Brrr! Single-Digit Wind Chills Leave DC Icy, Shivering

What to Know

  • Temperatures fall below freezing and are not expected to rise above freezing again until Thursday afternoon.
  • Some melting took place as temperatures reached the upper 30s Tuesday, and runoff can refreeze on roads and sidewalks.
  • Many schools will be closed or delayed Wednesday.

One of the coldest March days on record is waiting for you on the other side of the front door.

Storm Team4 has declared Wednesday a Weather Alert Day. Single-digit wind chills and a possible high of only 30 degrees would set a record for the coldest high temperature for March 15. A slight chance of snow is in Wednesday's forecast as well.

OPM said federal agencies in the D.C. area are open Wednesday. Employees are expected at their worksites or to begin telework on time. 

Tuesday night, officials warned drivers to stay off the roads if possible due to the potential for icy conditions. "As temperatures drop later tonight, even treated roads may be icy and slippery, so travelers should remain alert and reduce speeds," said Greg Slater of the Maryland State Highway Administration.

The Virginia Department of Transportation warned of black ice overnight. Crews worked overnight, treating icy areas with salt and sand. They are continuing to clear roads, shoulders, ramps and drainage areas.

All the melted snow and sleet has already turned to ice. Crews are out, treating the roads to make the Wednesday commute as safe as possible. News4’s Shomari Stone reports.

Prince William County Public Schools announced they will be closed again Wednesday, while several other districts will open two hours late.

Areas south and east of the District -- including southern Maryland -- saw mostly sleet and rain through Tuesday morning. But areas north and west of the city, including parts of Montgomery and Frederick counties in Maryland, got mostly snow. 

Temperatures climbed into the upper 30s Tuesday, allowing for some melting, but with temperatures falling below freezing, and not expected to rise above freezing again until Thursday afternoon, roads and sidewalks could again be treacherous.

In southern Maryland, ice coated trees, weighing them down and onto power lines, breaking them, Chris Gordon reported. Route 5 at Bryantown Road in Charles County was closed all day Tuesday so crews could make repairs. Three utility poles actually snapped.

The snow began falling Monday evening, with most of the area seeing snow by 10 p.m. The heaviest amounts accumulated between midnight and dawn Tuesday along the I-95 corridor and to the west of it.

The snow changed to a mix of snow, sleet and rain in the early hours of Tuesday along I-95 and east of it, before changing back to snow as the cold air wrapped around the storm system. For more weather details and hyperlocal radar, go here.

Most accumulation ended about noon Tuesday, but some snow showers and flurries lingered into the afternoon.

Metrorail Back to Normal Service Wednesday

Here's what's happening with transit a day after several inches of snow fell on the region:

Metrorail: Regular weekday service has resumed. However, remember that the current SafeTrack surge remains in effect on the Blue and Yellow lines. SafeTrack shuttle buses are running again between Franconia-Springfield and the Pentagon.

Metrobus: Metrobus was scheduled to begin the day on a moderate snow service plan, but WMATA said early Wednesday that Metrobus had actually resumed regular weekday service. However, adjustments and delays may be possible on isolated routes due to road conditions.


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MetroAccess: Service for customers with disabilities has been restored. The MetroAccess reservations call center reopened at noon Tuesday so customers could schedule rides. However, Metro warned that some trips may still be delayed due to snow and ice.

Amtrak, meanwhile, is operating on a modified schedule Wednesday:

  • Acela Express and Northeast Regional trains are running on a modified schedule between New York City and Boston, with some trains truncated or cancelled.
  • Acela Express and Northeast Regional service between New York City and Washington, D.C., will continue to run on a modified schedule with some trains truncated or cancelled, including some trains in Virginia.
  • See more on Amtrak's current schedule here.
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