For Arlington, that could mean some wet accumulating snow during the morning commute, forecasters say.
Locales north and west are likely to get the most snow, but VDOT is warning of the possibility of a tough commute.
From a VDOT press release:
Winter weather is far from most minds today, but the Virginia Department of Transportation asks drivers to remain vigilant in monitoring forecasts and planning commutes–a mix of rain, snow and high winds could have major impacts to Thursday’s morning rush.
VDOT asks that drivers monitor forecasts closely for changes, and to stay off the roads during inclement weather. Potential for high winds and isolated squalls will mean limited visibility.
Crews will stage roadside through northern Virginia by midnight tonight, with resources concentrated in Loudoun County. Due to a forecast for rain ahead of snow, crews will not brine roads in advance, but will treat with salt and sand as needed.
Arlington County, meanwhile, says it is monitoring the weather as it turns from springlike warmth today to freezing cold tomorrow.
Snow? But it's sunny outside! We're keeping an eye on the forecast and will respond accordingly, as snow may fall tomorrow morning.
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) February 8, 2017
Take a look at tomorrow morning at 7am, could make for a messy morning rush! I've got the latest next at 4 pic.twitter.com/y83Gy0SBGY
— Doug Kammerer (@dougkammerer) February 8, 2017
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory Sunday afternoon, warning of around one inch of snow.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM EST MONDAY… 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 7 AM EST MONDAY. * PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW. * ACCUMULATIONS… A COATING TO 1 INCH. LOCALIZED AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE EXPECTED SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 66 IN VIRGINIA AND EAST OF INTERSTATE 95 IN MARYLAND. * TIMING… SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA BETWEEN 7 AND 10 PM THIS EVENING. THE STEADIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED BETWEEN 11 PM AND 4 AM. SNOW WILL END BY 6 AM ACROSS MOST LOCATIONS. * IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE MAINLY WET THIS EVENING WITH TEMPERATURES ABOVE FREEZING. UNTREATED SURFACES WILL BECOME SLIPPERY AFTER MIDNIGHT WITH TEMPERATURES DROPPING TO NEAR OR SLIGHTLY BELOW FREEZING. * WINDS… NORTH TO NORTHWEST AROUND 5 MPH… BECOMING NORTHWEST AROUND 10 TO 15 MPH TOWARD MORNING. * TEMPERATURES… MID TO UPPER 30S THIS EVENING… FALLING INTO THE UPPER 20S AND LOWER 30S OVERNIGHT INTO EARLY MONDAY MORNING. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… 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. &&
First Board Meeting With New Rule — Saturday will be the Arlington County Board’s first meeting with a new public participation rule. Whereas members of the public could previously request that any “consent agenda” item be pulled and discussed individually at the next Board meeting, the new rule requires at least one Board member to concur with the action. [InsideNova]
A Note on InsideNova Links — The desktop version of InsideNova’s website features popup ads and multiple autoplay videos with the audio on. It is not recommended for users in quiet environments or with older computers that may slow down or crash as a result of the videos and ads.
GW Gets Donation for Baseball Clubhouse — George Washington University has received an anonymous $2 million gift that will fund a new proposed clubhouse at Tucker Field in Arlington’s Barcroft Park. The clubhouse will feature “on-site locker facilities, indoor practice space with batting cages and pitching tunnels, meeting rooms and a sports medicine area.” [GW Sports]
Teen’s Hair Lit on Fire at Inauguration — A 17-year-old Arlington girl’s hair was lit on fire at an inauguration protest in D.C. It happened on Inauguration Day, near the National Archives, as the girl posed in front of protesters while wearing pro-Trump apparel. [Buzzfeed]
Clement, Roosevelt to Run for Office — Independent Audrey Clement has filed to run again for Arlington County Board this year. Meanwhile, 24-year-old Army veteran Adam Roosevelt, a Republican, is challenging Del. Alfonso Lopez (D). [InsideNova, InsideNova]
D.C. Area Snow Drought — Will we see any significant snowfall this winter? It’s looking increasingly bleak for snow lovers, with only a few flurries in the forecast during what should be our peak snow period. [Washington Post]
County and VDOT crews are already pretreating roads ahead of the potentially snowy and slippery weather.
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 PM EST SATURDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 PM EST SATURDAY. * PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN. * ACCUMULATIONS… SNOW ACCUMULATION OF UP TO 1 INCH… ALONG WITH AROUND A TRACE OF ICE. * TIMING… LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY. * IMPACTS… ICY PATCHES ON ROADS AND BRIDGES WILL MAKE TRAVEL DIFFICULT. * WINDS… EAST 5 MPH OR LESS. * TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER 30S. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… 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.
(Update at 2:15 p.m.) Arlington County is preparing for the possibility of snow, sleet and freezing rain on Saturday, though the exact forecast is still far from certain.
“Crews began pretreating roads yesterday and will continue today to prepare for the expected icy weather conditions on the roadways,” Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien told ARLnow.com Friday morning.
“Due to the low confidence of this forecast, we are still analyzing the level of response that will be required” on Saturday, O’Brien continued. “A determination of resource levels and time of activation will be made this afternoon.”
VDOT, meanwhile, is encouraging drivers to stay off the roads in Northern Virginia on Saturday.
Virginia Department of Transportation and contract crews are preparing for plummeting temperatures and a gamut of winter weather forecast for northern Virginia this weekend, from early Saturday morning through Sunday morning.
Drivers are asked to monitor weather reports for the latest updates to avoid being on the road during periods of limited visibility or icy conditions. Stay off roads Saturday or delay trips until Sunday if possible, to avoid being caught in deteriorating conditions as weather transitions between snow, sleet and freezing rain through the day.
Crews began pretreating roads yesterday and will be staged roadside in the region by 10 p.m. tonight. Throughout Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington* counties (*Arlington maintains own secondary roads) crews treat about 5,200 lane miles of interstates and other high-volume roads with liquid magnesium chloride or brine when conditions allow for winter weather. Learn more about northern Virginia’s snow preparations.
Why does VDOT ask drivers to stay home?
- Visibility will be limited during periods of snow.
- Freezing rain causes an ice glaze that is difficult to see. Black ice often looks like pavement that is simply wet, making it extremely hazardous for driving or walking.
- Four-wheel drive vehicles cannot stop any better than two-wheel drive vehicles on ice.
It could be deja vu if the weather does trend toward more freezing rain. Icy weather caused a number of crashes and other problems on the roads in Arlington less than a month ago, on Saturday, Dec. 17.
All the salt spread on local roads and sidewalks for Thursday night’s snow non-event may come in handy after all.
The National Weather Service has included Arlington in a Winter Weather Advisory. Up to three inches of snow are expected to fall Saturday morning.
From the NWS:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 1 PM EST SATURDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 1 PM EST SATURDAY. * PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW. * ACCUMULATIONS… SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 1 TO 3 INCHES. * TIMING… LATE TONIGHT THROUGH EARLY SATURDAY AFTERNOON. * IMPACTS… SNOW ON ROADS WILL RESULT IN TRAVEL IMPACTS. * WINDS… NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH. * TEMPERATURES… IN THE MID 20S. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… 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. &&
Winter Weather Advisories for late tonight and Saturday expanded. Snow in the advisory approximately 1-3 inches, 3-6 inches in the warning. pic.twitter.com/irzUo7daBD
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 6, 2017
Arlington County brine trucks could be seen pretreating roads around Clarendon earlier this afternoon. VDOT, meanwhile, says it’s preparing for a potentially messy Thursday evening and Friday morning commute.
“Road crews are conducting anti-icing activities today and tomorrow,” VDOT said in a press release. “Please watch for crews as they stage along roads prior to the storm. Crews will treat roads with salt and sand as needed once the storm begins Thursday afternoon, plow in areas where and if snow totals reach two inches, and will remain on duty throughout the course of the storm.”
The snow is not expected to amount to much — maybe just a dusting to an inch. But even a small amount of snow could cause slippery conditions and virtual gridlock.
With snow expected tomorrow afternoon, crews have been pre-treating the roads today and will continue this evening and tomorrow. #ARLwx
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) January 4, 2017
Our first snow is almost here! Expect snow to impact Thurs PM & Fri AM rush. Check wx & modify trip times. https://t.co/nmHVmLCRGN
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) January 4, 2017
Hmmm, guess what's coming our way! pic.twitter.com/dptq5SHqHy
— Doug Kammerer (@dougkammerer) January 4, 2017
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) January 4, 2017
It might not be necessary with this storm, but Arlington County is urging residents this year to park in a parking lot or on the odd numbered side of local streets when it snows.
The county recently released the following video on the topic.
Forecasters are warning of a messy mix of wintry precipitation Saturday morning.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect starting at midnight tonight.
From the National Weather Service:
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EST SATURDAY… * PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN. * ACCUMULATIONS… SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS OF LESS THAN A HALF-INCH… ALONG WITH AROUND A TENTH OF AN INCH OF GLAZE ICE. * TIMING… PERIODS OF SNOW AND SLEET WILL OVERSPREAD THE REGION AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT… THEN CHANGE TO FREEZING RAIN BEFORE DAWN SATURDAY MORNING. FREEZING RAIN WILL CHANGE TO RAIN AROUND MID-MORNING SATURDAY. * IMPACTS… HAZARDOUS TRAVEL IS EXPECTED DUE TO ICY ROADS AND WALKWAYS. * WINDS… SOUTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH. * TEMPERATURES… IN THE UPPER 20S LATER TONIGHT… RISING INTO THE 30S ON SATURDAY MORNING. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW… SLEET… OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. &&
Arlington County, meanwhile, says crews will be pre-treating roads ahead of the storm.
— ArlingtonVA (@ArlingtonVA) December 15, 2016
— ArlingtonVA (@ArlingtonVA) December 16, 2016
Luckily, the snow is not expected to start until well after rush hour — we all remember what happened the last time a light snowfall caught the region by surprise during the evening commute.
Regardless of the timing, it may be a good idea to stay off the roads during this first (potential) snow of the season.
Special Weather Statement…UPDATED
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
1110 AM EST Wed Dec 14 2016
…POTENTIAL FOR LIGHT SNOW ACCUMULATION IN THE WASHINGTON AND
BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS LATE THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT…
Snow showers are possible late this evening into the overnight across the Washington and Baltimore Metropolitan areas. Snow may coat the ground in some locations… and with temperatures near freezing this may cause slippery conditions. The best chance for snow will be between 10 PM and 2 AM late this evening into the overnight.
Update at 1:10 p.m. — VDOT says it is preparing for wintry weather tonight.
Crews are taking advantage of conditions today and Thursday to treat roads with anti-icing materials in northern Virginia, in anticipation of low temperatures through the rest of week and the potential for wintry precipitation over the weekend.
Throughout Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington* counties (*Arlington maintains own secondary roads) crews treat about 5,200 lane miles with liquid magnesium chloride or brine in advance of winter weather. This includes interstate, primary and high-volume secondary road roads, particularly ramps, bridges, and other critical areas prone to freezing.
The Virginia Department of Transportation asks drivers to keep an eye on the forecast for freezing conditions and precipitation. Before venturing out this weekend, VDOT reminds drivers to fill their gas tanks, slow down, to be aware of potential slick spots such as shaded areas and bridges, and to use the following resources:
- Check http://www.511virginia.org/ or the 511 mobile app before you go for traffic conditions and lane closures
- Follow @VaDOTNOVA on Twitter
- Visit www.virginiadot.org/ novaemergency for the latest updates and resources from VDOT in northern Virginia
- Get more details on snow removal in northern Virginia
This is also the perfect time to place or update an emergency kit in your car. Recommended items include:
- Water and food
- Ice scraper/brush
- Gloves and boots
- Phone charger
- First aid kit
- Ice melt/cat litter
More information at: www.ready.gov/car
An Arctic blast will drop temperatures into the teens and 20s in the D.C. area starting mid-week.
The cold air is expected to push into the area Wednesday night, and will bring with it wind and the possibility of some light snow.
The last time we saw snow in Arlington was when the remains of a giant snow pile in Ballston, left over from the January blizzard, finally melted. Unlike some past years, to our knowledge no flakes fell in November this year.
Are you looking forward to the first flakes of the season?
(See some local tips for preparing for winter weather, published last week, here.)
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
It’s likely to be a colder-than-usual winter with slightly above average snowfall. That seems to be the general consensus of the D.C. area’s television meteorologists.
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) November 11, 2016
Regardless of exactly how much snow and ice accumulates, Arlington County says it’s prepared for this year’s winter.
Arlington has made a number of changes in the wake of the blizzard, and this year has stockpiled stockpiled 9,200 tons of road salt.
From a county press release:
After last year’s record-breaking winter, Arlington County is ready to take on the upcoming winter season. Although we can’t predict the weather, our crews have been preparing all year to make sure we can quickly make our roads, sidewalks, bus stops and trails safe and passable after a winter event.
Before, during and after a storm
Once the forecast calls for winter weather — snow, ice or freezing rain — Arlington crews follow our snow removal process and phases. They pre-treat main roads before a storm. During the storm, our priority is to keep main arteries passable for emergency vehicles and public transportation. After the storm, cleanup operations begin, which includes treating ice on the roadways.
The County has budgeted $1.387 million for FY16-17 snow operations. Our team includes 92 drivers and 46 trucks equipped with salt spreaders and plows. Additional contracting equipment is available depending upon the severity of the storm. We have stockpiled 9,200 tons of salt for roads.
What’s new this season?
- Piloting augmented deployment: For snow fall greater than 6-8 inches, we have contracted with more snow plow contractors to deploy plows into high risk residential areas even before primary and secondary roads are cleared.
- Refining our snow blower loaner program: We lend 25 snow blowers to civic associations and community groups. Based on feedback from residents, we have improved our snow blower loaner program by streamlining the application process, expanding outreach and extending training and support.
- Improving our snow issues form: We have updated the snow issues form to improve the user experience, better display messages and provide context to users if we are unable to address their report immediately.
- Expanding odd/even parking outreach: To help our snow plowing efforts, we will be encouraging residents to organize with their neighbors to park on one side of the road to allow snowplow operators to efficiently clear more of the street.
- Enhancing our snow training program: This year, we added training to make sure our crews are prepared. We also added specialized training which includes support functions for snow operations (e.g., chain shop, brine making, and snow-melter training).
Hitting the trails
The County will continue to clear trails and protected bicycle lanes this snow season as part of our commitment to supporting a transportation system with a range of options. The goal is to ensure accessibility and safety for all types of travel throughout a winter event. Updates will be posted through regular County snow communication channels, as well as on the BikeArlington Forum.
How you can help
Residents, too, play a role in dealing with the fallout of winter weather. The County’s Snow Removal Ordinance requires all Arlington property owners to clear snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property within a certain time frame. Here are some other ways residents can help with our snow removal efforts:
- Coordinate with neighbors to park cars on one side of the street, where feasible, or avoid on-street parking so snowplow operators can efficiently clear more of the streets
- Don’t park “head in” on cul-de-sacs so that plows have more room to maneuver
- Clear your sidewalks and scoop snow towards your house, not the street, BUT
- Wait for snow plows to come by before clearing snow from the front of driveways, to minimize the amount pushed back by plows
- Stay home, telework or use mass transit to reduce the number of potentially stranded vehicles
- Apply only the recommended amount of chemical de-icers on sidewalks to attain a safe and passable way
- Stay connected through our Snow and Ice Central webpage and our DES social media platforms for updates on snow phases, transportation, trash and other important notifications. Follow us on Twitter @ArlingtonDES and on Facebook at Arlington County Environmental Services.
Residents should report snow-related problems through the “Report a Snow Issue” form found on the Snow and Ice Central webpage.
Flickr pool photo by John Williams
That’s nearly $4 million more than was spent the previous winter, when the county almost ran out of salt due to a succession of snow storms.
The total roadway snow removal expenditure — the figures quoted here do not include removing snow from bus shelters or sidewalks — for Fiscal Year 2015 was only $2.7 million, according to Arlington County. As of April 25, the FY 2016 bill was $6.5 million, about $5 million of which was associated with the cleanup from January’s Snowzilla blizzard, as the county revealed last month.
Why was this year’s bill so much higher? It’s mostly attributable to equipment rental costs, we’re told.
“The majority of this cost increase was associated with heavy contract equipment used during the January 22-29, 2016 blizzard,” explained Mike Moon, Chief Operating Officer of Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services.
“The amount of contract equipment deployed for this event far exceeded the requirements for the previous year and cost more than $4.0 million,” Moon continued. “With more than two feet of snow, heavy contract equipment was needed for the effort, which included hauling snow in our commercial corridors (Rosslyn, Ballston, Crystal City).”
Last month Arlington said that it can potentially recoup $2 million from federal disaster assistance funds, though the reimbursement process is a lengthy one.
Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz said in March that the county is considering changes to its snow removal efforts in the wake of January’s blizzard. Among the changes being considered is the purchase of additional heavy equipment and a new snow melter.
Flickr pool photo (top) by Starbuck77
Snowzilla Cost Arlington $5 Million — The total cost of January’s blizzard to Arlington County is close to $5 million, the county said yesterday. Of that, Arlington believes that it can recoup $2 million from federal disaster assistance funds, though reimbursement process is a lengthy one. [Arlington County]
Young Republicans to Meet With Gun Store Owner — The Arlington-Falls Church Young Republicans will hear from the owner of NOVA Armory, the new gun store in Lyon Park, at their meeting on Monday. The meeting will be open to AFCYR members only — much like a Lyon Park community meeting on the store was open only to residents. The Arlington County Republican Committee, meanwhile, passed a resolution last night in support of the store, stating that the local GOP “stands with gun stores such as NOVA Armory that are engaged in lawful commerce.” [Facebook]
Metro Shutdown and Bus Stigma — Did yesterday’s shutdown of the Metrorail system help some commuters overcome perceived “bus stigma?” Given the longer lines around bus stops, bus ridership was definitely up. [Mobility Lab]
It’s much diminished from its post-blizzard glory, but the big snow pile next to the Ballston mall parking garage is still hanging on despite temperatures well into the 70s.
The snow pile was melting steadily when we visited it yesterday afternoon. The ground around it was gray, from the dirt deposited as the glacier-like pile recedes.
The pile was created by local snow crews, which dumped the snow they were removing from roads there and in a number of other locations around Arlington.
With a high of 80 predicted today and tomorrow, the snow pile may not be long for this world. Which means it won’t match the longevity of its snow pile cousin — which survived until April in the same location six years ago.
The National Weather Service is warning of a potentially slippery AM commute, with 1-3 inches of snow expected to fall overnight.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST FRIDAY…
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 10 AM EST FRIDAY.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… ONE TO THREE INCHES… TWO TO FOUR INCHES ACROSS SOUTHERN MARYLAND.
* TIMING… PRECIPITATION WILL MOVE INITIALLY AS A RAIN AND SNOW MIX EARLY THIS EVENING… TRANSITIONING TO ALL SNOW LATE THIS EVENING. SNOW IS EXPECTED OVERNIGHT… IMPACTING THE MORNING COMMUTE… EVENTUALLY TAPERING OFF BY MIDDAY FRIDAY.
* IMPACTS… THE SNOW WILL CAUSE SLIPPERY ROADS… RESULTING IN HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS.
* WINDS… EAST 5 TO 10 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER 30S.
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.
Arlington County is planning to begin pretreating roads later tonight.
We aren't pretreating roads until 8pm tonight since rain is expected this evening. Crews will be out overnight and in the am, too. #arlwx
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) March 3, 2016
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick