Winter weather looming as snow, ice could make travel hazardous in DC area


The D.C. region wakes up to wintry weather as another storm passes by and stays until the end of the week. Here’s what to know.

The D.C. region will wake up to wintry weather as another storm passes by and stays until the end of the week. A winter storm warning is in effect for the area through 6 a.m. Friday.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • DC-area schools announce Thursday changes. Some school systems still have virtual learning, while others are calling it a full snow day. See all closings and delays here.
  • Metrobus schedule changes for Thursday. The bus system will operate on a moderate snow plan; Metrorail won’t be affected.
  • When is snow coming? Snow arrives around midnight Thursday, changing to sleet or freezing rain from D.C. to points east and south by early afternoon. Storm tapers off late Friday morning.
  • Got photos? Tweet them at WTOP, if you can do it safely.

Like the last few storms, the rain-snow line will move northward during the storm, bringing the potential for a significant accumulation of ice over parts of the area, Storm Team4 meteorologist Mike Stinneford said.

Precipitation will stay mostly snow over the northern and western suburbs, and change over to rain over southern Maryland.

“There will be the potential for several inches of snow over the immediate metro area, followed by ice,” Stinneford said.

Starting from the southwestern suburbs overnight, the entire region will see snow, between 1 to 3 inches, before sunrise Thursday.

The snow will mix with ice throughout the day, and at night, much of the area will see snow and ice, as temperatures cool below freezing, with the precipitation mixing with or changing to rain before ending on Friday.

Snow amounts of 2 to 6 inches are possible before the changeover to ice in the immediate D.C. area; 6 to 10 inches of snow north and west; and 1 to 2 inches possible in southern Maryland.

snowfall
(Courtesy National Weather Service)


The Storm Team 4 snow total forecast for Thursday, Feb. 18. (Courtesy NBC Washington)

Forecast

  • Thursday: Wintry mix expected, with mostly wet snow before noon. 1-3 inches expected. Sleet and rain for areas south and east of D.C. and snow north and west of D.C. after noon. Highs in the high 20s to low 30s.
  • Thursday night: Snow and sleet continues with 2-6 inches in the D.C. metro area. Under 2 inches for Southern Maryland. 6-10 inches of snow north and west of D.C. Lows in the high 20s to low 30s.
  • Friday: Snow and sleet ending, with little additional accumulation. Highs in the 30s.
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny, blustery and cold. Highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s.
  • Sunday: Sunny in the morning, high clouds after noon. Highs in the low to mid 30s.

Changes to transit, vaccination sites

Metrobus is operating on a moderate snow plan Thursday. Metrorail should not be affected. In Maryland, MARC’s Brunswick Line service is suspended Thursday. Its Penn and Camden Lines will operate on an enhanced R schedule.

Fairfax County, Virginia, has canceled all COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled to take place Thursday at the Fairfax County Government Center and the four Health Department District sites. Anyone who had a Thursday appointment should receive an email notifying them of the cancellation that provides a link to reschedule for the upcoming week at the same site.

Arlington, Virginia’s, testing and vaccine sites are also closed Thursday, as are vaccine clinics in Prince William County.

Montgomery County, Maryland, canceled its vaccine clinics for Thursday. The clinic scheduled for Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville will be moved to Saturday, Feb. 20 at the same location, and the Quince Orchard High School clinic will be moved to Sunday, Feb. 21.

Those who had Thursday appointments at either site have been automatically rescheduled and should have already received an email notifying them of the change, the county said.

Maryland’s Six Flags and Baltimore Convention Center sites are closed Thursday. All appointments for Six Flags America will be rescheduled for March 3.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Submit traffic tips by calling 866-304-WTOP or tagging @WTOPtraffic on Twitter.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez, Rick Massimo, Matt Small and Zeke Hartner contributed to this report.

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