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Freezing rain possible overnight in the season’s first Winter Weather Advisory

Ice on tree branches in Reston (photo by Douglas H. Errett)

Updated at 8:05 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools will open two hours late tomorrow in response to the anticipated inclement weather.

Earlier: Fairfax County may get its first serious taste of winter weather for the season overnight.

A Winter Weather Advisory will be in place for the D.C. region from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday), according to a National Weather Service alert issued this morning.

The NWS initially forecast that the anticipated freezing rain and ice could begin at 10 p.m. today but later revised the time frame.

“Wintry precipitation begins overnight and continues into Thursday morning,” the NWS said. “Warmer air should push in later Thursday morning into Thursday afternoon changing the precipitation to rain.”

More from the alert:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY…

* WHAT…Freezing rain expected. Total ice accumulations of a glaze to around one tenth of an inch. Highest ice amounts will be in the northern and western suburbs of Washington and Baltimore.

* WHERE…The Washington and Baltimore Metropolitan areas including the city of Baltimore and the District of Columbia as well as northeastern and central Maryland.

* WHEN…From 1 AM to 1 PM EST Thursday.

* IMPACTS…Difficult travel conditions are possible. The hazardous conditions will likely impact the morning commute on Thursday.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department warns that the rain could affect tomorrow’s morning commute, and Fairfax Connector says it will be monitoring the potential storm, advising that riders watch out for slippery or icy sidewalks.

The Virginia Department of Transportation began mobilizing crews yesterday to prepare roads for the wintry precipitation, noting that it has made some procedural adjustments in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of January’s I-95 shutdown.

The risk of ice tomorrow is expected to be highest further to the west in Virginia, where an Ice Storm Warning has been issued.

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