Icy conditions abound after winter storm


Icy conditions abound after winter storm

UPDATE 11 a.m., Dec. 11: While snow and ice are melting away around the region, people should still be wary of dangerous conditions on roads and sidewalks.

Clear skies and light winds Tuesday night allowed temperatures to plummet area-wide and anything that was wet turned to ice. Icy conditions were prevalent Wednesday morning, but the ice is melting as the day progresses.


Wednesday will bring plenty of sun, but the temperatures may not go above the freezing mark in many spots. It will be bitterly cold with highs in the 30s.

On Wednesday evening expect partly-cloudy skies and bone-chilling temperatures with lows around 15.


Some major school systems opened late. Get the details on WTOP.com.


There are no major traffic delays at this time and major roads are clear. Commuters found dicey side roads and black ice around the area. Commuters reported black ice on ramps, turn lanes, parking lots, bridges and side streets around the region.

Check below for the latest updates from @WTOPTraffic.


View the maps to see when weather will arrive at your doorstep.


  • It's called black ice for a reason

    Black ice is a thin and nearly invisible layer of ice that forms almost undetected on road surfaces. It is one of the most dangerous hazards for drivers. Usually associated with wet winter conditions, black ice can form when it's not raining or snowing. Fog, condensation and dew can all be causes.

    AAA'S 8 simple rules for black ice driving

    1. Downshift to a lower gear if you think there could be black ice ahead. It can be mistaken for new pavement or a wet patch of road, and it often appears darker or duller than the rest of the surface. 
    2. Know the "hot spots" and look for them. They include bridges, overpasses, on and off ramps, culverts and elevated highways. Shaded areas are more prone, as are roads infrequently traveled.
    3. Pay attention to the traffic ahead. If cars are sliding, take note. If a car is driving through a puddle, but there is no splash, take the hint.  
    4. Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. The faster you're going, the longer it takes to stop.
    5. Give yourself plenty of space and elbow room.
    6. Control the skid. When approaching ice, brake. Braking while on ice will make you skid. If you do skid, ease off the gas or the break and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. It can also help to  put your car in neutral.
    7. To maximize stopping power and keep control, AAA suggests pulsating the brake lightly. The anti-lock system will make the pedal pulsate. Don't panic at this, it's normal. If you don't have anti-lock brakes, squeeze the brake pedal with your toes, and when you feel the wheels begin to lock, ease of the pressure slightly and hold it there.
    8. Don't underestimate the danger. Nearly 70 percent of all winter weather-related deaths in the U.S. are caused by crashes on icy and snowy roads.
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