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Snowfall Blankets DC Area; Snow Showers on Way Into Tuesday

Most parts of the D.C. area got 2 to 3 inches of snow on Sunday. Scattered snow showers are expected Monday, with 1 inch or less of additional accumulation expected

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The D.C. area's first significant snowfall in two years began in the wee hours of Sunday and blanketed the area, and additional snow showers are on the way.

Snow moved into parts of Virginia and Maryland before dawn Sunday and then quickly enveloped the entire region. The D.C. area is under a winter weather advisory. See all weather alerts here.

Most parts of the D.C. area got 2 to 3 inches of snow on Sunday. Scattered snow showers are expected Monday, with 1 inch or less of additional accumulation expected. Areas well north of D.C. are set to see more.

More snow was expected in the D.C. area, but we had more dry air than anticipated, Storm Team4’s Doug Kammerer said. 

"As for [Monday], we are not expecting a lot of snow as the area of low pressure will be just a little too far north for us to get the good wrap around we need for a lot more snow," Kammerer said. "We will continue to see snow showers though with the best chance of accumulation to the north of D.C."

The snowstorm is having effects on schools, roads and public transit in the region.

Federal agencies in the D.C. area are open Monday and have 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 says.

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 will be closed Monday. Virtual learning will continue 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 more than 250 traffic crashes and more than 230 disabled or stuck vehicles through 2 p.m. Sunday. Staying off the roads lets crews treat them, state police said. 

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.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue reported assisting several people playing in the snow and urged caution.

A mix of snow and rain was falling Sunday night. With temperatures below freezing, beware of icy conditions on roads. 

On Monday, we’re set to see scattered snow showers with an inch of snow or less for D.C. and most of the metro area, and 1-3 inches well north of D.C. Snow showers are expected Tuesday as well. 

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 
IAD Airport: 2.7 inches 
Alexandria: 2.3 inches 
Vienna: 3 inches 
Dale City: 2.8 inches 

Now, you need something to measure the snow ... something like a Pat Collins Snow Stick. The next Snow Stick Challenge launched Sunday night and ends Monday night. Here are the details.

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?"

Snowfall continues in the D.C. area. In Tysons, the slush is starting to accumulate on the roadways.

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.

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

This is a slow-moving snowstorm, so crews are expected to be on the roads around the clock, said a Montgomery County transportation spokesman.

Metro, Amtrak Adjust Service

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

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

Bus service on some routes will be suspended and detours will be in effect in areas with hazardous conditions such as hilly terrain and narrow streets. Go here to check your bus line

Metrorail will operate on a regular weekday schedule but minor delays are possible as de-icer trains operate. Workers will clear station platforms, walkways and parking areas.

MetroAccess service is set to be normal but delays due to road conditions are possible. 

Amtrak modified service for Monday because of the weather. Northeast Regional service between Boston, New York, D.C. and Virginia will operate on a limited schedule. All Acela service is cancelled between Boston and D.C. 

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