Tysons, VA

Updated at 4:10 p.m. — The National Weather Service has now upgraded Fairfax County to a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, advising people to move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

In effect until 4:45 p.m., the warning was issued at 4:01 p.m. after a severe thunderstorm was spotted near Middleburg. The storm was reportedly moving east at 30 miles per hour.

Here is the full alert:

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for…
Southeastern Loudoun County in northern Virginia…
Northwestern Fairfax County in northern Virginia…
Northeastern Fauquier County in northern Virginia…
Northwestern Prince William County in northern Virginia…

* Until 445 PM EDT.

* At 400 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located near Middleburg, or 8 miles west of Brambleton, moving east at 30 mph.

HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include…
Reston, South Riding, Herndon, Vienna, Broadlands, Lowes Island, Brambleton, Dulles International Airport, Ashburn, Oakton, Sterling, Chantilly, Wolf Trap, Great Falls, Countryside, Middleburg, Arcola, Belmont, Aldie and Sterling Park.

Earlier: Fairfax County is currently under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, with scattered showers anticipated throughout the D.C. area this afternoon.

The alert will be in effect until 8 p.m. The National Weather Service says that a thunderstorm could potentially hit after 5 p.m.

“Some storms could be severe, with large hail and damaging winds,” the NWS forecast for Tysons says.

With a 60% chance of precipitation, between a tenth and a quarter of an inch of rain could fall this afternoon, and another quarter to half inch could come in the evening.

Map via National Weather Service

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Updated at 6:05 p.m. — High winds have led to a surge in 9-1-1 and non-emergency public safety calls in Fairfax County.

The county is urging people to call 9-1-1 only if there is an emergency.

At least 76 traffic incidents have also been reported due to the ongoing weather, including events at the Route 50 and Prosperity Avenue intersection, according to Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik.

Earlier: More than 2,000 people in Tysons have lost power due to strong wind gusts that have pummeled Northern Virginia this afternoon (Friday).

According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, one of the biggest outages in the Tysons area is north of the Dulles Toll Road to the Potomac River, where 1,073 customers are currently without power. A crew has been dispatched to the area, but the cause of this outage is pending investigation.

An additional 1,084 people along Route 7 between I-495 and Spring Hill Road have also lost power. The outage has already been attributed to the wind storm, and a Dominion crew is awaiting assignment.

Two separate outages in the area around Wolf Trap National Park have collectively affected 1,195 customers.

Among those affected by the Route 7 outage is the Tysons District Taco (1500 Cornerside Blvd), which announced at 5:34 p.m. that it has closed until further notice after losing power.

Dominion Energy estimates that power could be restored throughout the area any time between 7 p.m. and midnight.

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory that took effect at noon and was later upgraded to a High Wind Warning, which will remain in effect until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday). Even though no rain or thunder was anticipated, the agency issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning at 4:38 p.m., saying that wind gusts could reach up to 60 miles per hour.

“Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall,” the NWS said. “This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.”

The Severe Thunderstorm Warning expired at 5:15 p.m., but local residents could be dealing with the storm’s impact well into this evening.

Image via Dominion Energy

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The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for Fairfax County, as still-strong winds bring an unseasonable chill to the region.

Issued around noon, the warning will take effect at 2 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) and last until 9 a.m. in parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland. According to the forecast for Tysons, tonight will bring west wind speeds of seven to 13 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 25 miles per hour.

Here is the full alert from the NWS:

…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM EDT FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Sub-freezing temperatures around 30 degrees.

* WHERE…Portions of northern Maryland and northern and central Virginia near and west of Interstate 95, and portions of the eastern West Virginia panhandle.

* WHEN…From 2 AM to 9 AM EDT Friday.

* IMPACTS…Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

For precautionary measures, the NWS advises taking steps to protect plants and outdoor pipes from the cold.

“To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly,” the NWS said. “Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing.”

Image via NWS

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The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. region today, signaling that weather conditions could breed fires.

The warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It replaces a Fire Weather Watch that had been issued yesterday and was scheduled to begin at noon today.

“A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly,” the NWS says. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.”

Here is more from the alert:

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has issued a Red Flag Warning for low humidity and gusty winds, which is in effect from 11 AM this morning to 6 PM EST this evening. The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.

* WINDS…Southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…20 to 30 percent.

* IMPACTS…Critical fire weather conditions are likely to develop today. All outdoor burning is discouraged, as fires could rapidly spread and become uncontrollable.

* FUEL MOISTURE…5 to 8 percent for fine fuels.

Virginia already prohibits open-air burning before 4 p.m. for fires that are within 300 feet of the woods or dry grass which can carry the fire to the woods. The 4 p.m. Law takes effect every year from Feb. 15 to April 30, since the combination of elevated winds and low humidity traditionally results in increased numbers of fires, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry.

“You are allowed to burn between 4 p.m and midnight as long as you take proper care and precaution and attend your fire at all times,” the Department of Forestry says.

Evidence of the heightened risk of fires was on display last night in Vienna, where a house fire caused by improperly discarded smoking materials resulted in $116,400 in damages, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported.

“These conditions are ripe for an improperly discarded cigarette/smoking material, thrown into mulch or other brush, to spark a significant fire that can then spread to homes and buildings,” the FCFRD said. “Many times, these fires have the potential to spread to homes and buildings that are close by.”

The fire department says cigarettes and other smoking materials should be discarded in an ashtray or bucket of sand, and butts and ashes should be completely doused with water before being thrown away. Cigarettes should never be disposed of in mulch, shrubbery, or potted plant soil, which can be highly flammable in dry weather.

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Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area could experience wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour this afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory for the region last night that will be in effect from 2-6 p.m. today (Tuesday).

“Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects,” the NWS said. “Tree limbs could be blown down. A few power outages may result.”

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department advises securing outdoor objects and keeping electronic devices charged.

The wind advisory comes as refrozen ice lingering from yesterday’s snow and sleet wreak havoc on local roads. The Virginia State Police reported shortly after 7 a.m. that its troopers had cleared 13 traffic crashes since approximately 4:15 a.m. and were in the process of investigating another 32 crashes in the Northern Virginia region.

“The majority of the crashes have involved only damage to vehicles. No fatal traffic crashes reported,” VSP Public Relations Director Corinne Geller said, advising drivers to slow down and watch for black ice this morning, especially on overpasses and bridges.

In Fairfax County, first responders were on the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Leesburg Pike over Columbia Pike in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Falls Church around 7:45 a.m. Ice blocking the westbound left lane further contributed to travel delays.

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

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The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory at 8:43 a.m. today for much of the D.C. area, including Fairfax County.

Precipitation started falling early this morning and could result in up to an inch of snow accumulation. The alert will remain in effect until 3 p.m.

Here is the full alert:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Rapid onset of snow which will result in snow covered roadways. Snow accumulations of up to one inch.

* WHERE…Portions of central and northern Maryland and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…Until 3 PM EST this afternoon.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions will impact the morning or evening commute.

“Slow down and use caution while traveling,” the NWS said. “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.”

Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash

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The D.C. metropolitan area, including Fairfax County, could get up to six inches of snow in a storm expected to arrive early tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

The region is now under a Winter Storm Warning, a step up from the Winter Storm Watch that the National Weather Service issued yesterday afternoon.

Issued at 10:24 a.m., the warning will take effect at 3 a.m. on Thursday and stay in place until 6 a.m. Friday. The NWS says there will be heavy snow mixed with sleet and freezing rain, forecasting three to six inches of snow and one-tenth to one-quarter inch of ice accumulation.

More details from the alert are below:

* 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.

Warning that the storm is expected to have “significant road impacts,” the Virginia Department of Transportation is advising residents to prepare to stay home and avoid nonessential travel tomorrow and on Friday.

VDOT says its crews are finishing pretreatment of about 2,000 lane miles of interstates and primary roads in Northern Virginia. About 3,000 pieces of equipment will be ready tonight to treat roads, and plowing will start once two inches of snow have accumulated.

“Additional equipment and crews are on standby to report, including to handle downed trees or limbs from ice,” VDOT said in a news release.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department suggests testing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they work, charging cell phones and tablets, and using a flashlight or other battery-powered device if power goes out.

With communities elsewhere in the U.S. struggling to stay warm in frigid temperatures due to power outages, one Tysons resident is offering free firewood to anyone who needs it in the Tysons and Vienna area in advance of the coming winter storm.

“We had many trees taken down, and my husband took up chopping wood as a COVID project,” Rhea Baker told Tysons Reporter. “We personally do not have a working fireplace, so I have much more than I can use in my backyard fire pit.”

Baker, who works as an insurance agent with State Farm, says she also has ice scrapers that she is able to give away.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott, photo courtesy Rhea Baker

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More snow is expected later this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the region from late Wednesday night through late Thursday night.

Snow accumulations of five or more inches and total ice accumulations of more are possible.

More from the alert is below.

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.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation.

Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash

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Fairfax County is now under an Ice Storm Warning after the National Weather Service upgraded the Winter Storm Watch it had put out for the D.C. area starting this morning.

Issued at 1:56 p.m., the ice storm warning will remain in effect until 7 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday). The NWS projects that the region will see 0.2-0.3 inches of sleet and freezing rain, which has been leaving roads slick with ice throughout the day.

“Roadways are becoming very icy and dangerous,” the NWS warns. “Avoid all unnecessary travel.”

This is the first time that an ice storm warning has been issued for the D.C. area since Feb. 12, 2008, according to Washington Post meterologist Matthew Cappucci.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is warning people to stay off the roads, noting that pavement could be slick even after it is treated.

The Fairfax County Park Authority announced at 2:19 p.m. that all of its facilities will close at 3:30 p.m., and all activities and programs scheduled after that time have been canceled for today. All activities on Fairfax County Public Schools grounds had already been suspended.

In the Tysons area, The Boro has canceled its scheduled Valentine’s drive-in movie screening of “Crazy, Stupid, Love” due to the inclement weather, though tomorrow’s screening of “Valentine’s Day” is expected to take place as planned.

Dominion Energy reported that ice damage to power lines is causing power outages in some areas.

The NWS advises anyone who must travel to take a flashlight, food, and water in case of an emergency. Power outages are also possible.

“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,” the NWS said.

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The weekend is nearly here, and in February 2021, that apparently means that Fairfax County is once again expected to get hit with a blast of frigid, even icy weather.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for the D.C. region shortly after 6 p.m. last night. The alert will take effect tomorrow (Saturday) morning and last until 7 a.m. on Sunday (Feb. 14).

Here are more details from the alert:

…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING…

* WHAT…HEAVY ICING POSSIBLE. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE INCH AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH POSSIBLE.

* WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

* WHEN…FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS…POWER OUTAGES AND TREE DAMAGE ARE POSSIBLE DUE TO THE ICE. TRAVEL COULD BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.

A second message released today (Friday) at 8:36 a.m. reiterates that the watch is in effect from Saturday to Sunday morning and that there is “potential” for a quarter inch of ice or more to accumulate. However, it does not mention possible snow accumulation.

The NWS advises travelers to plan on slippery road conditions.

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