Get ready for freezing rain early Saturday morning as dangerously cold temperatures settle into the D.C. area.
A winter storm advisory has been issued for the D.C. metro area until noon Saturday while a winter storm watch has also been issued for areas north of the D.C. area through 1 p.m. A freezing rain advisory has also been issued further south in the Fredericksburg area through noon on Saturday.
Frederick County, Virginia, Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland, and Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan and Hampshire counties in West Virginia will be under the watch. A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulation that may make driving hazardous, the National Weather Service said.
Storm Team4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer said he does not expect our region to see much, if any, snow, and the main threat is ice in areas north of D.C.
The biggest impact could be between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday. Because of two days of below-freezing temps, expect roads to be very icy Saturday morning.
The D.C. Department of Transportation is sending salt trucks out on the roads at midnight and crews were out pre-treating roads with salt brine over the past 24 hours, officials said Friday.
Crews in Prince George's County, Montgomery County and northern Virginia have also pretreated road ways and are prepared to deploy salt trucks. Drivers should be careful while on the roads and remember to give salt trucks plenty of room to work, officials said.
VDOT has advised drivers to fill their gas tanks, slow down and to be aware of potential slick spots such as shaded areas and bridges.
Baltimore officials are reminding residents to run a constant trickle of water at the lowest faucet in their house to avoid frozen pipes.
In Montgomery County, animal services is telling pet owners to be sure to keep their animals indoors during the extreme cold. Residents who violate the county's no-tether law will face a $500 fine and anyone who sees an animal left outside that may be in danger should call (301) 279-8000.
Several weekend activities have been altered due to the anticipated weather:
-All activities scheduled in Fairfax County public schools or on school grounds before noon are canceled. Activities scheduled at noon or later will proceed as usual.
-All Charles County Public Schools activities scheduled for Saturday will begin after 11 a.m.
-All final exams at University of Maryland scheduled for Saturday will begin one hour later than their original start time.
-Montgomery County Public Schools is delaying all school activities and athletic events until 11 a.m. Saturday, including a teacher recruitment job fair. Community use of MCPS facilities is delayed unti 1 p.m.
Winter storm watch starting late tomorrow into Saturday morning for counties in blue. Wintry mix with slick roads. pic.twitter.com/Roqi5da7rV— Amelia Draper (@amelia_draper) December 15, 2016
So this is how cold it feels outside right now. Wind chills will remain similar to this until 7AM tomorrow pic.twitter.com/nE3xrWOzrh— Amelia Draper (@amelia_draper) December 15, 2016
The roller coaster forecast looks like it will continue next week. Temperatures could climb into the 60s again by early Sunday morning.