(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) The D.C. metropolitan area could potentially get its biggest snowfall in two years starting on Sunday (Jan. 31), The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang predicts.
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for the region at 3:10 p.m. today:
…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH LATE SUNDAY NIGHT…
* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE. POTENTIAL FOR 5 OR MORE INCHES OF
* WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND
SOUTHERN MARYLAND, CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA, AND THE
EASTERN PANHANDLE OF WEST VIRGINIA.
* WHEN…FROM LATE SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH LATE SUNDAY NIGHT.
* IMPACTS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT.
The current forecast for the Tysons area suggests Saturday night will see clouds set in with a 30% chance of snow or other precipitation after 4 a.m. Chances of precipitation go up to 100% on Sunday, when snow is expected to start falling before 4 p.m. with some freezing rain possibly mixed in.
The NWS forecast suggest snow could continue through Monday with the chance of precipitation still at 50% that night.
As of 9:57 a.m. today, the D.C. area was expected to get three to four inches of snow between 7 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. on Monday.
[1/29 @ 9 AM UPDATE]: We are continuing to monitor the winter weather potential for Sunday into early next week. Below is the current expected snowfall amounts from the National Weather Service through Monday at 7 AM. More to come! #WinterWeather #VaWx pic.twitter.com/3Mv6r6AHXM
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) January 29, 2021
However, the Capital Weather Gang says this is a “complicated” storm, where total accumulation could vary from two to 12 inches depending on whether a coastal storm forms off the North Carolina coast and brings a second wave on Monday.
In preparation for the weekend, Virginia Department of Transportation crews have been treating roads in Fairfax County and elsewhere in Northern Virginia over the past two days.
If you are traveling today, please be patient with our crews! We are working to pre-treat roads in preparation for winter weather this weekend ❄️ pic.twitter.com/N6vHalFq0h
— VDOT (@VaDOT) January 29, 2021
Despite rumors to the contrary 👀, our squishy bois (tankers) will start making #brinelines tonight in Loudoun (they loves them some night brining), and Friday during the day in Fairfax, PWC, and Interstates. Pls watch out for crews & the forecast! #gregpls #teamsnow pic.twitter.com/l1QeTmdQcf
— VDOT Northern VA 😷 (@VaDOTNOVA) January 28, 2021
The Fairfax Connector is advising passengers to plan ahead if they’re going to travel this weekend, noting that service could be reduced, modified, or suspended due to inclement weather.
“If road conditions become unsafe, icy or snow packed, service may be suspended on a route-by-route basis, or system-wide,” the Fairfax County bus transit system said. “Officials appreciate passengers’ patience and cooperation during weather events and encourage everyone to be prepared.”
Staff Photo by Jay Westcott