Snow Accumulates in DC Area Ahead of Bitter Cold

The first real snowstorm of the season is over for most of the D.C. area -- but now we are in for frigid temperatures and biting winds.

A storm system moved into the area early Saturday. While the D.C. and Baltimore metro areas saw a dusting to about 2 inches of snow, parts of southern Maryland saw about 3 to 6 inches, said Storm Team4.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency on Friday and weather officials say some parts of Virginia have been blanketed under close to a foot of snow with more snow still falling.

The National Weather Service said parts of southeast Virginia had already seen nearly a foot of snow by Saturday afternoon. The Hampton Roads region and central Virginia were the hardest hit.

The storm was winding down in central Virginia by Saturday afternoon, but a blizzard warning remains in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday for southeast Virginia, including Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Officials say strong winds will blow snow, making driving dangerous. Residents are encouraged to stay off the roads.

Winter weather advisories were in effect for D.C., Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Prince William and southern Fauquier counties and parts of Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, King George and Stafford counties until 3 p.m. A more serious winter storm warning was issued for St. Mary's County and parts of the Northern Neck until 7 p.m.

Temperatures will dip into the teens overnight with wind chills in the single digits. Sunday's high will only reach the mid to upper 20s, Storm Team4 said.

Throughout the weekend, temperatures will be below freezing, so any snow that falls is expected to stick. The wind chill could make it feel like below 10 degrees.

Storm Team4 declared Sunday another Weather Alert Day due to below freezing temperatures, potential for wind gusts up to 30 mph and slippery surfaces.

The winds will also cause blowing snow, which could be a problem mainly in southern Maryland where snowfall totals where the highest.

By Monday, winds will relax, but temperatures will remain about 10 to 15 degrees below normal, according to Storm Team4.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Black ice and slick roads are a concern overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning.

Multiple crashes have been reported throughout the D.C. area since snow blanketed the region Saturday.

Virginia State Police advised residents to stay off the roads. From midnight Saturday through 6 p.m., state police responded to 527 traffic crashes and 686 disabled vehicles statewide. During the same time period, Virginia State Police received a total of 2,082 calls for service. One person died in a crash, state police said.

In Fairfax County, a trash truck overturned onto its side on eastbound I-495 neart the Van Dorn Street exit. State police said the truck had an equipment failure and the driver lost control. He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Snow Preparations

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the District Snow Team fully deployed at 10 p.m. Friday and all primary and secondary routes were pre-treated.

The city has also activated its cold emergency plan from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday, allowing emergency shelters and overnight warming sites to open.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said it put about 1,100 trucks on the roads between 10 p.m. and midnight Friday to begin treating roads with salt and sand. Crews prepared for up to 2 inches of snow in northern Virginia.

VDOT is sending crews from areas that won't see as much of an impact from the storm to help with snow removal in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norforlk and Portsmouth.

Officials are also urging drivers to stay off the roads during the storm and monitor weather conditions -- particularly along the Interstate 95 corridor.

Charles County activated its snow emergency plan at 9 a.m. Saturday, telling drivers to avoid snow emergency routes.

Charles County Public Schools canceled all activities scheduled for Saturday, and the Tri-County Orchestra concert scheduled for Sunday in Calvert County is canceled. Fairfax County Public Schools canceled all activities before 2 p.m. Saturday, and Montgomery County Public Schools delayed all activities until noon.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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