About 4-5 inches of snow fell in Arlington Monday night and Tuesday morning.
County crews worked throughout the night and day to clear primary and secondary roads, before starting to tackle neighborhood streets. Compared to past, disruptive snowstorms, they had some things working in their favor:
- The snow fell overnight, not during a rush hour
- It was predicted correctly well in advance
- It was a light, fluffy snow and, because the ground was already cold from the frigid weekend, there was minimal melting and refreezing
- Schools and the federal government closed for the day, limiting vehicle traffic
Regardless of the circumstances, how would you rate the county’s job in clearing the streets Tuesday?
The snow squall will be followed by an arctic cold front that may produce record low temperatures Thursday and Friday.
From the National Weather Service:
… ARCTIC COLD FRONT TO BRING SNOW SHOWERS AND SQUALLS LATER TODAY…
AN ARCTIC COLD FRONT WILL PUSH ACROSS THE MIDDLE ATLANTIC REGION THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. THE FRONT WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY SNOW SHOWERS AND SQUALLS WHICH WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE A QUICK BURST OF HEAVY SNOW… REDUCED VISIBILITIES AND HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS. THE ARCTIC FRONT WILL PUSH ACROSS THE I-81 CORRIDOR BY EARLY AFTERNOON THEN THROUGH THE BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON DC METRO AREAS DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. BEHIND THE FRONT… GUSTY NORTHWEST WINDS AND RAPIDLY FALLING TEMPERATURES WILL LEAD TO BELOW ZERO WIND CHILLS AND BITTERLY COLD TEMPERATURES OVERNIGHT.
Arlington Public Schools will open on a two hour delay Wednesday, the school system announced tonight (Tuesday.)
From APS, via email:
All APS schools and offices will open two hours late tomorrow and there will be no early release. Schools will end at the normal dismissal time and all morning field trips are canceled. The Extended Day program also will open two hours late. Essential personnel are to report to work at their scheduled time. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics.
Many of the roads around Arlington remain unplowed as of 10:00 a.m., despite the sunshine and the end of the 4-5 inches of snowfall.
The federal and county governments are closed, as are many private offices, which sought to avoid asking employees to trek through hazardous driving conditions this morning. Many retail businesses decided not to open due to the storm either.
Outside of Wilson and Clarendon Blvds, all of the roads in Clarendon were unplowed this morning, and the normally bustling rush hour around the Metro stop was quiet — the man handing out the Washington Post Express newspaper could be heard saying “Have a good day” to every passerby from a block away.
Jessica Chakrin, a Clarendon resident, ventured to a mostly empty Whole Foods this morning with her boyfriend, Steve Benkert, who lives in D.C. Neither works for the federal government, but both were enjoying a day off work and some spontaneous, child-like fun.
“We went to Whole Foods breakfast, had some [coffee] there, and I was about to shove her in the snow… that was about as far as the day was planned,” Benkert said. He noted that the Whole Foods was almost empty — a rare sight for most Clarendon regulars.
With Monday’s federal holiday, the snow meant most workers in the area got four straight days off work.
“Snow days are fun,” said Rusty Mathews, who lives near Clarendon on Fairfax Drive and works for a law firm. “They’re a nice change, but right after a holiday, it’s particularly nice. You get a long, long weekend.”
Update at 9:40 a.m. — Limited Metrobus service will start being restored at 10:30 a.m. Buses will operate under a severe snow plan.
The snow has stopped falling and some breaks of blue sky can even be seen above, but the impacts of the overnight snowfall are still being felt.
About 4-5 inches of snow fell on Arlington from Monday afternoon to this morning. Most roads are still snow-covered as county crews continue to treat primary and secondary routes. Neighborhood streets are largely untreated.
As the temperature remains very cold and even treated roads are slippery, VDOT is asking drivers to stay put for now.
“Drivers are urged to delay travel today until at least 10:00 a.m., as Virginia Department of Transportation crews continue working to clear and treat roads in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington counties,” VDOT said in a statement. “Interstates and major primaries are passable with extreme caution. Other roads were also plowed continuously overnight but still have a layer of snow and ice.”
The National Weather Service says the snow has ended, but is warning of hazardous travel conditions.
THE BULK OF THE PRECIPITATION HAS ENDED THIS MORNING… WITH ONLY LIGHT SNOW EXPECTED TO IMPACT AREAS EAST OF THE I-95 CORRIDOR THROUGH MID MORNING. SLIPPERY CONDITIONS AS A RESULT OF SNOW COVERED ROADS AND TEMPERATURES IN THE TEENS TO 20S WILL LEAD TO HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS TODAY.
IF YOU NEED TO TRAVEL… PLEASE LEAVE SOME EXTRA TIME TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION AND USE CAUTION… ESPECIALLY ON ANY UNTREATED OR SNOW PACKED ROADWAYS.
Arlington announced early this morning that all county government offices, courts and facilities would be closed today. That’s in addition to the closure of county schools and the federal government.
There will be no trash and recycling collection in Arlington today.
“Collection services will resume when County offices reopen and will continue until all trash and recycling is collected,” according to the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services. “Until services resume, remove carts from the right-of-way to allow snow removal crews to clear the roads.”
Metrobus services has been suspended as of 7:30 a.m. Metrorail is running on a Saturday schedule. ART buses are running at “severe service levels.” MetroAccess is suspended Tuesday and Arlington STAR service is suspended except for dialysis rides.
Virginia State Police says troopers in Northern Virginia responded to 121 crashes and 122 disabled vehicles between 4:00 p.m. Monday and 4:00 a.m. Tuesday. A state police patrol car was struck by a car on the Capital Beltway just before 6:00 this morning, sending the trooper to the hospital.
VDOT says HOV restrictions have been lifted on I-66, I-395 and the Dulles Toll Road.
In part due to the low temperature, which prevents salt from melting snow, county and state crews are plowing roads and spreading a sand mixture. Many roads will remain snow-packed and will not be bare pavement as a result.
“All Arlington Public Schools and Offices will be closed on Tue, Feb. 17,” APS said in an email. “Essential personnel are to report to work at their scheduled time. Extracurricular activities, interscholastic games, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled.”
All APS pools will also be closed on Tuesday.
Federal government offices will be closed Tuesday, per the Office of Personnel Management.
“FEDERAL OFFICES in the Washington, DC area are CLOSED,” OPM said on its website. “Emergency and telework-ready employees required to work must follow their agency’s policies, including written telework agreements.”
Arlington Transit buses, meanwhile, will operate at “severe service levels” on Tuesday.
“ART will operate only routes 41, 42, 45, 51, 77 & 87 on arterial streets Tuesday Feb 17 due to weather and street conditions. Expect delays,” ART said via email. “No service on S. Courthouse Rd, in Columbia Hts West, the Walter Reed hill, or north of Virginia Hospital Center. No other routes will be operated.”
A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect, with forecasters calling for 6-10 inches of snow through noon tomorrow (Tuesday).
As of 4:20 p.m., Arlington County said it’s transitioning from a “Phase 1″ to a “Phase 2″ snow response.
“Snow crews began pre-treating primary and secondary routes earlier today with brine,” according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. “Most streets had residual brine from Saturday’s event, which will help with the initial snowfall this afternoon. Trucks were also hooked up with plows, chains and spreaders in preparation.”
“We’ll be on full-deployment with approximately 50 trucks until the snow stops tomorrow,” Whalen McDaniel said.
Thanks to frigid temperatures throughout the weekend, snow is sticking on pavement and grassy surfaces. Authorities are asking residents to stay home during the snowstorm, if possible, and plan for treacherous driving conditions in the days following the storm.
“Virginia State Police is advising all motorists to delay travel plans for tonight and/or Tuesday morning, as roads will be treacherous,” VSP said in a press release. “With the forecasted freezing temperatures, any snow and ice accumulations are expected to stick around for a few days. So it is important to prepare your home, family, and vehicle in advance.”
MetroAccess service is being suspended as of 6:00 p.m. Monday and will remain suspended Tuesday, according to WMATA. Metrobuses are suspended from 1:00 to 5:00 a.m., then will operate under Metro’s severe snow plan. Metrorail will operate on a Saturday schedule on Tuesday.
Arlington County Police say several accidents have been reported since the snow started falling.
We're starting to see vehicle accidents. Drive for the conditions and remember, posted speed limits are intended for dry conditions #snow
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) February 16, 2015
Photo (top) courtesy @SDfromDC
The Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the parade, announced this morning that it will not be held tomorrow night, on Fat Tuesday, as scheduled. Instead, the parade is being rescheduled for St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).
Six to ten inches of snow are expected to fall overnight.
As of Monday morning, forecasters said 6-10 inches of snow may fall overnight. The snow is expected to begin Monday afternoon and wrap up Tuesday morning.
From the National Weather Service:
… WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST TUESDAY…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 6 TO 10 INCHES… WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS EXPECTED ACROSS PORTIONS OF LOWER SOUTHERN MARYLAND.
* TIMING… SNOW WILL INCREASE IN INTENSITY THROUGH THE EVENING HOURS. HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED LATE TONIGHT INTO EARLY TUESDAY MORNING.
* TEMPERATURES… MID TEENS TO LOWER 20S.
* WINDS… EAST 5 TO 10 MPH.
* IMPACTS… BEGINNING THIS EVENING… ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY WITH VISIBILITIES BEING REDUCED TO ONE HALF MILE OR LESS AT TIMES. THE COMBINATION OF SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LOW VISIBILITY WILL MAKE TRAVELING 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.
Forecasters are warning that a strong cold front could bring snow squalls and even thundersnow to the area tonight (Saturday).
Expect dangerous, rapidly-changing conditions outside as snow, high wind and bitter cold push in from the west.
The National Weather Service has issued the following Special Weather Statement.
… HAZARDOUS WINTER CONDITIONS THIS EVENING…
AN STRONG ARCTIC COLD FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC THIS EVENING. THROUGH 8 PM EXPECT SNOW SHOWERS AND SQUALLS AND WINDY CONDITIONS AS THE FRONT MOVES THROUGH… ALONG WITH POSSIBLE THUNDERSNOW.
BURSTS OF HEAVY SNOW COULD PRODUCE A QUICK COATING TO AN INCH OF SNOW ACCUMULATION IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. WHITEOUT CONDITIONS AND THUNDERSNOW HAVE ALREADY BEEN REPORTED IN WESTERN MARYLAND.
ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLICK THIS EVENING. ALSO… WINDS ACCOMPANYING THE SNOW SHOWERS AND SQUALLS WILL BECOME STRONG… GUSTING 40 TO 50 MPH. THE COMBINATION OF SNOW SHOWERS AND STRONG WINDS WILL LEAD TO VISIBILITIES OF ONE HALF MILE OR LESS. THESE LOW VISIBILITIES WILL DEVELOP SUDDENLY.
TRAVELERS ACROSS THE REGION ARE ADVISED TO USE EXTREME CAUTION THROUGH THIS EVENING. BE PREPARED FOR RAPIDLY CHANGING CONDITIONS AS THE ARCTIC FRONT MOVES THROUGH. BURSTS OF HEAVY SNOW WITH SUDDEN VISIBILITY RESTRICTIONS COULD MAKE FOR DANGEROUS DRIVING CONDITIONS.
AFTER THE SNOW ENDS LATE THIS EVENING… VERY COLD AIR WILL MOVE INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC. THE VERY COLD AIR WILL ALLOW ANY SNOW OR SLUSH ON AREA ROADS TO FREEZE… RESULTING IN ICY CONDITIONS. WIND CHILLS WILL QUICKLY FALL INTO THE SINGLE DIGITS THIS EVENING.
Encouraging Residency for Top County Staff — Top Arlington County officials should be encouraged to live in Arlington, County Board members said over the weekend, but they stopped short of saying that it should be a requirement. The Board responded to a resident’s concern about non-county residents on staff. County Manager Barbara Donnellan, County Attorney Stephen MacIsaac and outgoing Police Chief Doug Scott all live outside the county. [InsideNova]
For Rent: Tiny Two-Story Cottage — A 450 square foot, 1 BR / 1 BA cottage is for rent just off of Lee Highway, near District Taco, and one blogger thinks it’s the “coolest rental in Arlington.” The tiny, standalone house features a living area and kitchenette on the first floor, and a second floor loft bedroom. It’s listed at $1,200 per month. [Real House Life of Arlington]
Millennial Complains About Housing Costs — A member of the millennial generation has written an op-ed in the Washington Post complaining that while his mom was able to buy a house in Arlington as a young photographer in 1976, he is unable to afford one today, as are many other so-called millennials. Nonetheless, millennials currently make up 39 percent of the county’s population. [Washington Post]
Arlington Flag Team Makes National Finals — The Arlington 13-14 girls NFL Flag football team has made the national final game in Arizona, set to be played tonight. The game will be live-streamed on the internet. [Twitter, NFL Flag]
Snow Cancellation Map — How much snow does it take to cancel school in Arlington? About three inches, according to a map created by a Reddit user, which shows cancellation stats by county across the U.S. The map indicates that just a couple hours to the northwest, it takes a foot of snow to cancel school, while a couple of hours to the south “any snow” will result in a cancellation. [Imgur, Reddit]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Arlington Public Schools are opening on a two hour delay this morning due to concerns about icy conditions.
APS schools and offices will open two hours late today and all schools will end at the normal dismissal time. Essential school employees should report on time. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late. There will be no early release and all morning field trips are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.
Arlington’s STAR paratransit system, meanwhile, is opening at 10:00 a.m. and all rides before that are canceled, except for those that are for dialysis.
So far, few accidents are being reported on the roads around Arlington. The county says it’s treating both main roads and residential area this morning.
The National Weather Service is reporting 0.5-1.7 inches of snow accumulation around Arlington since Sunday night.
Photo courtesy @ezequieeeel
Forecasters say accumulating snow may start falling by mid-to-late afternoon. VDOT says its crews are out in force treating roads, but drivers should consider leaving work early.
From a press release:
The Virginia Department of Transportation is asking northern Virginia drivers to prepare for today’s afternoon commute, which is expected to be much more difficult than this morning as rain and wintry mix increases to snow throughout the day.
Drivers are asked to commute and travel in the early afternoon if possible, prior to 4 p.m., to get ahead of increasing precipitation and dropping pavement temperatures expected this evening.
Between the morning and afternoon rush hours today, crews will apply a light application of salt, or mix of salt and liquid magnesium chloride, to problem spots such as bridges, ramps, hills and overpasses on main roads and in neighborhoods. Crews will continue to treat roads through the evening rush and overnight tonight.
Bridge and pavement temperatures are forecasted to be at or below freezing from 6 p.m. today through mid-day Tuesday. Drivers are asked to use caution, particularly in neighborhoods where slick conditions may develop this evening.
About 900 trucks will remain on duty this evening throughout Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington counties.
Reminders and resources:
- Slow down and allow for extra time to reach your destination
- Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, ramps, curves and overpasses
- Check www.511virginia.org for road conditions
- Get more details on snow removal in northern Virginia
- Follow VDOT Northern Virginia on Twitter: @vadotnova
The snow expected in Arlington is nothing compared to the blizzard expected in New York City and other northeastern locales — which has prompted numerous flight cancellations at Reagan National Airport this morning.
(Students had no such luck — Arlington Public Schools started on time.)
Forecasters say Arlington might get enough snow to make tonight’s evening rush hour and tomorrow’s morning rush hour a bit tricky.
The National Weather Service has issued the following Winter Weather Advisory for the region.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST TUESDAY…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 2 TO 4 INCHES.
* TIMING… SNOW WILL MIX WITH RAIN AT TIMES THROUGH MID-AFTERNOON. PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO ALL SNOW LATE THIS AFTERNOON. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED TONIGHT BEFORE ENDING TUESDAY MORNING.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER 30S.
* WINDS… NORTHEAST 10 TO 15 MPH TODAY… BECOMING NORTH TONIGHT INTO TUESDAY WITH GUSTS AROUND 25 MPH.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY WITH VISIBILITIES BEING REDUCED TO NEAR ONE-QUARTER MILE AT TIMES. THE COMBINATION OF SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LOW VISIBILITY WILL MAKE TRAVELING DANGEROUS
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.
In preparation for the snow, AAA Mid-Atlantic issued a press release urging drivers to be careful on the roads. The automobile association went so far as to admit that “most Washingtonians really don’t know how to drive in the snow.”
… watch out on unplowed side streets in residential areas, and slow down when approaching ramps, culverts, bridges and elevated overpasses, which tend to freeze first and thaw last…
If you are out there, avoid passing snowplows or salt trucks unless it is absolutely safe and necessary. If you have to go, drive in cleared lanes. Changing lanes unnecessarily puts you at greater risk of hitting a patch of ice or large areas of snow between lanes that could easily cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
It is an old joke, but it rings so true. Most Washingtonians really don’t know how to drive in the snow. First of all, if you don’t have to venture out, stay put and delay your commute. If you are a federal worker, stay alert for current operating status announcements from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Secondly, if you must go, reduce your driving speed to a third of your normal pace, and keep your low beams on. Thirdly, give the car ahead of you extra space. Stay at least one car length behind it for every 10 miles per hour on your speedometer, and anticipate turns and possible stops.
Fourthly, be sure to carry a cold weather emergency kit outfitted with jumper cables, first aid kit, a few tools, a shovel, sand, kitty litter, or traction mats, a flashlight with extra batteries, emergency flares or reflectors, and a fully-charged cell phone with a car charger. Then pack some essential supplies including blankets, food, and water to comfort you–and possibly save you–if you’re delayed or stranded in a snowstorm.
Another Early Morning Fire — Arlington County firefighters rescued a man from an early morning house fire on the 2100 block of S. Randolph Street. This is the second day in a row that Arlington firefighters rescued someone from a house fire. [WJLA]
Association Moves from Alexandria to Arlington — The American Diabetes Association is moving from Alexandria to Arlington. The association has signed a 78,000 square foot lease for a building in Crystal City. The building, owned by Vornado, has been vacant since the previous military moved out due to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act. [Washington Business Journal]
Snow Total for Arlington — Yesterday’s afternoon snowfall resulted in an accumulation of 0.4 inches in Arlington, according to a measurement at Reagan National Airport. In the Great Falls section of Fairfax County, 1.8 inches was recorded. [National Weather Service]
Va. Considering All-HOT Lanes I-66 — Virginia is considering a plan to convert I-66 to HOT lanes only during peak periods. That would mean that transit and carpools of three or more people are allowed to use the highway for free during rush hours, but anyone else has to pay tolls. Construction could begin as soon as next year, with the goal of starting HOT lane service by 2017. [Washington Post]
Opening Date for Kapnos in Ballston — Kapnos Taverna, the new 165-seat Greek restaurant from chef Mike Isabella, has set an official opening date of Tuesday, Jan. 27. The restaurant is located at 4000 Wilson Blvd in Ballston.
Photo via @The_Old_Guard