(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Authorities are urging Arlington residents and others in the D.C. area to stay home today amid an extended bout of freezing rain.
Sidewalks and many roads are reported to be very slick. The ice is expected to build as the day goes on.
County and VDOT crews are out spreading salt, but even treated surfaces can become icy as rain falls amid sub-freezing surface temperatures. At least two bridges in the Courthouse area were closed due to slick conditions.
“Due to icy conditions the 10th Street bridge and Courthouse Rd bridge of Route 50 have been closed,” an Arlington Alert said at 9:30 a.m.
The earlier Winter Weather Advisory was upgraded to an Ice Storm Warning as of 2 p.m. Saturday. As of 3 p.m., the National Weather Service reported more than a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation in Arlington.
More from NWS:
156 PM EST SAT FEB 13 2021
…ICE STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST SUNDAY…
* WHAT…TWO TO THREE TENTHS OF AN INCH OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN CAUSING SIGNIFICANT ICING IMPACTS.
* WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
* WHEN…UNTIL 7 AM EST SUNDAY.
* IMPACTS…DIFFICULT TRAVEL CONDITIONS.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…ROADWAYS ARE BECOMING VERY ICY AND DANGEROUS. AVOID ALL UNNECESSARY TRAVEL.
TRAVEL IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. PREPARE FOR POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES.
WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY.
Ice Storm Warnings have been expanded northwest to include Washington DC and surrounding areas. Expecting any wet and/or untreated surfaces to quickly become icy this evening as sun goes down. #DCwx #MDwx #VAwx #WVwx pic.twitter.com/UoMZaBG8yt
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) February 13, 2021
In an email earlier this morning, VDOT said those who absolutely must travel should “use extreme caution.”
Significant icing is anticipated with the next wave of inclement weather. With prolonged freezing rain and low pavement temperatures expected through the day Saturday, VDOT strongly advises against nonessential travel. Those who must drive should closely monitor weather and road conditions, and use extreme caution. Even on treated roads, slick pavement will be possible. […]
Crews have positioned materials and equipment, and will apply treatment such as sand and salt as needed to icy patches and trouble spots to improve traction. Tree crews are ready to trim and remove branches weighed down or broken by ice, and to support utility companies on potential downed or entangled lines.
Numerous crashes have been reported around Arlington since this morning, including on treated roads. Virginia State Police say the VSP division that serves Arlington and other parts of Northern Virginia has responded to 83 crashes and 29 disabled vehicles as of 4 p.m.
“Virginia State Police continues to discourage Virginians from driving through Sunday (Feb. 14) due to extremely icy and treacherous conditions across much of Central, Southeastern and Northern Virginia,” a spokeswoman said via email.
More from social media:
3:35 pm: Seeing reports of some snow, even into the city lately. Mostly freezing rain and sleet locally but a bit of everything out there. Can see that nicely on high-resolution weather models. pic.twitter.com/NuIt2ubqtQ
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) February 13, 2021
Under an ice storm warning & the number of crashes in the area is increasing. Here are 2. One on I-395N express lanes under the SB Rt 1 ramp & a multi-vehicle crash on Beltway's OL just past Van Dorn. @WTOPtraffic @WTOP @ARLnowDOTcom @VaDOTNOVA @VSPPIO #vatraffic #traffic pic.twitter.com/UBECUBEPSj
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) February 13, 2021
— Steffi_S (@taquicoco) February 13, 2021
Crews continue to salt arterial and collector streets plus known problem areas. Rain in a wintry mix can lessen effectiveness so drive only if necessary. Use extreme caution approaching bridges and hills. #ArlWX https://t.co/J0yJcIDINc pic.twitter.com/Xot2X6wl56
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) February 13, 2021
— Russell Imrie (@tweedyBard) February 13, 2021