/Major Snowstorm Hitting DC Area, 3 to 10 Inches Expected – NBC4 Washington

Major Snowstorm Hitting DC Area, 3 to 10 Inches Expected – NBC4 Washington

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A major snowstorm is hitting the D.C. area early Monday. Many schools declared a snow day, federal offices are closed and fast-falling snow is having a major impact on roadways. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a snow emergency.

Storm Team4 is in Weather Alert mode and has minute-to-minute team coverage across D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. 

Overall, 3 to 10 inches of snow are expected in the region, with three distinct bands on the snow total map.

Wet, heavy snow started to stick in parts of the region in the early hours. Up to 4 inches of snow may fall per hour, Storm Team4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer said.

“We’re going to see conditions deteriorate very, very quickly here,” he said.

Storm Team4’s Lauryn Ricketts has the forecast for snow Monday. Here’s a look at the day and the week ahead.

Here are the big headlines: Precipitation that began overnight as a mix of rain, sleet and snow is now all snow. We’ll see slushy accumulation after the first few inches melt. Strong winds up to 30 mph could worsen visibility on the roads. Thundersnow is possible. It’s a weather phenomenon in which snow is accompanied by thunder and lightning. Power outages are possible.

A number of car crashes have already occurred. Virginia State Police responded to more than 80 crashes as of 8 a.m. Many were caused by people driving too fast in poor conditions, police said. 

A winter storm warning is in effect in much of the region, including D.C. and Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. A winter weather advisory is in effect in areas including Frederick County, Virginia, and part of Loudoun County. Go here for a full list of affected counties from the National Weather Service.

Snow Timing in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia 

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Heavy snowfall at times, with windy conditions and snow-covered roads
  • 3 to 10 p.m.: More snow, with icy roads and windy conditions 
  • Overnight: Black ice on roadways is possible

Snow Totals in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia

Storm Team4 is tracking three major bands of snow that could have sharp cutoff lines, with a big difference in snowfall for people on either side of the lines. 

The northern Shenandoah Valley, northern Loudoun County and Frederick, Maryland, are set to see a trace of snow to up to 2 inches. 

In the next band to the south, 3 to 6 inches are expected. This includes D.C., Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince George’s County and Howard County. 

Farther south, rural areas could see double digits, with 6 to 10 inches.

School Closures in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia 

The list of school closures grew by the minute this morning. Go here for the full list.

D.C. Public Schools were already scheduled to be closed Monday and Tuesday amid a major effort to test every student and staff member. The mayor announced that because of the storm, students must now test on Wednesday, Jan. 5 and schools will reopen on Thursday, Jan. 6.

In Maryland, the following school districts will be closed due to the weather:

  • Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Prince George’s County Public Schools
  • St. Mary’s County Public Schools
  • Anne Arundel County Public Schools
  • Howard County Public Schools
  • Charles County Public Schools
  • Calvert County Public Schools are now closed after initially planning to open two hours late.

Frederick County Public Schools will start two hours late. FCPS will also dismiss students an hour late.

In Virginia, the following school districts will be closed due to the weather:

  • Arlington Public Schools
  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Prince William County Public Schools
  • Falls Church City Public Schools
  • Manassas Park City Schools
  • Culpeper County Public Schools
  • Loudoun County Public Schools are closed after initially planning to start with a two-hour delay.
  • Alexandria City Schools will be closed for in-person learning but students will attend class virtually.

Students are expected back in class on Thursday instead of Wednesday, which means that COVID-19 testing operations are also pushed back a day.

A number of school districts already have either no school or virtual learning planned, unrelated to the snowstorm.

Charles County Public Schools already had virtual learning planned. Fredericksburg City Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools and Fauquier County Public Schools have professional days for teachers planned, and no school for students.

If you can work from home, it would be ideal to do so on Monday. News4’s Darcy Spencer reports on transportation preparations in Maryland.

Government Office Closures in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia

Federal offices in the D.C. area are closed, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced late Sunday. Emergency employees and telework employees continue to work. Go here for more info.

The D.C. government is in a teleworking posture for non-essential and non-emergency employees. Essential employees will report for duty as previously scheduled, unless otherwise directed. 

In Maryland, a number of state offices and facilities are closed. Emergency essential employees should report as scheduled. Go here for info.

Road Conditions in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia

News4 is tracking what you should know about road conditions in the region. Crews across the region are working to keep roads safe. A number of crashes have occurred.

If you don’t have to drive, don’t, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said live on News4. 

“If you can, only travel if absolutely necessary, and be patient to give VDOT a chance to do what they need to get done,” she said.

In D.C., a full deployment of more than 100 snowplows hit the streets at midnight Monday to treat roads with salt. You can go here to track plows in real time

Metrobus said it would operate on a severe snow service plan, and so service will be limited to major roads only. Delays and increased wait times are likely, and travel is strongly discouraged unless absolutely necessary.

In D.C., pickups of trash, recycling and Christmas trees will move to the next day for the remainder of the week. Drivers cannot park on snow emergency routes. Cars packed on these routes may be towed. 

D.C. asked property owners to treat their sidewalks before the storm starts. You can volunteer with the Serve DC Volunteer Snow Team to clear sidewalks for registered seniors and other residents who need help. Volunteers are especially needed in Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8, a message from the city said. Go here for info

The District’s Hypothermia Alert system will be activated at 7 p.m. Sunday. Residents are encouraged to call 311 or 202-399-7093 if they see someone in need of shelter. 

The big change in the weather came as a surprise to many. 

“I don’t think anybody is ready for this,” News4’s Adam Tuss said amid temperatures in the 60s on Sunday. 

Stay with Storm Team4 and NBC Washington for more details on the forecast. 

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