Rain, sleet and a little bit of snow moved in to parts of the region Thursday afternoon, but the snow missed most of the D.C. area.
The District of Columbia was removed from a National Weather Service winter weather advisory Thursday afternoon. A winter storm warning in effect to the south also was canceled.
A lot of moisture moved up from the south stretching to New York, Storm Team 4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer said, but most of that is not hitting the ground. In D.C. and the suburbs to the west and north, the atmosphere is too dry at the surface to produce and rain or snow, Kammerer said. Without that falling precipitation, those areas are not getting the drop in temperature.
With highs in the 40s dripping only into the upper 30s, most areas that did get precipitation did not see snow, either.
Snow fell further south, in the Richmond area, whree there were reports of thunder snow.
Without the precipitation, there are no problems on the roads in the D.C. metropolitan area, Kammerer said.
Federal offices opened Thursday, but employees were allowed to take unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. The D.C. government also offered the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. D.C. Public Schools also remained open.
Public school students in Charles and St. Mary's counties in Maryland were sent home two hours early. The school districts wanted to get school buses off the roads.
At the College of Southern Maryland, Thursday night's winter graduation was postponed until 6:30 p.m. Friday.
This winter we've had lower than average snowfall over most of the region.
Before the evening rush hour, the Virginia Department of Transportation pretreated 850 lane miles of "trouble spots," including areas of interstates 66, 95, 395 and the Beltway, including bridges and ramps prone to freezing.
VDOT planned to have workers on 12-hour shifts beginning Thursday night.
VDOT also said it would roll out several new tools this winter, including a web tool that shows the status of plowing in northern Virginia neighborhoods (available once it snows more than two inches); a truck-mounted weather station to gather information on road conditions, and a portable snow for commuter lots.
VDOT will also be scaling back on the salt and using brine to pretreat roads this year. Brine, which is 77 percent water and 23 percent salt, is both better the environment and less expensive, a release from the department said.
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