Newsletter

The National Weather Service downgraded Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area from a Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Weather Advisory this morning.

As of 11:03 a.m., the NWS predicted that there could be up to an inch of additional snow accumulation by noon, resulting in one to three inches of total accumulation from today’s storm.

Here is more from the most recent alert:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST
TODAY…

* WHAT…Snow. Additional snow accumulations of up to one inch. Storm total snow of 1 to 3 inches.

* WHERE…Portions of The District of Columbia, central, northern and southern Maryland and central and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…Until noon EST today.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

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.

Though the snow is expected to turn into rain this afternoon, the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management advises shoveling snow from driveways and sidewalks to prevent it from refreezing when temperatures drop tonight.

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More snow may be on way as the previous week’s storm melts away.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the region. The watch is in effect from late Saturday night through Sunday afternoon.

Heavy snow with total accumulations of five or more inches is possible.

More from the alert is below.

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

* WHEN…FROM LATE SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS FOR UPDATES ON THIS SITUATION

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Winter Weather Advisory Extended to 1 P.M. — The National Weather Service has extended its winter weather advisory for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, to 1 p.m. today due to “lingering snow bands.” There could be up to two inches of snow accumulation, and slippery roads could make the morning commute hazardous. [NWS]

Metro to Change Lost-and-Found Policy, Citing Budget Constraints — “Beginning March 1, Metro’s lost and found department will work to reunite customers with lost wallets and electronics (such as phones, tablets, and laptops) only. All other items lost in the system will be disposed of, donated to charity, destroyed, or auctioned.” [WMATA]

Mosaic District Partners with Virginia Plunge Again — The Polar Plunge Festival is the signature annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Virginia. In past years, the Mosaic District has hosted the Plunge, but due to the pandemic, the usual in-person event has been replaced by a week of festivities, culminating in a virtual ceremony on Saturday (Feb. 6). Registration is now open. [Mosaic District/Twitter, Polar Plunge]

Tysons-Based Media Company Buys Sports Podcast Network — “Tegna wants a bigger piece of the podcast action: The TV station group announced the acquisition of Locked On Podcast Network, which produces some 160 daily shows for teams across the U.S.’s four major pro sports leagues and more than 30 colleges.” [Variety]

Justice High School Graduate Drafted by Washington Spirit — “When the Washington Spirit returns to the field this spring, local fans may spot a familiar face at forward–Falls Church native Anna Heilferty. After graduating from Boston University this winter, Heilferty was selected 19th overall by the Spirit in the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League Draft.” [Washingtonian]

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Updated at 2:10 p.m. — As of 1:43 p.m., the Winter Weather Advisory for the D.C. area has been extended to 9 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday), with the National Weather Service now predicting up to two inches of snow.

Earlier: The National Weather Service has extended its Winter Weather Advisory for the D.C. region, including Fairfax County, to midnight tomorrow (Tuesday).

After being blanketed with two to four inches of snow on Sunday, the area could see up to one inch of additional snow accumulation and one-tenth of an inch of ice accumulation today, according to the NWS advisory.

The current forecast for the Tysons area suggests freezing rain is likely today, possibly mixed with snow before 7 p.m. There remains a 50% chance of snow showers or some other kind of precipitation tomorrow, mainly before 1 p.m.

The NWS warns that the “hazardous conditions” could affect the morning and evening commutes.

“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.”

Warnings against traveling evidently did not deter many people from hitting the road yesterday.

The Virginia State Police responded to 362 traffic crashes and 321 disabled/stuck vehicles between midnight and 9 p.m. on Sunday. The VSP’s Fairfax Division, which encompasses Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Arlington counties as well as the City of Alexandria, recorded 44 disabled vehicles and 46 crashes.

Travel is expected to remain challenging today, particularly this morning, after dropping temperatures potentially caused roads and sidewalks to freeze overnight.

“State police is still advising folks to hold off on their travels until later Monday or even possibly Tuesday, depending on what their region has experienced in the way of snow, freezing rain, and ice,” VSP Public Relations Director Corinne Geller said in a news release.

Pedestrians are not safe from peril either. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported early this morning that, in the half-hour span between 5:24 and 5:56 a.m., it had responded to two incidents of people slipping on ice and injuring themselves.

Fairfax County Public Schools announced last night that all in-person activities in schools or on school grounds have been canceled for today, including extracurricular activities and athletic team practices. All students continue to learn virtually.

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As anticipated, Fairfax County residents woke up this morning to a world coated in snow, which is expected to continue falling throughout the day and potentially into tomorrow.

As of 7:08 a.m., the National Weather Service was predicting up to four or six inches of snow to accumulate in the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, as a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until midnight.

Here is more from the most recent NWS alert:

* WHAT…Heavy mixed precipitation expected. Snow accumulations through Sunday night around 4 to 6 inches with ice accumulations of a light glaze.

* WHERE…The Washington Metropolitan area.

* WHEN…Through midnight EST tonight. The steadiest snow will fall through this afternoon before tapering off to an intermittent mix of light snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Additional snow is expected Monday through Monday night with additional accumulations most likely around 1 to 3 inches, bringing the storm total accumulations around 4 to 8 inches.

* IMPACTS…Travel will be very difficult Sunday through Tuesday morning due to a prolonged period of snow and wintry precipitation with temperatures near or below freezing.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is advising people to avoid unnecessary travel so that its crews have room to work treating and plowing roads.

“Stay home and avoid driving throughout the storm,” VDOT said in a 6 a.m. update. “Heavy snow bands will mean reduced visibility and potential for conditions to deteriorate quickly. Should the higher end of forecasts materialize, it will take some time to make a passable lane on all roads.”

The Virginia State Police reported earlier this morning that its troopers had already responded to 34 crashes by 9 a.m., though most of the incidents did not result in any injuries and involved only damage to vehicles.

The City of Falls Church activated its snow emergency routes at 9 a.m., prohibiting residents and visitors from parking on several major roads.

“The City’s snow emergency routes need to be open for first responders, public safety officials and road crews at all times and thus have priority for salting, sanding and plowing,” the city said in a press release. “…Vehicles abandoned or parked on snow emergency routes could be ticketed and towed to allow snow removal crews to clear the roads.”

A full list of affected streets can be found in the press release and on the City’s website.

The City says its response to Winter Storm Orlena has not been hampered by recent concerns about COVID-19 that sent the entire Falls Church public works staff into quarantine last week. Plowing in the city is being conducted by a combination of contractors and staff members who were cleared to leave quarantine by the Fairfax County Health Department.

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(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

SNOW.

* 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.

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.

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

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A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Fairfax County through 9 a.m. tomorrow.

According to the National Weather Service, between one to two inches of snow is possible throughout much of the region.

Here’s more from the NWS alert:

IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening and morning commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Slow down and use caution while traveling. 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 Virginia Department of Transportation announced at 11 a.m. today that it has about 400 trucks staged along roads this afternoon to treat roads.

The department offered the following advice to drivers in preparation of possible wintry precipitation and freezing conditions:

  • Closely monitor weather reports for shifts in forecasts in your area.
  • Plan ahead. If road conditions become hazardous, delay travel for your safety and to give crews time to clear or treat roads.
  • Be aware of the potential for ice. With freezing temperatures in the forecast, any precipitation may freeze quickly. If you must drive, use extreme caution in areas prone to freezing such as bridges, overpasses, hills, curves, and ramps. See more winter driving tips.
  • Monitor road conditions from home on www.511virginia.org, on the free mobile app, or call 511 from any phone in Virginia.

Photo via Joshua Hanson on Unsplash

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Thursday Morning Notes

Icy Roads and Sidewalks Pose Hazards after Yesterday’s Snow — “So far, between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m., FCFRD has responded to two incidents related to people slipping and falling on ice and injuring themselves. If you must be out this morning, walk with care and caution! Walk like a penguin!” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Office Leasing in Tysons Remains Slow — “Tysons, one of the country’s largest suburban office hubs, appears well-positioned to benefit from an anticipated pandemic-related shift in demand away from downtowns. But while office developers in the market hope to capture that demand, they have yet to see it materialize.” [Bisnow]

McLean Church Supports Food Bank with Drive-Thru Nativity — “The McLean Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted the drive-thru live Nativity and food drive Friday and Saturday…Organizers estimate over 1,000 cars drove through on the two nights with an estimated 3,000 attendees.” [Patch]

Vienna Police Department Joins Annual Santa’s Ride for Children — “All donate [sic] toys, games, books and gifts were distributed to children at FFX Hospital, Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center.” [Vienna Police/Twitter]

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As of 1:00 p.m., about 1.5 inches of snow have fallen in the Tysons area today in Fairfax County’s first blast of winter weather of the season, the National Weather Service reported.

The snow, which has now mostly transitioned to rain, has affected a number of local community services.

The McLean Community Center will close at 4 p.m. today due to the ongoing inclement weather.

The Vienna Community Center also announced shortly after noon that it will close at 4:30 p.m., and all parks and recreation classes and programs for this afternoon and evening have been canceled.

In the City of Falls Church, recycling and yard waste collection has been halted for the remainder of the day “due to increasingly hazardous winter weather.” The city says collection may resume tomorrow, or potentially at a later date depending on when conditions improve.

“You may leave your recycling can and yard waste out at the curb if it does not impede vehicle or pedestrian traffic, or will not run off into the storm drain,” Falls Church City said.

Fairfax Connector is still operating normally, but the local bus service says “passengers should expect delays due to deteriorating conditions.”

Fairfax County is under a winter weather advisory until 1 a.m. on Thursday as well as a flood watch, which will remain in effect until 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Staff photo by Angela Woolsey

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The National Weather Service issued a Flood Watch for much of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, including the McLean and Falls Church areas of Fairfax County, early Wednesday morning, forecasting a day of strange, wet weather for local residents.

The county is also under a winter weather advisory after the NWS predicted yesterday afternoon that the area will see between one and three inches of snow and sleet accumulation. That advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. today to 1 a.m. on Thursday.

According to the NWS, potential flooding could take place from 4 p.m. today through Thursday morning. The agency is projecting that the D.C. area will see one to two inches of rainfall, which could lead to isolated flooding, especially when coupled with earlier precipitation.

“You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings,” the NWS said. “Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.”

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