Yesterday’s Winter Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning.
The winter storm that has been causing major problems in Texas and the central U.S. is making its way towards the D.C. area on its march up to New England. It’s expected to drop 3-6 inches of snow on Arlington and the immediate D.C. area before the precipitation switches to sleet and freezing rain.
The ice accumulation could cause dangerous road conditions and power outages, forecasters and local officials warn.
“With heavy snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice in the forecast for Northern Virginia on Thursday and Friday, significant road impacts are expected,” the Virginia Dept. of Transportation said today. “While VDOT crews prepare to deploy, residents are asked to closely monitor weather updates and plan ahead to avoid nonessential travel tomorrow and Friday.”
“Crews will finish pre-treating about 2,000 lane miles of interstates and primary routes in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties today,” VDOT added. “Drivers are asked to be alert to brine tankers and to give them room, as they move slowly to spray the salt water solution on the pavement. Pretreatment will help prevent ice from bonding to assist crews with snow and ice removal at the storm’s onset.”
Arlington County crews are also currently pretreating local roadways.
A Winter Storm Warning was issued for the region this morning. More from the National Weather Service:
1024 AM EST WED FEB 17 2021
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM THURSDAY TO 6 AM EST FRIDAY…
* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW ALONG WITH SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS AROUND 3 TO 6 INCHES WITH ICE ACCUMULATION AROUND ONE TENTH TO ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH.
* WHERE…THE WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS.
* WHEN…FROM 3 AM THURSDAY TO 6 AM EST FRIDAY. SNOW WILL BEGIN BETWEEN 3 AND 5 AM. SNOW WILL CHANGE TO A MIXTURE OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN DURING THE LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON HOURS.
* IMPACTS…POWER OUTAGES AND TREE DAMAGE ARE LIKELY DUE TO THE ICE. TRAVEL COULD BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…SNOW THURSDAY MORNING WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES WITH SNOWFALL RATES AROUND 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR POSSIBLE ALONG WITH VISIBILITY REDUCED TO AROUND ONE-QUARTER MILE AT TIME.
IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD, AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
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.
Significant icing from freezing rain is expected along/east of the I-95 corridor. This would occur during the afternoon/evening hours, after the heavy snow. pic.twitter.com/yWuRA5WGWN
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) February 17, 2021