WITH AROUND A TRACE OF ICE.
* TIMING… RAIN CHANGES TO WINTRY MIX AROUND MIDNIGHT THEN ALL SNOW THURSDAY. SNOW HEAVIEST THURSDAY LATE MORNING INTO THE AFTERNOON.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE UPPER 20S.
* WINDS… NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED… VISIBILITIES WILL DROP TO AROUND A QUARTER-MILE AT TIMES… MAKING TRAVEL DANGEROUS.
A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL… KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT… FOOD… AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
Update at 11:15 a.m. — The previous Winter Weather Advisory has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning.
Forecasters warn that sleet and freezing rain will continue through the day. Slippery conditions are already being reported around Arlington. If you absolutely must drive or walk outside today, do so carefully.
… WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM EST MONDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR FREEZING RAIN… WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM EST MONDAY. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
* LOCATIONS… WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA… CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND.
* HAZARD TYPES… SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN.
* ACCUMULATIONS… A COATING TO AN INCH OF SNOW AND SLEET. 1 TO 2 INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET NEAR THE MASON-DIXON LINE. ICE ACCUMULATION AROUND ONE QUARTER INCH.
* TIMING… SNOW AND SLEET WILL CHANGE TO FREEZING RAIN BETWEEN 11 AM AND 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON. THE HEAVIEST ICE ACCRETION FROM FROM FREEZING RAIN IS EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. PRECIPITATION WILL END THIS EVENING.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW AND ICE COVERED THROUGH TONIGHT. TRAVELLING WILL BE DANGEROUS.
* WINDS… SOUTH AROUND 5 TO 10 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES… RISING THROUGH THE 20S THIS AFTERNOON. TEMPERATURES WILL RISE INTO THE LOWER 30S THIS EVENING… AND REMAIN NEARLY STEADY OVERNIGHT.
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING.THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Arlington and the surrounding D.C. area.
Forecasters say snow, sleet and freezing rain could make travel hazardous from Sunday morning to early Monday morning.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SUNDAY TO 3 AM EST MONDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SUNDAY TO 3 AM EST MONDAY.
* LOCATIONS… WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND.
* HAZARD TYPES… SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN.
* ACCUMULATIONS… A COATING TO 1 INCH OF SNOW AND SLEET ACROSS WASHINGTON DC AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND. 1 TO 3 INCHES IN THE NORTHERN AND WESTERN SUBURBS OF WASHINGTON DC. ICE ACCUMULATION AROUND ONE TENTH OF AN INCH.
* TIMING… SNOW WILL BEGIN BETWEEN 7 AM AND 10 AM SUNDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL CHANGE TO SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN BETWEEN NOON AND 3 PM SUNDAY AFTERNOON. PRECIPITATION WILL END AS FREEZING RAIN SUNDAY NIGHT.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW AND ICE COVERED SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT. TRAVELLING WILL BE DANGEROUS DURING THIS TIME. VISIBILITY WILL BE REDUCED BELOW ONE-MILE AT TIMES IN SNOW SUNDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON.
* WINDS… SOUTH AROUND 5 TO 10 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES… RISING THROUGH THE 20S MORNING. TEMPERATURES WILL RISE INTO THE LOWER AND MIDDLE 30S SUNDAY AFTERNOON INTO SUNDAY NIGHT.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW… SLEET… OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
Many main roads were treated before the snow fell, making for an easy commute earlier this morning. The Arlington Public Schools cancellation and the federal government’s two hour delay resulted in much lighter traffic than usual.
As the snow has continued to fall throughout the morning commute, some neighborhood streets are now reported to be slick.
A hilly portion of S. Edgewood Street, near Columbia Pike, is being monitored by police due to cars getting stuck. Meanwhile, the following accident was photographed in Fairlington.
— Wayne (@VACoffeeGuy) February 26, 2015
Arlington County government and county facilities are open, and trash and recycling collection is proceeding as usual.
Arlington County gov't OPEN on time today, w/unscheduled leave and telework options in effect for employees. Go to http://t.co/1eF3IKciR9
— ArlingtonVA (@ArlingtonVA) February 26, 2015
Update at 9:55 a.m. — An Arlington County employee says that a lack of communication from the county, and at least one conflicting Facebook message, produced confusion among the county’s workforce this morning.
This morning the Arlington Employee Email alert system sent no message (at least to my phone) about County offices being open. This is in contrast to January 14, 26 and 27 (and most times when there are any weather questions in the past.) Moreover, for a period of time the County’s official Facebook page indicated that offices would be open two hours late. There was considerable confusion among County employees.
(I was momentarily confused by the Facebook message myself but chose to come to work anyway since there was no other notification one way or another.)
Not sure why communications broke down but of all days this is one where County employees could have used some accurate and timely guidance.
Here is the message from January 27:
Arlington County government offices, courts, and facilities are open today, Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Unscheduled leave and telework options are available to County employees, with supervisor’s approval. GAS/ OEM
No such message today. Nada.
(Updated at 8:35 a.m.) Arlington Public Schools are closed Thursday.
APS made the call at 6:00 this morning, joining Alexandria, Fairfax County and numerous other local school systems that decided to close due to snow and poor road conditions.
Based on further review of the road conditions throughout the County, all APS Schools will be closed today and Offices will open two hours late. Essential personnel should report to work at their scheduled time. Extracurricular activities, interscholastic games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.
Today’s 9:15 a.m. elementary school information sessions have been canceled and will be rescheduled.
The federal government, meanwhile, is open on a two hour delay today.
Forecasters have upped their predicted snow totals. From the National Weather Service:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST TODAY…
* LOCATIONS… WASHINGTON DC AND MOST MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA SUBURBS… ALONG WITH THE CENTRAL SHENANDOAH VALLEY AND NORTH- CENTRAL VIRGINIA.
* HAZARD TYPES… SNOW.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS… 2 TO 4 INCHES.
* TIMING… THROUGH THE MORNING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW WILL FALL DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY… PARTICULARLY FOR SOUTHEASTERN SUBURBS.
* WINDS… NORTHEAST 5 TO 10 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES… NEAR 30 DEGREES.
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.