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.
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.