A second post-Christmas weather system passed through the D.C. area, bringing snow and sleet and rain, but almost no accumulation and no reports of problems on the roads.
Storm Team 4 meteorologist Veronica Johnson called for snow west and north of D.C., with rain falling south and east of the capital. Up to 2 inches of snow were reported in Montgomery, Howard, and Frederick counties in Maryland Saturday morning, as well as in Loudoun County, Virginia, but most of the snow had changed to rain by 1 p.m. Saturday, and the system was out of the region by 4 p.m.
In the District, snow plows were out as early as 3 a.m., according to a Tweet from D.C.'s 311 center. The city expected to have 200 snow plows deployed and has pre-treated bridges, overpasses and other elevated structures with a solution made of brine and beet juice to prevent freezing. The District's Department of Motor Vehicles delayed the opening of all its locations until 10 a.m. Saturday.
"The system is fast moving," said D.C. Department of Public Works Director William O. Howland, Jr. "We will monitor storm conditions to determine what, if any, changes should be made in our deployment plan."
Prince George's County also deployed plows at 4 a.m. The county reminded residents to keep parked cars off snow emergency routes, and to park only on even-numbered sides of streets to make room for plows.
Virginia has spent money upgrading its snow removal program since last winter, the state's Department of Transportation said in a press release.
Among the new equipment:
- A web tool that - once two inches of snow has fallen - will allow residents in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties to enter their address and see if plows have come to their neighborhood
- A truck-mounted weather station that measures road conditions to ensure crews do not over- or under-apply chemicals
- A "super-sized" salt dome located at the Beltway and Van Dorn Street that holds 22,000 tons of salt – about three times the capacity of a typical salt dome
- And new trucks, including seven high-pressure flush trucks to clear snow and ice around the bollards that separate the new I-495 Express Lanes from regular lanes.