A picturesque Wednesday morning with big, white snowflakes quickly turned to rain and slush, and now the big concern is ice.
Ice is coating trees and potentially roads, which could create some hazardous driving conditions Thursday morning. Falling tree limbs are possible, potentially causing power outages.
Avoid driving until at least mid-morning if possible, Storm Team4 Meteorologist Amelia Draper advised.
Several area school districts are closed Thursday or on all-virtual learning.
Federal agencies in the region will delay opening until 10 a.m., according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Agencies can offer employees unscheduled leave or remote work.
Flurries of snowflakes began falling across D.C., Maryland and Virginia on Wednesday morning, kicking off the first winter storm of the season. Snow was still falling to the west of D.C. in the Leesburg and Frederick areas and along Interstate 68 near Cumberland, Maryland, late Wednesday, but in the metro area, snow had long since changed over to a cold rain or wintry mix.
Public schools in Prince William, Loudoun and Culpeper counties will be closed Thursday. Virtual learning is canceled.
Spotsylvania County Public Schools are closed Thursday, but content for students to study will be available online.
Several school districts will offer all-virtual learning, including Arlington, Fairfax and Stafford counties.
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"It's a big storm no matter what," Storm Team4 Meteorologist Chuck Bell said.
Precipitation is likely to continue until about 6 a.m. Thursday. Storm Team4 has declared a weather alert.
Photos: Winter Storm Brings DC Area's First Snowfall of the Season
A winter weather advisory will be in effect until 1 a.m. Thursday in D.C. and parts of the region including Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Montgomery counties.
A winter storm warning is in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday in parts of Maryland and Virginia, including Winchester; Fauquier, Loudoun, Frederick, Washington and Rappahannock counties, and upper Montgomery County.
D.C. saw a coating of snow before the precipitation changed to a wintry mix and then rain.
More than a couple of inches of snow was reported in parts of Northern Virginia and the suburbs to the north in Maryland.
More accumulated further north and west, including 11.5 inches in the Winchester area.
South of D.C. the storm was a rain event.
For areas east of Interstate 95 flooding is possible due to Wednesday's storm and Monday's rain.
Flood watches are in effect for parts of D.C., central and southern Maryland, and northern Virginia through Thursday morning.
On Thursday, expect blustery winds and wind chills in the teens and 20s.
The weekend is looking dry and cold, with highs in the 40s.
Stay with Storm Team4 for the latest forecast.