Update at 6:55 p.m. — The Office of Personnel Management has announced that federal offices will be closed Monday.
The National Weather Service has upgraded its previous Winter Storm Watch for Arlington and the D.C. region to a Winter Storm Warning.
Forecasters are calling for 6 or more inches of snow between midnight tonight and Monday afternoon.
… WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 PM EST MONDAY…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… FREEZING RAIN… SLEET… AND HEAVY SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… UP TO ONE TENTH INCH OF ICE… THEN 6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW.
* TIMING… RAIN CHANGES TO FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET FROM NORTH TO SOUTH AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT… THEN BECOMES HEAVY SNOW LATE TONIGHT AND CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY.
* TEMPERATURES… DROPPING FROM THE LOWER 30S AROUND MIDNIGHT TO THE MID 20S LATE TONIGHT… THEN LOWER 20S MONDAY.
* WINDS… NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH LATE TONIGHT AND MONDAY.
* IMPACTS… HAZARDOUS TRAVEL DUE TO ICE AND SNOW OVERNIGHT AND MONDAY. BOTH THE MONDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON RUSH HOURS WILL BE AFFECTED. POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE WITH THE COMBINATION OF ICE AND HEAVY SNOW.
THIS WINTER STORM WARNING IS FOR HEAVY SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN AND MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF ICE AND SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY CAUSE POWER OUTAGES. 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 National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Arlington and the rest of the D.C. region.
Forecasters say the region could get 5+ inches of snow Sunday night into Monday.
… WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… FREEZING RAIN… SLEET… AND SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… POTENTIAL FOR FIVE OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET WITH SOME ICE ACCUMULATION FROM FREEZING RAIN ALSO POSSIBLE.
* TIMING… FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET LOOKS TO BEGIN OVERNIGHT SUNDAY WITH SNOW… HEAVY AT TIMES… LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER 30S OVERNIGHT SUNDAY… MID TO UPPER 20S FOR MONDAY.
* WINDS… NORTH 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.
* IMPACTS… POTENTIAL FOR HAZARDOUS TRAVEL OVERNIGHT SUNDAY FROM ICY ROADS… BECOMING SNOWY FOR MONDAY.
A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW… SLEET… AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
Snow Leads to Numerous Accidents — Numerous accidents were reported around Arlington this morning due to snow-slickened streets. Accidents were reported on Route 50 near Carlin Springs Road, Lee Highway and Key Blvd at N. Rhodes Street, and on N. George Mason Drive across from Lubber Run Park. As of 9:00 a.m. the accident on Route 50 was still reportedly causing traffic backups.
No Tickets for Snow Removal Violations — Arlington County has not handed out any tickets or fines for violations of the county’s snow removal ordinance so far this winter. The ordinance requires home and business owners to shovel their sidewalks within 24-36 hours of the end of a snow storm. County Manager Barbara Donnellan told the County Board yesterday that it had received 118 snow removal-related complaints, but each time a property owner was notified of a violation they “took care of it.” [Sun Gazette]
Lopez Receives Local Endorsements – Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) has picked up the endorsement of some local Arlington County figures in his run for Congress. Lopez announced this morning that he has been endorsed by Arlington County School Board Member Emma Violand-Sanchez, Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur and former Arlington County Democratic Committee chair Mike Lieberman.
Alcova Heights Neighborhood Plan Approved — The County Board last night approved an update to the Alcova Heights Neighborhood Conservation Plan. The plan calls for improving the neighborhood’s appearance while preserving its character and protecting it from speeding and cut-through traffic. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Forecasters are calling for another 1-3 inches of snow this morning (Wednesday).
Arlington and the D.C. area is currently under a Winter Weather Advisory. The National Weather Service says the flakes should stop falling by noon.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO NOON EST WEDNESDAY…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 1 TO 3 INCHES.
* TIMING… SPREADING EAST BETWEEN 2 AND 4 AM. SNOW WILL END BY NOON.
* TEMPERATURES… MID TO UPPER 20S.
* WINDS… LIGHT AND VARIABLE… BECOMING WEST AROUND 10 TO 15 MPH BY NOON.
* IMPACTS… SNOW ACCUMULATION WILL AFFECT THE WEDNESDAY MORNING COMMUTE. UNTREATED ROADWAYS WILL BE SLICK.
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.
Expect perhaps another inch or so of snow as the flakes keep falling early this afternoon, forecasters say.
The National Weather Service just issued a Winter Weather Advisory, which is in effect through 2:00 p.m. From NWS:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 PM EST THIS
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT
UNTIL 2 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS…1 TO 3 INCHES.
* TIMING…THROUGH 2PM.
* TEMPERATURES…AROUND 30.
* WINDS…WEST 5 TO 10 MPH.
* IMPACTS…UNTREATED ROADWAYS WILL BE SLICK.
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
Arlington Public School are opening on a two hour delay today due to snow.
Reagan National Airport received 0.3 inches of snow overnight, according to the National Weather Service.
Arlington County government and courts are opening on time. From APS:
All Arlington Public Schools will open two hours late today. All administrative offices will open on time. Morning field trips are canceled. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.
Arlington and other parts of the D.C. area could get another 1-2 inches of snow overnight.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, warning of slick roads during the morning commute.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM EST TUESDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM EST TUESDAY.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW. SNOW MAY END AS A BRIEF PERIOD OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 1 TO 2 INCHES. LITTLE OR NO ICE ACCUMULATION FROM FREEZING RAIN.
* TIMING… LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH OVERNIGHT.
* TEMPERATURES… MIDDLE TO UPPER 20S.
* WINDS… SOUTHEAST 5 TO 10 MPH.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY… AND WITH TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING ANY UNTREATED ROADS WILL REMAIN SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY THROUGH THE MORNING RUSH.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
A local theater group is starting to refer to their February production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical classic “Oklahoma” as “Snowklahoma” after yesterday’s major snowstorm made rehearsing treacherous.
The Chalice Theatre is rehearsing in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, at the corner of S. George Mason Drive and Arlington Blvd. Show director Cynthia Young compared the cast and crew of the show to the pioneers the play is based on.
“Pioneers coped with ever-present danger — prairie fires, wild animals, drought, tornadoes, and even murderous criminals — and they survived by cultivating community,” Young said in a press release. “We try to have the same courageous attitude as the characters in the show. Whatever Snowklahoma brings, we’re going to pull together. So come on down, Polar Vortex, we’re not ‘a-feered’ of you!”
The set designers use school facilities to work, so the closed schools and the holidays have thrown a wrench into their building plans. That, coupled with the hazardous conditions, reminded Young why many community theater seasons begin in April.
“It’s definitely risky to mount a large-scale musical in the winter,” Young said. “The threat of a winter storm blowing in and making a shambles of our tightly constructed schedule is a huge worry. But as Aunt Eller says, ‘You gotta be hearty.’”
The show is scheduled to run Feb. 28 to March 16 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $20, and $15 for seniors and students. Interested theater-goers can call 703-892-0202 to reserve a ticket.
Photo courtesy Chalice Theatre
(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) Some crafty Arlingtonians spent part of yesterday’s snow day creating sculptures from the especially wet and moldable snow.
Among the creations spotted around town:
- A large polar bear in Quincy Park, holding a bottle of Coca-Cola.
- Two 7-8 foot tall snow creatures across from the Crystal City Marriott. The creatures looked like “a snow wizard and his oversized cat,” we’re told.
- A shapely figure outside of Bailey’s Pub in Ballston.
- A boxy, bike-riding snowman, location unknown.
- A “cute candy-faced Floridian snow-woman in Ballston”
- An Easter Island head in front of Swanson Middle School in Westover
Did you spot any other snow sculptures in Arlington? Upload the photo to the comments or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Va. Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional — A federal judge has overturned Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, in what the New York Times describes as “the strongest legal reversal yet of restrictive marriage amendments that exist throughout the South.” The judge stayed the ruling, pending an appeal, meaning that gay couples will still not be able to get married in Virginia for the time being. [New York Times, Blue Virginia]
Blue Goose Redevelopment a Year or More Away — A groundbreaking on the redevelopment of Marymount’s “Blue Goose” building in Ballston is not likely to take place until next winter at the earliest. [Sun Gazette]
Behind Arlington’s Snow Decisions — There’s a reason why Arlington County typically makes a decision on whether to open, open on a delay or close for the day at 5:00 a.m., well after some other jurisdictions. Arlington and Alexandria both usually wait until after a 3:00 a.m. Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments conference call, in which various governments and agencies discuss street conditions and their go or no-go decisions. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Arlington Public Schools are closed. All preschool programs, Enjoy Arlington classes and sports leagues are canceled. Synthetic fields are closed.
Garbage collection will take place, and those whose garbage day is Thursday are also asked to put their carts out for collection.
An overnight refreeze may result in slippery conditions on the roads and sidewalks this morning. Pedestrians and drivers are encouraged to exercise extra caution.
Arlington Transit has modified its morning service schedule in light of the slick streets. From an ART alert email:
- ART will operate at Severe Service Levels on the 41 & 51 and also the 42, 45, 77, & 87.
- ART 41 & ART 45 will not serve Columbia Heights West. Buses will run only to/from Columbia Pike & Dinwiddie.
- ART 42, 45 & 77 will not serve S. Courthouse Road
- ART 77 will not serve Walter Reed between Arlington Mill & S. Glebe (the hill)
- ART 87 buses will run AM Peak, but expect delays. ART 87A and 87X will not be served
- As the ice melts mid-day, more service will be provided. We will post more alerts.
The second act of today’s snowstorm has arrived, with a couple more inches of snow expected to accumulate.
The snow returned just as Arlington road crews were starting to tackle still snow-covered neighborhood streets. It could force the snow plows to continue focusing on primary and secondary arteries while the residential roads remain barely, if at all passable.
“Crews have moved into residential streets with a focus on school related routes,” Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tweeted late this afternoon (Thursday). “Additional snow late could affect progress on residential/neighborhood streets.”
From DES, later: “Big, heavy snow flakes falling again. Although many main roads are clear, please don’t drive so plows can continue to do job.”
DES said that it could take up to 36-48 hours to clear roads after a 10-inch snowfall, which Arlington is on the verge of reaching, depending where in the county you were measuring.
The snow caused other, unexpected problems on the roads in some parts of Arlington.
On Lee Highway, near Rosslyn, a nearly half-mile-long portion of the fence that runs along I-66 collapsed onto one of the still snow-covered travel lanes, according to police radio traffic.
In Courthouse, a gigantic mound of plowed snow was piled up in the median, blocking a crosswalk adjacent to the Metro station. That is creating a hazard for pedestrians and drivers alike.
VDOT said tonight, before the snow started falling again, that it was making progress clearing roads in Northern Virginia.
“Interstates are mostly clear and wet,” VDOT said. “Primary roads are partially clear with some lanes open and many secondary roads remain snow-covered.”
VDOT warned that a refreeze may make driving even more treacherous overnight.
“Roads that appear to be bare pavement may become slick from sleet and refreeze,” the agency warned.
Other transportation options were slowly returning Thursday night.
Reagan National Airport’s main runway was back open as of 5:05 p.m., allowing some flights in and out. Still, many flights were canceled as a result of the 7 inches of wet snow that fell, making it difficult for crew to clear runways and taxiways.
“There have been significant flight cancellations throughout the day,” the airport authority said on its website. “Check with your airline for flight information and do not drive to the airport before confirming the status of your flight.”
Metrorail continued to operate on a near-normal schedule. Metrobuses are now running on major arteries again.
ART bus service, however, is still suspended. Arlington Transit said it will wait until 10:00 tonight to post an update on planned ART and STAR service tomorrow.
The National Weather Service, meanwhile, says that the D.C. area could receive another 2-4 inches of snow tonight before the winter storm system finally moves out.
… HEAVY SNOW TO IMPACT AREAS EAST OF BLUE RIDGE INCLUDING THE GREATER METROPOLITAN AREAS OF WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE THROUGH MIDNIGHT…
AREAS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL IMPACT THE REGION THROUGH MIDNIGHT… WHERE 2 TO 4 INCHES OF NEW SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION CAN BE EXPECTED AS AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE MOVES THROUGH THE AREA. AT 600 PM… MOST LOCATIONS HAVE TRANSITIONED TO ALL SNOW AFTER THE SLEET AND RAIN FROM EARLIER IN THE AFTERNOON.
THE AREAS OF HEAVIEST SNOWFALL WILL OCCUR ALONG AND EAST OF INTERSTATE 95… AND ALSO IN HOWARD AND CARROLL COUNTIES IN MARYLAND.
THIS ADDITIONAL SNOWFALL WILL MAKE TRAVEL HAZARDOUS AS ROADS WILL ONCE AGAIN BECOME SNOW COVERED. VISIBILITIES WILL BE LOWERING TO BELOW 1/4 MILE AT TIMES… SO TRAVEL IS NOT ADVISED UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
Arlington Public Schools will be closed Friday due to the winter weather.
APS made the announcement just after 5:00 p.m. School offices will open on a two-hour delay. From APS Director of Communications Jennifer Harris:
Essential personnel are to report to work at their scheduled time. Unscheduled leave is available for 12-month employees. Extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community 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.
A walk down the streets of Ballston in the immediate aftermath of the biggest snowstorm in years reveals a consistent trend: most businesses — like banks, barbers, and many restaurants — are closed, but bars are open.
Even in Ballston Common Mall, the Starbucks was closed, although the Panera Bread and Noodles & Company were open and filled with customers during the lunch hour. One of the busiest businesses in the area was First Down Sports Bar (4213 N. Fairfax Drive), which was crowded enough that the one bartender scheduled wouldn’t suffice; owner Ramesh Chopra had to come in and help.
“We’re always open. We were open during Snowmaggedon,” he told ARLnow.com at about 1:30 this afternoon. “I expected it to be busy later, around 3:00, but people were calling us early making sure were going to be open.”
At the Front Page Arlington (4201 Wilson Blvd), owner George Marinakos decided to open, but he had to pick up one of his employees and drive them to the restaurant to work. Other employees at his and other businesses walked to work or took the Metro.
“Everybody wanted us to open,” he said. “I did, employees did, customers did.”
Most offices were shut down — along with schools and county and federal government offices — but Blake Gilley and two coworkers had to come in. By noon, they had left, and an hour later they were enjoying drinks in First Down.
“Literally no one else was there,” he said of his office. “All of our other offices along the East Coast were shut down. I haven’t received an email in three hours.”
Wilson Blvd and N. Glebe Road were drivable, but covered in slush. The streets were far from empty, however, as most residents seemed to be enjoying their snow days. A few impromptu snowball fights even broke out.
Rock Bottom Brewery (4238 Wilson Blvd) manager Avery Minor expects that later in the day, much of the outdoor merriment will continue in bars like his.
“Bars and grocery stores are the places that have to stay open,” Minor said. “People will always need food and drinks. What else are you gonna do?”
(In Virginia, alcohol-centric establishments — which we refer to above as bars — must serve food and are technically considered restaurants.)
All school extracurricular activities, adult education classes and Dept. of Parks and Recreation classes are canceled.
Most ART bus service in the morning has been canceled, although Arlington Transit will try to keep ART 51 service running between Ballston Metro station and Virginia Hospital Center. “ART will restore other service tomorrow as street conditions permit,” the agency said.
Metro says it will try to run trains every 6-10 minutes during the morning, as conditions allow. Metrobus service will be limited to major arteries only.