Roadways in Fairfax County are covered in snow after flurries first started to fall around 1 p.m. and local officials are warning drivers to continue to stay home.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has trucks working on major roadways, according to its snow plow map.
As previously advised, Virginia State Police spokesperson Shelby Crouch said to avoid travel today through tomorrow to allow VDOT crews to safely and effectively work.
“During the current winter storm impacting the Commonwealth, Virginia State Police troopers have responded to 369 traffic crashes and 282 disabled vehicles since 12:01 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 16) through 4:30 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 16),” Crouch said. “The majority of those crashes have involved only damage to vehicles. There have been no reported traffic fatalities during this time period.”
State police have responded to 36 disabled vehicles & 41 traffic crashes in Fairfax today.
Dominion Energy has not seen any power outages in Fairfax County as of publication, according to its outage map, but the company said it was monitoring the storm in Virginia and had crews ready to respond to any damage or power outages.
The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang estimated there was about an inch of snow in the area as of 4:30 p.m.
Winter wonderland in western Fairfax county near Reston, VA with a steady accumulating snow coming down. Cold air seems to be much more stubborn than the forecast models suggested. pic.twitter.com/jZx2b7CKwG
— 🇺🇸DC❄️Storms (@DCstorms) January 16, 2022
— Eddie (@WFOcom) January 16, 2022
By 5 p.m., Reston Parkway and Sunset Hills Road near Reston were blanketed with snow as it continued to fall. The National Weather Service predicts freezing rain will begin around 9 p.m., with a chance of 1 to 2 inches of new snow accumulation after that.
Here’s what the NWS says to expect through the evening:
Snow should overspread all of our region by 21Z with light to moderate snow likely for most of the region through the early parts of the evening. A warm layer aloft should start moving into our region at 850 mb this evening leading to transition from snow to a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain for areas east of I-81. Areas along the I-95 corridor should start transitioning first between 5 and 8 pm this evening, with the warm layer continuing to push westward with the transition shifting over the shenadoah Valley by the 6 to 9pm period. The I-95 corridor should become all rain by the 7 to 9pm period as temperatures rise above freezing with the all rain layer likely reaching as far west as areas just east of I-81. Our high temperatures for Monday may very well occur around midnight or early Monday morning due to the warming on-shore flow. I believe the Allegheny front should remain mainly snow with periods of sleet and freezing rain mixing in at times this evening and into early Monday morning. Precipitation is expected to start tapering off early Monday morning between midnight and 2am with snow likely to continue along the Allegheny front into Monday.
A strong low level easterly jet is expected to form late this evening and into Monday evening. Winds of 35 to 45 mph`s will be possible over our higher elevations with 25 to 35 knots possible else where. Continued light to moderate snow showers along the Allegheny front will combine with the strong winds to produce some near Blizzard like conditions along and west of the Allegheny Mtns. We have highlighted this threat in our WSW product. The overnight
gusty winds should taper off by daybreak but gusts of 20 to 25 mph should continue into Monday morning.
(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Fairfax County, as the D.C. area prepares for its second snowstorm of the year.
In effect from 1 p.m. today (Sunday) to 1 a.m. tomorrow (Monday), the alert warns of mixed precipitation that will create slippery, hazardous road conditions.
The National Weather Service anticipates snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches and one-tenth of an inch of ice, along with wind gusts that could reach speeds of 45 miles per hour. With temperatures expected to drop below freezing tonight, travel could be affected through tomorrow morning.
[1/15 at 10:40 PM] A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect tomorrow at 1 PM. The county is expected to see 2-3 inches of snow in addition to some possible ice and rain. Snow should start between 1-3 PM. Plan to limit travel tomorrow afternoon and night. #FFXSnow #VaWx pic.twitter.com/iqzhH22IkF
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) January 16, 2022
The Virginia Department of Transportation began pretreating roads with brine on Friday (Jan. 14) and mobilized snow plow crews this morning, deploying more than 3,800 pieces of equipment throughout Northern Virginia, according to a 10 a.m. snow update.
“Plan your trips now to avoid all nonessential travel on Sunday into Monday, especially during the height of the storm, to avoid deteriorating conditions and to allow crews room to work,” VDOT said.
Fairfax County Public Schools has canceled all activities on school grounds after 1 p.m.
After the Jan. 3 snowstorm took out power for about 500,000 households across the state, including tens of thousands of people in Fairfax County, Dominion Energy says crews and contractors from as far away as Louisiana and Oklahoma will be on hand to assist with its emergency response.
“Our crews are ready to once again rise to any challenge this storm will bring,” Charlene Whitfield, Dominion’s senior vice president of power delivery, said in a news release. “Customers should prepare, as well, so they can remain safe until our work is done.”
Dominion advises avoiding downed power lines and reporting outages through its website or to 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to ensure the fastest possible response.
For their sake, pls stay off the roads today unless your trip is absolutely essential. pic.twitter.com/pe1r0ncO3y
— VDOT Northern VA 😷 (@VaDOTNOVA) January 16, 2022
Map via National Weather Service/Twitter
Another winter storm is brewing, potentially bringing 3 to 4 inches of snow to Fairfax County on Sunday and Monday (Jan. 16-17).
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County. The alert will take effect at 1 p.m. on Sunday and last through 7 a.m. Monday, when the snow is expected to turn into a wintry mix with sleet and freezing rain.
The NWS projects total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches as the most likely scenario, though up to 5 inches could be possible. The forecast also includes up to an one-tenth of an inch of ice accumulation and wind gusts that could reach 45 miles per hour.
“Snow may fall at 1 to 3 inches per hour late Sunday afternoon and early Sunday evening, resulting in
nearly impassable roads,” the alert says, warning that slippery and hazardous road conditions could affect Monday’s commute.
Preparations for the coming storm are underway, with the Virginia Department of Transportation treating roads throughout Northern Virginia today.
“Since dry conditions are expected, we are able to brine throughout Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties,” VDOT spokesperson Kathleen Leonard told FFXnow. “Drivers will start to see those white brine lines, which really just gives us a little bit of time at the beginning of the storm, preventing ice from bonding to the pavement.”
Leonard says snow trucks will be staged tomorrow (Saturday) so that plowing operations can begin once the area gets about two inches of snow.
“Declaring a state of emergency now allows our emergency responders to prepare, and to move supplies and equipment where they expect to need them the most,” Northam said. “This also gives Governor-elect Youngkin the ability to respond to any storm needs swiftly. I urge Virginians to take this storm seriously and make preparations now.”
VDOT and the Virginia State Police are both advising people to avoid traveling during the storm, though the police agency says all available troopers will be on patrol to respond to crashes and disabled drivers.
1/3 Travel Plans for the holiday weekend? Pls be #weatheraware. Wx forecasts have all regions of #Virginia experiencing some combination of precipitation late 1/15/22 thru 1/16/22. This storm also expected to impact East Coast along #I95 corridor-for those leaving/returning to VA pic.twitter.com/2fpgANjWIE
— VA State Police (@VSPPIO) January 13, 2022
While schools will be closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Fairfax County Public Schools says students and staff should bring their computers home today in case a snow day is needed next week.
Any snow days will include virtual learning, because the school system already used its five designated “traditional” snow days after a snowstorm slammed the D.C. region last week, disrupting transportation and power networks.
Dropping up to 3 inches of snow per hour, Winter Storm Frida affected 58,000 miles of roadway across Virginia and took out electricity for approximately 500,000 households, according to VDOT, which is part of a multi-agency review of the state’s response after hundreds of motorists were stranded for hours on I-95.
In Fairfax County, snowfall totals on Jan. 3 ranged from 4.5 inches in Herndon to 11.8 inches in Franconia.
Photo via National Weather Service
(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) Up to 5 more inches of snow could come to Fairfax County and nearby areas.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, warning that an additional 2 to 4 inches of snow is forecast to come between 9 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday) and 5 a.m. Friday (Jan. 7). It said drivers should expect slippery road conditions.
A winter weather advisory means that hazardous weather is “occurring, imminent or likely.”
Per the alert:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THURSDAY TO 5 AM
* WHAT…Snow. Total snow accumulations 2 to 4 inches. Isolated high amounts of around 5 inches are possible.
* WHERE…The District of Columbia, portions of northern and central Maryland, and northern Virginia.
* WHEN…From 9 PM Thursday to 5 AM EST Friday.
* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the Friday morning commute.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The heaviest snow is expected between 10 PM and 2 AM when snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour are possible.
Slow down and use caution while traveling.
When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.
Fairfax County Public Schools announced just after 5 p.m. that classes will be canceled again. Students were scheduled to return from winter break on Monday, but it has now been extended four extra days.
“Across Fairfax County, we continue to receive reports of roadways, sidewalks and pathways that remain unsafe for our students, and so we are closing schools out of an abundance of caution, and the concern for safety of our students,” FCPS said on social media.
Unlike with previous cancellations, the school system says its COVID-19 testing sites will all be open for students and staff experiencing symptoms. Plans to resume meal kit distributions are also move forward.
Across Fairfax County, we continue to receive reports of roadways, sidewalks and pathways that remain unsafe for our students, and so we are closing schools out of an abundance of caution, and the concern for safety of our students.
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) January 5, 2022
Fairfax County could be hit by wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour this weekend, courtesy of stormy weather that could pass through the D.C. region ahead of an expected cold front.
A Wind Advisory has been issued for the area, starting at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) and continuing until 1 a.m. Sunday (Dec. 12).
The National Weather Service says to prepare for west winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour, with gusts that could reach up to 55 miles per hour. The highest wind speeds are expected to come between 6 p.m. and midnight.
“Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects,” the NWS said in its alert. “Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.”
According to the Capital Weather Gang, the high winds will contribute to a rise in temperatures, which current forecasts indicate could hit an unseasonable high of 70 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday even with a 70% chance of precipitation during the day.
Temperatures are expected to drop back into the 40s on Sunday.
Waters from the Potomac River could spill over into Fairfax County, with the D.C. area expected to get almost nonstop rain tomorrow (Friday), the National Weather Service warns.
A Coastal Flood Warning will be in place for Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, starting at 6 p.m. today (Thursday) until 8 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 30).
According to the NWS, showers and thunderstorms from the Midwest are moving east and could bring 1 to 2 inches of rain, along with the risk of flash flooding along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.
Here is more from the NWS alert:
…COASTAL FLOOD WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 8 AM EDT SATURDAY…
* WHAT…Two to four feet of inundation above ground level possible in low lying areas.
* WHERE…Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park, Fairfax and Stafford Counties.
* WHEN…From 6 PM this evening to 8 AM EDT Saturday, especially around the time of high tide.
* IMPACTS…Numerous roads may be closed. Low lying property including homes, businesses, and some critical infrastructure will be inundated. Some shoreline erosion will occur.
The NWS has also issued a Flood Watch that will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow, with rainfall potentially reaching 2 to 4 inches in some areas.
“Heavy amounts of rain will cause creeks and streams to slowly rise, possibly out of their banks as well as the potential for flooding in urban areas,” the NWS said.
Several Coastal Flood Warnings have been issued along the Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Potomac River. Water levels are already on the rise and will only rise more throughout the day today and into Friday. Tidal inundation levels of 2-4 feet are expected in low-lying coastal areas. pic.twitter.com/dObvOQdto8
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) October 28, 2021
The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management says the risk of rain will likely arrive in the county around midnight to 2 a.m. Friday, echoing the Fire and Rescue Department’s warning that flooding may lead to road closures.
“Low lying property, including homes, businesses and some critical infrastructure, may be inundated,” OEM said in a blog post. “Take the necessary actions to protect flood-prone property. If travel is required, do not drive around barricades or through water of unknown depth.”
The office also advised keeping children away from creeks or other bodies of water that may rise rapidly, and clearing leaves and other debris from downspouts and storm drains.
[10/28 at 8:35 AM] A Coastal Flood Warning will be in effect at 6 PM this evening to 8 AM Saturday.
🌊2-4 feet of inundation above ground level possible in low lying areas
🚧Numerous roads may be closed
⬆️Flooding will be the worst around high tide#TurnAroundDontDrown #VaWx pic.twitter.com/LDW8LfA8pw
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) October 28, 2021
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for much of the D.C. area, including Fairfax County.
In effect until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday), the alert says showers and thunderstorms could bring up to 4 inches of rain in some areas, potentially leading to rapidly rising stream and creek waters.
The full alert is below:
…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM EDT TUESDAY…
The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a
* Flash Flood Watch for portions of DC, Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: in DC, District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Prince Georges and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria and Fairfax.
* Until 2 AM EDT Tuesday.
* Showers and thunderstorms are expected to produce 1 to 2 inches of rain through this evening, with localized amounts of up to 4 inches possible. Heavy rain in a short amount of time may result in rapid rises of water on small creeks and streams and in urban areas.
You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is also in effect for Reston and Herndon until 6:30 p.m., with the NWS warning of 60 mile-per-hour wind gusts that could produce power outages and downed trees.
“At 544 PM EDT, severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from South Riding to Herndon to Wolf Trap, moving northeast at 50 mph,” the agency said.
With the potential for multiple rounds of showers & thunderstorms into the overnight, a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the DC metro into parts of northeast MD through 2 AM Tuesday. Flash flooding is possible in small streams and urban areas. Latest: https://t.co/5RyZgoXicj pic.twitter.com/qfUSunieBQ
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) October 25, 2021
Updated at 3:30 p.m. — The National Weather Service has now issued an Areal Flood Warning until 9:30 p.m. for central Fairfax County, with Reston, Vienna, Falls Church, Annandale, and Springfield among the locations that could experience flooding. Between 1 and 1.5 inches of rain have already fallen with an additional 1 to 2 inches possible.
Earlier: After a couple of relatively dry weeks, the weather in Fairfax County is about to take a turn for the rainy today (Thursday).
The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for the D.C. area at 2:44 p.m. Set to remain in effect until 9 p.m., the alert warns that showers and thunderstorms could produce up to two inches of rain per hour, potentially leading to floods in some areas.
Here is the full alert:
…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EDT THIS EVENING…
The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a
* Flash Flood Watch for portions of DC, Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: in DC, District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Frederick MD, Northern Baltimore, Northwest Harford, Northwest Howard, Northwest Montgomery, Prince Georges, Southeast Harford and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Eastern Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park and Western Loudoun.
* Until 9 PM EDT this evening.
* Slow moving showers and thunderstorms will produce very heavy rainfall, potentially leading to areas of flash flooding. Rainfall rates may reach two inches per hour.
The NWS advises residents to monitor weather forecasts later in the day and prepare to take action if the watch escalates into a Flash Flood Warning.
[9/16 at 2:52 PM] A Flash Flood Watch has been issued until 9 PM tonight. Slow moving showers and thunderstorms will produce very heavy rainfall, potentially leading to flash flooding. Stay weather aware this evening and know what to do if a warning is issued. #VaWx pic.twitter.com/CoUkSmc4qC
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) September 16, 2021