Watch for slick spots Wednesday as wind and dangerous cold move into the region.
Wednesday will be sunny, windy and bitterly cold with highs in the 30s, but chills in the single digits and teens. Wind gusts could reach up to 40 mph.
The combination of frigid temperatures with Tuesday's snow, means refreezing on roadways, sidewalks and driveways will be a concern.
Thursday looks to be the coldest day of
the week, with highs only in the lower 20s under clear skies.
"I think the temperatures we saw in the 40s [Monday] morning will be the warmest that it will be for the next seven days," says ABC7 Meteorologist Alex Liggitt.
The colder weather is caused by a disturbance moving out of Canada called an Alberta Clipper, Liggitt says. The weather is not unprecedented for the first week of January, he adds.
"Winter is finally upon us," Liggitt says.
Tuesday morning's commute was one of the worst in recent memory -- and Wednesday doesn't look to be a piece of cake either.
Cold temperatures in the
forecast are refreezing wet, icy and snowy roadways, which could be trouble for drivers Wednesday morning.
Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Joan Morris’ advice?
“Go ahead and stay home [Wednesday] morning if you can,” she told WTOP Tuesday night. “… We’re not out of this yet.”
Morris says the cold temperatures Wednesday morning are going to create a lot of refreezing on roads that didn’t seem too bad Tuesday. And while the main roads are shaping up OK, icy side roads will remain a problem.
Not for lack of effort on VDOT’s part, Morris says. Crews were out Tuesday night treating overpasses and bridges, as well as sanding hills and subdivisions.
"We’ll stay with it until the roads are safe," Morris says.
In Maryland, road crews scouted out icy patches and worked to treat them overnight, says Charlie Gischlar of the Maryland State Highway Administration. Still, he advises drivers to slow down and be extra cautious Wednesday morning.
"If it looks wet, you want to slow down," he says.
Metrobus is operating on a normal schedule after it was on a moderate snow plan.
Get the full forecast on the WTOP Weather page.
Forecasts for Tuesday initially predicted 1 to 2 inches of snow, which was then expected to be 4 to 6 inches. But totals from the National Weather Service show that 2 to 4 inches dropped over the region.
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Pepco says three breakers tripped underground and there's no estimated time of restoration yet as crews are on the scene investigating.
About 600 customers in Montgomery County are without power in the Kensington area.
Some power lines are down there, Pepco expects to get power back up by 10 a.m.
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Below is a note Fairfax County Public Schools issued to parents about its decisions to have school Tuesday:
A message from FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
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All activities scheduled in Fairfax County public schools or on school grounds for this afternoon and evening, January 6, 2015, are canceled (Condition 6), including:
* afternoon preschool classes.
* extracurricular activities.
* interscholastic contests.
* team practices.
* field trips.
* middle school after-school programs.
* professional learning and training courses.
* adult and community education classes.
* recreation programs and community use by outside groups not affiliated with FCPS.
A decision regarding tonight’s Capital Improvement Program public hearing at Jackson Middle School will be made later today.
Fairfax County Public Schools did not delay the opening of schools when the snow started and did not close, leading people to question the school system’s judgment.
Teachers and parents questioned the decision, saying that driving in the snow put teachers and young drivers in dangerous situations.
“We apologize for any inconvenience, but the timing of this was the worst possible situation we could have imagined,” Assistant Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools Jeffrey Platenberg told WTOP.
Read more on WTOP.com.
We apologize for the difficulties the weather caused this morning. After careful consideration of all available information, including advanced weather forecasts and real-time monitoring of road conditions across the county, LCPS made an early morning decision to keep schools open Tuesday, January 6th.
Clearly, the conditions became far worse than anticipated. Students are safest at school when parents have not had a chance to make alternate plans for their child's return home. At this time, we are planning to dismiss schools at their normal dismissal time. However, all after-school activities are cancelled for this afternoon and evening.
LCPS regrets any confusion or stress today’s decisions may have caused. Student and staff safety remains our top priority and policy and procedures around closure and delay decision-making will be reviewed and enhanced using lessons learned today.
September 2014Dear Parents/Guardians:The warmth of summer will soon give way to fall with possible severe weather conditions ahead. Therefore, it is time to remind you of the delayed opening and school closing procedures for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS).When inclement weather causes hazardous road and walking conditions or extreme cold, schools may open late, close early, or close for the entire day, depending upon the severity of the weather.These decisions are made based on Divisionwide conditions and weather forecasts, which may not necessarily reflect what you see in any given area of the county. However, we are focused on ensuring safety of the students, staff, and residents. If schools are open, but you consider local roads and sidewalks unsafe for travel, you have the option of not sending your child(ren) to school.Students will receive an excused absence and will not be penalized academically, though they areexpected to make up all assignments.PWCS transportation personnel monitor and travel both major and remote roads across the county.This information is combined with input from weather forecasts, police, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and others to arrive at a decision that will ensure the safety of individuals across this large School Division. Safety is always the first priority in weather-related decisions. After opening and closing decisions are made, they are targeted for announcement by 5 a.m. They can be received in a number of ways. Email: Subscribe to E-News at pwcsalerts.bbcportal.com. Online: Check pwcs.edu and individual school Web sites which are quickly updated with the latest closing information. Social Media: Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/PWCSNews or follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/pwcsnews. Local Radio and TV: Stations make announcements and repeat delay and closing information regularly. PWCS-TV Television: Announcements are made on PWCS-TV (Comcast channel 18 and Verizon channel 36). Phone: Information may also be obtained by calling 703.791.2776 and selecting option number 3. Mobile Devices: For high school information, download the MyPWCS app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play store to receive notifications on the go. Information for middle schools and elementary schools will available at a later date.If weather conditions get worse after school starts, it may be necessary to close schools early.Announcements will typically say that: “All Prince William County Public Schools will close one hour (or two hours) early today.”All after-school student activities, athletic activities, and General Educational Development (GED) and Adult Education classes are generally cancelled when schools Divisionwide are closed or close early due to the weather. However, exceptions can be made, so please monitor email, pwcs.edu, your school’s Web site, and PWCS-TV for special announcements.Delayed openings may sometimes be used to allow commuter traffic to clear and hazardous road conditions to improve before schools can open or so that officials can make a decision on closing them if conditions worsen.Please note that: Special instructions for School Age Child Care (SACC) and for preschool parents/guardians are attached. Do not bring students to school early during a delayed opening; staff may also be late. Since some parents/guardians and childcare providers may be unaware of early closings, it is advisable to designate another person to receive your preschool or elementary child at your child’s bus stop. Provide name(s) and telephone number(s) to the school. Preschool and kindergarten students will be returned to school unless designated individuals are at the bus stop to meet them. Have a plan so children know what to do if they arrive home before anyone is there to meet them. Middle and high school students also need plans to ensure their safety.3 Please do not call your child’s school or PWCS offices during weather emergencies. The School Division telephone system is needed to attend to operational and emergency matters. PWCS staff work hard to make school grounds safe after severe weather. You can help by ensuring your neighborhood sidewalks, walking paths, and bus stops are cleared so students will have a safe place to walk and wait, and so buses will have a clear route to safely pick up and drop off children.Remember, the decision to change the school schedule is never made lightly.If you have any questions concerning these procedures, please call the principal of the school your child attends prior to the inclement weather season.Thank you for your cooperation and ongoing support.Sincerely,Steven L. WaltsSuperintendent of School
Counties share Tuesday morning crash tallies
WASHINGTON -- D.C. -area counties tallied their crashes during different time frames Tuesday morning.
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