Old man winter is losing his grip on the area as spring-like temperatures have finally arrived.
Aside from the sunny, blue skies, the arrival of spring can perhaps best evident by looking at the remains of a formerly two-story snow fort.
The snow fort, built by a 19-year-old Leeway-Overlee resident, once stood 12 feet high. Now, it’s a small pile of “snow rubble,” surrounded by an area of brown grass about the size of the fort’s 11-foot-by-11-foot base.
Photo courtesy @StuNagurka
The light snow has, however, caused some flight delays at Reagan National Airport.
Inbound flights are being delayed an average of 52 minutes at their origin, according to Flight Aware. Departure delays are averaging about 45 minutes.
Few other snow-related problems have been reported in Arlington. The National Weather Service, meanwhile, has upped its predicted snow total a bit.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 2 TO 4 INCHES.
* TIMING… SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY EVENING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED LATE THIS MORNING INTO THE MID AFTERNOON.
* TEMPERATURES… AROUND 30 THIS MORNING… RISING INTO THE LOWER TO MID 30S THIS AFTERNOON.
* WINDS… SOUTHEAST 5 TO 10 MPH… BECOMING NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH THIS EVENING.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY IN SOME AREAS THIS MORNING. MOST SURFACES WILL BECOME WET AND SLUSHY THIS AFTERNOON WITH TEMPERATURES RISING ABOVE FREEZING.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
Arlington Crews Prepared for Snow — Arlington County pretreated primary and secondary roads in advance of today’s snowfall. The county says that with less than two inches of accumulation expected, crews will treat roads “where sticking occurs.” [Twitter]
TechAmerica Moves to Rosslyn — The technology trade group TechAmerica has quietly moved from the District to Rosslyn. TechAmerica originally moved from Rosslyn to the District in 2009. [Washington Business Journal]
Chopra Starts New Company in Arlington — Aneesh Chopra, the country’s first Chief Technology Officer and a recent candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia, has started a new data and analytics company. The company, Hunch Analytics, is based in Arlington. [Washington Post]
YHS Student Wins Writing Gold Medal — Yorktown High School sophomore Emily Burke has won a Scholastic Writing Awards Gold Medal for a personal essay entitled, “Lost And Found in Beirut And Amman.” [Arlington Public Schools]
It may be spring, but more snow is on the way for Arlington.
Forecasters say an inch or more of snow is possible from Tuesday morning to Tuesday evening. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, warning of a possibly messy morning commute.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 3 PM EDT TUESDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 3 PM EDT TUESDAY.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 1 TO 3 INCHES. THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS WILL BE NORTH AND WEST OF INTERSTATE 95 TOWARD THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS.
* TIMING… SNOW WILL BEGIN EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED TUESDAY MORNING BEFORE TAPERING OFF DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.
* TEMPERATURES… LOW TEMPERATURES TONIGHT IN THE MID TO UPPER 20S. HIGH TEMPERATURES TUESDAY WILL BE IN THE MID TO UPPER 30S.
* WINDS… BECOMING SOUTHEAST AROUND 5 MPH.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY TUESDAY MORNING AND TRAVEL WILL BE DIFFICULT DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE. MOST SURFACES WILL BECOME WET TUESDAY AFTERNOON WITH TEMPERATURES RISING ABOVE FREEZING.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) An Arlington County snow plow was spotted driving the wrong way on Military Road today, and part of the incident was caught on video.
Jason Berry, a local filmmaker and entrepreneur, says he encountered the snow plow head on while driving down Military Road in the Donaldson Run neighborhood around 7:30 a.m.
“I came over a hill and headed right towards me was this snow plow in my lane,” Berry told ARLnow.com via email. “The driver did not move or slow down, I was forced out of my lane into the deeper snow in between lanes. I temporarily lost control of my car and managed to use the e-brake to slide to a stop.”
“I then was facing the other direction in the other lane so I proceeded to catch back up to the plow and that is where the video starts,” Berry continued. “The plow is seen driving in the wrong lane THROUGH an intersection (of Military and Marcey Road), which is at the crest of a blind hill.”
Berry, 44, said he has “never seen such a brazen act of indifference” on the part of a snow plow driver while living in Arlington and, previously, in snowy Rochester, N.Y.
Arlington County says the plow driver was not following proper procedures.
“This is completely unacceptable behavior for snow plowing and it was in violation of Arlington County’s plow driver practices and training,” Dave Hundelt, a manager at Arlington’s Water, Sewer and Streets Bureau, told ARLnow.com via email just after 12:30 p.m.
“As soon as the County learned of the unacceptable behavior, we identified the driver and removed him from duty,” Hundelt said. “We will be taking appropriate action with this employee. Safety is a priority for the County, and we encourage any driver issues or concerns to be reported to the police.”
In a separate incident, another snow plow — a VDOT contractor, according to a department spokeswoman — became disabled after it ran up on the center divider on Route 50 near Glebe Road this morning. No word yet on how that happened.
Video (top) courtesy Jason Berry. Photo (bottom) courtesy @ATrombs.
Update at 9:35 a.m. — Runways have reopened at Reagan National Airport. Metro says it will resume normal Metrobus service at 11:00 a.m.
A late season snow storm has shut down the federal government as well as all Arlington County schools, government offices, courts and facilities.
Arlington Public Schools says its schools and offices are closed today, and all “extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled.”
Arlington County government, meanwhile, has closed, citing “treacherous travel conditions.” About 7-8 inches of snow fell on parts of Arlington. The Dept. of Environmental Services says its snow clearing effort is currently in Phase 2 — plowing primary and secondary roads while side roads remain snow-covered.
“If possible, stay off the roads while snow removal efforts continue throughout the day,” the county government said.
ART buses are operating at Severe Service levels on routes 41,42, 45, 51, 77 and 87. All other routes are canceled.
“Service will be added mid-day as conditions permit,” ART reported. Metrobuses are running on major roads only, also on the agency’s severe snow plan. Metrorail is operating at near-normal service levels.
Runways at Reagan National Airport are closed as crews work to reopen the airport to arriving and departing flights.
Arlington and the rest of the D.C. region will be waking up to a white St. Patrick’s Day.
A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the region. The National Weather Service says 4-8 inches of snow is possible, with most of the flakes falling overnight. The Capital Weather Gang, however, predicts that much of Arlington and the District will only see 1-3 inches.
From the NWS:
… WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 2 PM EDT MONDAY…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW
* ACCUMULATIONS… 4 TO 8 INCHES.
* TIMING… A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW EARLY THIS EVENING WILL CHANGE TO ALL SNOW BY MID EVENING. SNOW WILL CONTINUE OVERNIGHT THROUGH EARLY AFTERNOON MONDAY. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH EARLY MONDAY MORNING.
* TEMPERATURES… FALLING INTO THE LOWER 30S BY MID EVENING AND THEN DROPPING INTO THE LOWER TO MIDDLE 20S LATE TONIGHT. HIGHS MONDAY IN THE LOWER 30S.
* WINDS… NORTHEAST 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY. TRAVEL WILL BE DANGEROUS… ESPECIALLY TONIGHT THROUGH THE MORNING RUSH ON MONDAY.
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.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, meanwhile, is planning to deploy more than 2,000 snow removal trucks in Northern Virginia. From VDOT:
The Virginia Department of Transportation is preparing for another potential winter storm tonight, and advises drivers to stay off roads during freezing rain and snow expected through tomorrow morning.
Crews will mobilize by 6 p.m. today, and by midnight more than 2,000 trucks will be staged along interstates, major roads and neighborhood streets in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington counties.
Info for northern Virginia drivers and residents:
- Drivers are strongly advised to stay home during the storm, overnight tonight and into Monday morning.
- Crews will plow and treat interstates, major roads and neighborhoods concurrently.
- Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William residents can enter their address at www.vdotplows.org to see the status of plowing in their neighborhood.
- Park in your driveway or on the odd-numbered side of the street to allow plows room to pass.
- When shoveling, leave the last few feet at the curb until the street is plowed, as the truck will push some snow back. Shovel to the right facing the road.
- 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.
The parade has been rescheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 17. It will still run along Wilson Blvd from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street in Clarendon.
“Approximately 90% of the original Mardi Gras entries are able to participate on the rescheduled date,” according to the Clarendon Alliance, the parade’s organizer. “The Mardi Gras Parade registration period is being extended, to allow additional entrants to participate in the parade. New registrations will be accepted by the CA through 5pm on Wednesday March 12.”
In 2010, when snow forced the cancellation of the Mardi Gras parade, it was transformed into a St. Patrick’s Day parade, complete with Irish dancers, a leprechaun and green beads. For now, the 2014 version is still being called a “Mardi Gras parade.”
A 19-year-old Leeway-Overlee resident took advantage of Arlington’s especially snowy winter to build a massive snow fort in his front yard.
Michael Grieg, who lives on the 6000 block of 22nd Road N., built the fort “by himself using snow shovels, a wheelbarrow, two ladders and recycling bin for a snow block mold,” according to his mother, Cristina. The fort is 12 feet high with an 11-foot-by-11-foot base, she said.
“It was built to be a work of art, he doesn’t often have the opportunity,” Cristina Grieg wrote in an email to ARLnow.com “It took him about 40 hours starting with the first major snow storm.”
The above pictures were sent on Saturday, but the snow fort may not be around for much longer. Temperatures could jump into the 70s by tomorrow afternoon. Mild temperatures this weekend reduced the fort’s height by a foot, Grieg reported Monday morning.
“Still standing, about 11 feet now, but showing wear and tear,” she said.
Photos courtesy Cristina Grieg
Frigid temperatures have officials worried about a potential refreeze and hazardous road conditions following today’s snow storm.
It’s at least the 6th day off for Arlington students this school year. All meetings, extracurricular activities, events and adult education classes are also canceled.
There will be no classes Tuesday, but school offices will be open, on a two-hour delay. Essential employees should report to work as scheduled, the school system said Monday evening.
Sidewalks and roads in many parts of Arlington are still covered with snow Monday afternoon, even though the flakes stopped falling around 2:00 p.m. But that hasn’t stopped plenty of folks in Arlington from venturing outdoors to enjoy the winter wonderland.
Temperatures are expected to continue to plummet into the single digits tonight, so any snow left on roads and sidewalks could turn into a slippery, icy mess.
Despite the big snowfall, few in Arlington are reporting power outages. According to Dominion’s outage map, as of 3:20 p.m., only 19 customers in Arlington were without power.
About 4-6 inches of snow fell in Arlington, barely meeting the low end of the National Weather Service’s forecast. But the snowfall still managed to cause plenty of problems around town.
The local Virginia State Police barracks reported a total of 111 crashes, 84 disabled vehicles and 372 calls for service as of 3:00 p.m. That’s on top of numerous accidents reported on local Arlington County streets.
ART and Metro bus service has been suspended for the day, but is expected to resume tomorrow. Trash collection service was also canceled in Arlington today. Flights resumed at Reagan National Airport around 3:00 p.m., after arrivals and departures had been suspended for most of the day due to snow-covered runways. Some 360 flights were canceled at the airport today.
Snow removal crews in Arlington are currently in a “Phase 2 Alert” — clearing only primary and arterial roads. Contract snow crews are expected to start using dump trucks to clear snow from Arlington’s Metro corridors starting at 6:00 p.m. tonight. Arlington Parks and Recreation crews, meanwhile, are clearing the sidewalks in front of county facilities.
Arlington’s emergency winter homeless shelter in Courthouse is open all day today due to the snow.
The snow has claimed at least one major event casualty. The Clarendon Alliance has postponed its annual Mardi Gras parade, which was scheduled for Tuesday evening.
“The Clarendon Alliance is announcing that the 2014 Mardi Gras Parade is being postponed, due to snow and ice along the parade route,” Clarendon Alliance executive director Matt Hussman said in an email. “We intend to reschedule the parade as soon as possible — possibly around St. Patrick’s Day… but we need to consult with County officials before we can announce the new date.”
The snowball fight will be held at Quincy Park (1021 N. Quincy Street), near the Virginia Square Metro station, at 4:00 p.m. today. Organizers are billing it as “the most epic snowball fight in the history of Arlington” and are pledging to collect donations for the Frye Foundation.
So far, 11 people have RSVPed “yes” on the snowball fight’s Facebook page. That would be about half the size of the crowd that showed up at the Clarendon Metro station for a snowball fight on Feb. 6, 2010 — the snow storm also known as “Snowmageddon.”
Organizers of today’s snowball fight, dubiously dubbed the “Battle @ Ballston,” say it’s being “sponsored” by Wilson Tavern in Courthouse, which will be hosting combatants for “post snowball fight eats and drinks.”
The Arlington snowball fight will have some competition and challenges. District residents are planning a snowball fight in Dupont Circle at 2:00 p.m. And ammunition might run low — the Capital Weather Gang says snow may be tapering off by noon.
The temperature had dropped from 34 degrees to 19 degrees from midnight to 8:00 a.m. in Arlington, according to ABC7 meteorologist Ryan Miller. Light, fluffy snow is falling in sheets, blown by 20-30 mile per hour wind gusts.
Forecasters are calling for 6-10 inches of snow to fall by the time the storm tapers off tonight.
Already the snow is causing big problems on the road for those attempting to drive. Glebe Road was blocked between Military Road and Chain Bridge Road as of 8:15 a.m., due to a single-vehicle accident, but has since reopened.
ART and Metro bus service has been suspended, as has STAR and MetroAccess service. Metrorail so far is operating on time. As of 10:15 a.m. runways at Reagan National Airport were closed as crews made a “herculean effort” to clear the snow and reopen the main runway.
Arlington County is currently in a Phase 2 snow alert, meaning that snow removal crews are only treating and plowing primary and arterial streets. Residential streets will be allowed to become snow-covered.
The federal government and all Arlington schools, courts and government offices are closed Monday.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Monday morning in response to the storm. From the governor’s announcement:
As Virginia prepares for another winter storm today, Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency, an action that authorizes state agencies to be ready to assist local governments in responding to the snow and ice storm that will affect the commonwealth this evening and into tomorrow.
In declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia.
“This storm could bring difficult travel and widespread power outages for the next few days,” said Governor McAuliffe. “It is also going to be very cold with gusty winds across Virginia. Please postpone travel during the storm, charge up your mobile devices so you can stay in touch, and take time to check on your neighbors in case they need help.”
In response to the storm:
- The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is at increased readiness with emergency response team members monitoring the storm and ready to coordinate the state’s response.
- The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is coordinating conference calls between the National Weather Service, state agencies and local governments.
- Virginia Department of Transportation crews have begun full preparations for a significant winter weather event expected to impact the commonwealth Monday.
- The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 100 personnel on state active duty to support emergency response operations. Virginia Guard personnel have been alerted to begin staging and expect to be in place tonight so they are able to rapidly respond if needed.
- The Virginia State Police will extend shifts and have additional troopers on patrol to expedite response times to traffic crashes and disabled motorists.
- Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
- Prepare a three-day supply of food that includes a gallon of water per person per day and food that does not require electricity to prepare it.
- Have a battery powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
- Always run generators outside in well-ventilated areas. Never use a portable generator in any enclosed or partially enclosed space.
- Only travel if absolutely necessary. Roads can become very hazardous very quickly. Always wear a seatbelt, and know road conditions before you leave. Road condition information is available 24/7 by calling 511 or going towww.511Virginia.org
- Have emergency supplies in your vehicle. If you are stranded you will need water, food, blankets, flashlight and extra batteries at a minimum.
- Avoid overexertion while shoveling snow and cleaning up from the storm, no matter your age or physical condition. Shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
- If you need help for an elderly or disabled person during the storm, need information on warming shelters or are concerned about an unsheltered individual or family, call 211 or visit www.211virginia.org. When you call 211, a trained professional will suggest sources of help using one of the largest databases of health and human services in your community and statewide.
- Get winter weather preparedness information at www.ReadyVirginia.gov and download the new Ready Virginia app for iPhones and Android devices.
It’s at least the fifth time Arlington Public Schools have closed due to snow this school year.
“Essential personnel are to report to work as scheduled,” said APS spokeswoman Jennifer Harris. “Extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled.”
All ART bus service has been suspended, in advance of a winter storm expected to drop 6-10 inches of snow Monday. Arlington’s western neighbor, the City of Falls Church, has declared a snow emergency now.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, meanwhile, is encouraging residents to leave their cars at home on Monday.
“By midnight tonight, 4,000 trucks will be staged along interstates, major roads and neighborhood streets in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington counties,” VDOT said in a press release Sunday night. “Drivers should stay off the roads tomorrow… snow and frigid temperatures to northern Virginia.”
Staying off the roads should be easier for non-emergency federal workers — the Office of Personnel Management announced tonight that federal offices would be closed Monday.
Residents have been reporting a shortage of salt and other snow clearing supplies in local grocery and hardware stores.
“Gonna have a slick sidewalk [tomorrow],” said Twitter user @TheRhino26.