UPDATED Tuesday, 11:40 a.m.: Snowy roadways and frigid temperatures are creating treacherous commutes for many drivers and walkers Tuesday morning.
Bitter cold temperatures moved in overnight, freezing all the snow that fell Monday.
Many road continue to be covered in snow and slush, especially ramps and side streets. Snow-covered sidewalks are pushing pedestrians into the street, creating arduous travel conditions for both drivers and pedestrians.
"Having snow in March is not unusual, but having snow with an arctic air mass entrenched across our area in March, that is unusual…or at least fairly rare," says ABC7 Meteorologist Brian van de Graaff.
Temperatures plummeted into the single digits in the early morning and some areas reached record lows. Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport broke a 141-year-old record low temperature, reaching 4 degrees.
The record-challenging cold that started Tuesday morning is making the roads even worse. The snow on the ground has frozen, meaning lots of slick spots to start the day.
There will be plenty of sunshine for the next couple of days, but temperatures will remain well below average. Many areas will not climb out of the 20s Tuesday.
For Wednesday, expect partly cloudy skies and continued cold with highs in the 30s.
The federal government and D.C. government will open on a two-hour delay.
Several area school systems will be closed Tuesday. Read the full list of closings and delays on WTOP.com.
There are no major traffic delays at this time. For the latest traffic updates, follow @WTOPTraffic on Twitter.
Officials are still asking drivers to stay off the roads if possible. Many roads are covered in snow and slush, which has turned into ice -- especially on ramps and side streets.
Some highways in the region have been cleared and are in good condition.
Below are some notes for commuters:
All three area airports are open, but all are warning of delays and cancellations and advise travelers to check with their airlines before heading to the airport.
Hear the latest on weather and road conditions on WTOP.com.
Tourists, who flock to the nation's capital 365 days a year, were seeking out whatever activities they could find Monday.
The National Air and Space Museum was the only Smithsonian institution open, and it drew a crowd. Among the visitors were Russ Watters, 60, of St. Louis, and his 14-year-old son, Seth, who was touring Washington with his 8th-grade class.
"We're trying to find stuff that's open, so this is open," Watters said.
What would you suggest tourists do when weather strikes?
The seemingly endless winter dumped a half a foot snow on the ground in parts of the South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and those areas braced Tuesday morning for something even more unusual in March: a blast of arctic air that was expected to send temperatures plummeting into the single digits.
Washington has recorded a low temperature in the single digits in March only two times in recorded history -- and the previous two were in 1872 and 1873, according to the National Weather Service. Other parts of the Northeast could also see record lows for the month of March and much of the South will start Tuesday below freezing.
Blame it on a return of the "polar vortex."
Read more on WTOP.com.
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