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Refreeze Will Create Difficult Driving Conditions

Most parts of the D.C. area got 2 to 5 inches of snow on Sunday

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Editor's Note: This story is no longer being updated. Go here for the latest forecast on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.

After the biggest winter storm in years in the D.C. area, the next threat is a refreeze that's going to make getting around tough into Tuesday morning.

A slushy, icy mess is covering roads and sidewalks after Sunday's storm and Monday's passing showers. The refreeze as the temperature drops even just a few degrees will create slick and icy spots Tuesday morning.

The D.C. metro area is under a winter weather advisory until 9 a.m. Tuesday, as snow showers give the area an extra coating. A winter storm warning is in effect until midnight for northern Maryland, including Frederick County, where more accumulation is possible. See all weather alerts here.

Bands of snow showers will continue Tuesday, with another 0-2 inches possible in D.C. and 1-3 inches or more possible to the north.

There could be some snow showers Tuesday afternoon, but not much accumulation. Tuesday will bring wind chills in the teens and twenties.

Wednesday will also be windy, and could bring a couple of snow flurries, but the sunshine will return. That also means melting begins. Most roads should be dry by the end of the day Thursday.

Stafford, Loudoun and Prince William county schools will be closed Tuesday. Other school districts, including Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County, will be all virtual learning. Track all school closures here.

Sunday marked the D.C. area's first significant snowfall in two years. The snow began before dawn and blanketed the area.

A mix of snow and rain fell Sunday night.

Most parts of the D.C. area got 2 to 5 inches of snow on Sunday. More snow had been expected, but we had more dry air than anticipated, Storm Team4’s Doug Kammerer said. 

The snowstorm affected schools, roads and public transit in the region.

Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey spoke with families enjoying a snow day as others try and get to work.

Federal agencies in the D.C. area were open Monday with the option of allowing unscheduled leave or telework, the Office of Personnel Management announced. “Non-Emergency Employees must notify their supervisor of their intent to use unscheduled leave/telework,” an OPM alert said.

Federal workers won't get the day off, but some school children will get a snow day. News4's Jummy Olabanji and Eun Yang have the details.

Just because school is virtual doesn’t mean there are no snow days. A number of school districts canceled classes Monday and declared snow days, while others will continue virtual learning as planned. 

Fauquier, Prince William and Spotsylvania county schools were closed Monday. Virtual learning continued in D.C. and in Fairfax and Montgomery county schools. Go here for updates

PHOTOS: First Snow Storm of 2021

If you don’t have to drive, don’t. Virginia State Police responded to 362 traffic crashes and 321 disabled or stuck vehicles through 9 p.m. Sunday. Staying off the roads lets crews treat them, state police said. Maryland State Police responded to 301 crashes and 120 disabled or unattended vehicles and answered 700 calls for service from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

The Virginia Department of Transportation are asking residents to stay home if possible due to conditions. News4's Justin Finch is live in Leesburg to track snow conditions.

Maryland State Police responded to 72 crashes and 37 disabled or unattended vehicles as of 2 p.m., and answered 206 calls for service. 

If you do have to drive, make sure your windows and lights are clear of snow, buckle up, eliminate distractions and slow down.

Sunday's Snow Totals

The National Weather Service says trained snow spotters and others reported the following snow totals as of 6:20 p.m. Sunday:

National Zoo: 2.5 inches
U.S. Capitol: 1.5 inches 
BWI Airport: 2.3 inches 
Point of Rocks: 4 inches 
College Park: 2.2 inches 
Falls Church: 3.2 inches 
Dulles International Airport: 2.7 inches 
Alexandria: 2.3 inches 
Vienna: 3 inches 
Dale City: 2.8 inches 

Some residents said they were delighted by the storm.

"Oh, I think it's wonderful to finally see snow," said Chris Spielmann, in the Tysons area. "We haven't seen snow in a long time. It's nice to see it coming down, and it takes away from the bleakness of winter, now that the holidays are all gone, and all the lights are off and the decorations are down. It's nice to see something festive."

On the National Mall, several dozen people met on Sunday afternoon for a snowball fight. The snowballs flew near the Smithsonian Castle.

At the National Zoo, the pandas adorably rolled, slid and tumbled on video.

What more is there to say? Behold, giant pandas relish the snow on Jan. 31, 2021.

Despite the weather, some people were out and about, including one man who said he was on the way to the gym.

"It's a little bit slippery, so just be careful," he said. "... A few spots, it's slick. My car slid a little bit. But if you drive cautiously, keep your distance, I think I'm good, you know?"

Snow Emergency Declarations & Closings

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser initially declared a snow emergency for the District from 9 a.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. In an update Sunday night, she said it would end at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Gaithersburg, Rockville and Falls Church also declared snow emergencies that began 9 a.m. Sunday. Cars must be removed from snow emergency routes in Gaithersburg (see routes online here), Falls Church (see routes online here) and D.C. (see a map and list here). In Rockville, all vehicles must have been removed from roads within the city, including neighborhood streets, by 9 a.m. Sunday. To check whether an address is within the city limits, go here.

Bowser said the District Snow Team was being deployed to prepare for the snowfall. Crews spray a combination of brine and beet juice on streets to reduce the temperature at which ice bonds to the pavement. Additionally, 147 dump trucks apply salt to roads, highways, bridges and ramps throughout the city.

Officials in the city of Alexandria urged residents to stay off roads, not park on snow emergency routes, keep shovels and salt or sand handy, prepare an emergency kit and clear debris from around fire hydrants and storm drains, and to avoid shoveling snow into the street.

D.C. testing sites are closed, and some counties have canceled vaccine appointments Monday due to the wintry weather.

Prince George's County officials announced that all COVID-19 vaccination appointments booked for Monday through the county's portal were canceled. People with appointments will be able to reschedule for a later day in the week.

Metro, Amtrak Adjust Service

Metro announced service changes in advance of the storm and then made updates.

On Tuesday, some Metrobus routes will be suspended and detours will be in effect on some routes to avoid areas prone to hazardous conditions. Metro will restore normal service as conditions allow. Go here to check your bus line

Metrorail is expected to be on a regular weekday schedule. Metro will work through the night to ensure safe travel in the morning, including deicer for trains.

Some MetroAccess trips may be delayed Tuesday due to road conditions.

Metrobus operated on a moderate snow plan Monday. Metrorail and MetroAccess service operated as normal. 

Bus service on some routes was suspended and detours were in effect in areas with hazardous conditions such as hilly terrain and narrow streets.

Amtrak modified service for Monday and Tuesday because of the weather. Northeast Regional service between Boston, New York, D.C. and Virginia are operating on a limited schedule.

Acela service will be modified Tuesday between Boston, New York and D.C.

All Acela service was canceled between Boston and D.C. Monday. 

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