Fairfax County Public Schools will start classes two hours late tomorrow (Tuesday) in case there’s snow.
No weather alerts have been issued for the county yet, but the National Weather Service’s current forecast indicates that rain is expected to continue through tonight, potentially turning into snow early in the morning.
“New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible,” the NWS says.
According to the Capital Weather Gang, weather models suggest the rain could turn into snow around 6-9 a.m., with the heaviest snowfall coming around 7-10 a.m.
Reston Community Center has already canceled all programs tomorrow, but its pool will open at 9 a.m.
❄️ WEATHER ALERT FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2024
All Fairfax County public schools and school offices will open two hours late. Central Office employees may report two hours later than their regular scheduled time, but no later than 10 a.m.
— Fairfax Schools 🌟 (@fcpsnews) February 13, 2024
— Reston Community Center (@RestonRCC) February 13, 2024
Image via VDOT
Updated at 6 p.m. — The GW Parkway has reopened after closing for the snow, the National Park Service announced, though both north and southbound traffic is limited to a single lane in the construction area.
Earlier: Like the snow that triggered them, facility closures and service delays are piling up in Fairfax County.
After Fairfax County Public Schools determined last night that it will have a snow day today (Friday), the Fairfax County government announced shortly before 7 a.m. that it will instead close and grant employees administrative leave — a reversal of an earlier plan to operate as usual.
The closure includes the Fairfax County Government Center, which means that early voting for the 2024 presidential primaries won’t start today as scheduled. Instead, early voting will begin tomorrow (Saturday) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fairfax County, Mount Vernon and North County government centers.
The closure also applies to all Fairfax County Park Authority facilities and the county’s circuit, general district and juvenile and domestic relations courts. Neighborhood and Community Services has also preemptively postponed the “Stuff the Bus” food collection event that was scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) outside the West Falls Church Giant (7235 Arlington Blvd).
Due to the snow, the start of #earlyvoting has been rescheduled to tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 20.
— Fairfax County Votes (@fairfaxvotes) January 19, 2024
Inclement Weather Update (Friday, January 19, 7 a.m.)
❄️FCPA facilities are closed all day.
❄️Classes, camps and events held at Rec Centers and FCPA facilities are cancelled.
Please check the website for more info on closures before visiting: https://t.co/mv3MG2V0md pic.twitter.com/jOs3ypYZFf
— Fairfax County Parks (@fairfaxparks) January 19, 2024
For the second time this week, the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway from I-495 in McLean to Spout Run in Arlington has been temporarily closed to traffic due to the weather.
“This closure is necessary to ensure the proper treatment of the roadway and to restore the parkway to safe travel conditions,” the National Park Service said. “Crews will work diligently to treat the road for safe passage of drivers. Drivers should anticipate delays in reopening the northern section of the parkway as crews are required to use smaller equipment than usual to accommodate the lane widths and configurations.”
Other travel impacts include reduced Metrobus service, including some suspended routes and detours. Fairfax Connector is operating regular service, but some routes are making detours, particularly in the Herndon area.
A light snow is expected to continue falling into this afternoon, potentially adding another one to two inches, according to the Capital Weather Gang, which reported that more than three inches had already been recorded at Dulles International Airport before 9 a.m.
That snowfall comes on top of the two to five inches that fell on Monday and Tuesday, most of which hadn’t yet melted. That storm was the first time that the D.C. area had gotten over an inch of snow since 2022.
The National Weather Service, which has a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for the D.C. area through 7 p.m., warns that visibility will stay reduced along the I-66 and Route 50 corridors.
Light to moderate snow and reduced visibilities continue along and north of I-66/US-50 through this afternoon. Slick travel concerns will continue with a refreeze tonight as low temperatures fall into the teens. #MDwx #VAwx #WVwx #DCwx pic.twitter.com/p8klfUSsqV
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) January 19, 2024
8:47 am: Light snow falling now seems likely to persist into afternoon. Some bands moderate/briefly heavy. 1-2" can fall before it winds down: https://t.co/fqTPCFWPIS
2.3 inches at National (6.4 this week)
3.1 inches at Dulles (7.5 this week) pic.twitter.com/ZGjmA15RKh
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) January 19, 2024
The D.C. area is expected to be hit with another round of snow tomorrow (Friday), prompting Fairfax County Public Schools to call for its second snow day this week.
All schools and central offices will be closed tomorrow, FCPS announced at 5:25 p.m. today. The closure includes extracurricular activities, field trips and other events on school grounds.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Fairfax County that will take effect from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow. One to three inches of accumulated snow are possible, adding onto the three to five inches that fell earlier this week and have yet to fully melt.
The Virginia Department of Transportation says its Northern Virginia District crews started spot-treating roads with brine today and will continue once snow begins to fall tomorrow morning.
Here’s the full winter weather alert from the NWS:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 7 PM EST FRIDAY…
* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches north of US-50/I-66 with amounts around 1 inch to the south.
* WHERE…Portions of central and southern Maryland, The District of Columbia and northern and northwest Virginia.
* WHEN…From 4 AM to 7 PM EST Friday.
* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions will impact the morning commute.
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.
Snow remains on the ground after the D.C. area’s biggest snowstorm in two years, but the George Washington Memorial Parkway at least has reopened for traffic.
The roadway’s northern section from I-495 (Capital Beltway) in McLean to Spout Run in Arlington had been closed since Monday morning (Jan. 15) in response to the forecasted snow, which was expected to exceed 2 inches.
The National Park Service announced this morning (Wednesday) that the GW Parkway is open again, but northbound and southbound traffic are each confined to one lane in the stretch that’s under construction as part of an ongoing rehabilitation project.
“Drivers should continue to stay alert while driving through the construction zone, observe traffic signs, respect the 40-mph speed limit, expect delays through narrow travel lanes, and plan alternate routes,” the NPS said.
Fairfax Connector resumed regular service today after operating on a reduced schedule since 8 p.m. on Monday, though the bus system warned that some routes are using detours due to road conditions. Metrobus is also running nearly all bus routes on a regular schedule with some detours.
With temperatures dropping into the teens this morning, or even as low as 9 degrees at Dulles International Airport, the Virginia Department of Transportation cautioned travelers to watch out for icy spots on roads and pavement.
According to preliminary totals from the National Weather Service, snowfall totals in Fairfax County ranged from 2.8 inches in Lorton to 4.8 inches reported in Herndon and Vienna. Inside the Beltway, the county recorded roughly 3.5 inches.
This was the first time in 728 days that the D.C. region got more than an inch of snow, according to the Capital Weather Gang.
Baltimore and Washington DC metros picked up the most snow since 2022. Here's a map (followed by a county-by-county list) of the snow and ice totals from this recent event: https://t.co/a1FgB0Rumy. #MDwx #VAwx #WVwx #DCwx pic.twitter.com/aCjogoNpPr
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) January 16, 2024
Use caution this morning, with temps in the teens and single digits, residual #icy spots are likely.
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) January 17, 2024
Image via Google Maps
Fairfax County Public Schools is using up its first snow day of the year, canceling all classes and other activities on school grounds tomorrow (Tuesday) as flurries continue to blanket the D.C. area.
Affected activities include extracurricular programs, sports practices, field trips, outside recreation classes, adult education classes and the School Age Child Care (SACC) centers.
FCPS has 11 snow days built into its calendar, and unlike in the past couple of years, students don’t need to fear a shift to virtual classes after the first five days.
A Winter Weather Advisory is currently in effect for the county through 7 a.m. tomorrow. The National Weather Service projects that this storm could result in two to three inches of snow accumulation, along with possible freezing rain and drizzle, according to the Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management.
“Snow intensity will increase this evening before tapering off overnight,” the NWS said, warning that the “hazardous” road conditions could still affect tomorrow’s morning commute.
In anticipation of the roadways becoming a challenge, Fairfax Connector will reduce service starting at 8 p.m. today (Monday). The bus system will continue running several routes on a holiday weekday service, but some will end at or around 8 p.m.
🚨Fairfax Connector will operate reduced service tonight beginning at 8 p.m (1/15) and will operate Saturday service tomorrow (1/16). Our call center is also open 5AM-10PM, M-F. Stay safe! More details: https://t.co/z6kTBDOUeK pic.twitter.com/0VUqOCluVD
— Fairfax Connector (@ffxconnector) January 15, 2024
Tomorrow, the Connector will implement a Saturday service schedule. A list of the specific routes that will be provided can be found on the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s website, and minute-by-minute status updates will be available through BusTracker.
The George Washington Memorial Parkway has been temporarily closed in the McLean area. Due to ongoing construction, the National Park Service previously announced that the section from I-495 to Spout Run in Arlington would close if two or more inches of snow are forecast.
Here’s the full message from the NPS:
The George Washington Memorial Parkway, from 495 to Spout Run, is closed due to the forecasted severe winter weather in the area. This closure is necessary to ensure the proper treatment of the roadway and to restore the parkway to safe travel conditions. Crews will work diligently to treat the road for safe passage of drivers. Drivers should anticipate delays in reopening the northern section of the parkway as crews are required to use smaller equipment than usual to accommodate the lane widths and configurations. Please plan to use alternate routes.
A follow-up alert will be distributed once the parkway has reopened. Thank you in advance for your patience.
Updated at 3:35 p.m. — A Flood Warning has been issued until 11:30 p.m., for Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, where “flooding caused by excessive rainfall is expected.”
“Given the strength of the storm predicted to hit our area later this afternoon/evening, all activities scheduled in Fairfax County Public Schools or on school grounds for this afternoon and evening are canceled,” the school system said.
The cancellations apply to all extracurricular activities, team practices, after-school programs, field trips, adult classes and outside recreational programs by groups not affiliated with FCPS.
The announcement came as the National Weather Service warns that conditions will “deteriorate as a strong frontal system” passes through the D.C. region between 5 and 10 p.m. The rain that has been falling all day is projected to increase in intensity through the afternoon, becoming heaviest starting at 6 p.m.
“This will result high winds capable of downing trees and powerlines, tidal flooding, and the potential for flooding of small streams and creeks,” the NWS said in a special weather statement. “This will create hazardous travel conditions late this afternoon through late evening across the region.”
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) January 9, 2024
As previously forecast, a Flood Watch took effect at 1 p.m. and is set to remain in place until 7 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).
Southeast winds could reach 25 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph, while low-lying areas may get 1 to 2 feet of water above ground level as a result of tidal flooding, according to the NWS.
“Tides up to 3 feet above normal,” the agency said in the flood warning. “Moderate tidal flooding is possible along the Prince Georges and Fairfax counties coastlines during tonight’s high tide cycle.”
Because of the strong winds, power outages are expected, and travel will be difficult, the Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management says, sharing tips for how to prepare and who to call in the event of an outage:
- Secure outdoor objects, including trash cans, holiday decorations and other items.
- Be careful when you’re outside, especially around areas with lots of trees.
- Charge phones in case of a power outage.
- If you lose power, report your outage, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns.
Who to Contact
- Emergencies and Outages: 1-866-366-4357, TTY: 1-800-291-7745
- Outage restoration & FAQs and report outages
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative
- Emergencies and Outages: 703-335-0500
- View outage map
The National Park Service is warning commuters of potential shutdowns of the GW Parkway in the event of winter weather.
The northern portion of the George Washington Memorial Parkway will close in advance of storms forecasting two or more inches of snow and any amount of freezing rain or ice, NPS said in a press release Wednesday. The road will close four hours before the forecasted start of the storm and drivers will need to seek alternate routes.
The announcement comes amid construction on the ongoing North Parkway Rehabilitation Project, which has resulted in narrower lane widths and a reversible-lane traffic pattern. The work is taking place between Spout Run Parkway in Arlington and the Beltway in McLean.
“Bad weather could shift the reversible lane schedule or close the parkway,” the park service said. “The NPS will pre-treat roads, however treating the road and removing snow will take more time because snow removal crews need to use smaller equipment to fit in the narrower lanes.”
Drivers should also expect delays in reopening the northern section of the parkway while crews clear snow and treat other sections of the parkway and park areas, the release noted. NPS urged drivers to follow traffic signs and the 40 mph speed limit.
The rehabilitation project was announced two years ago. The National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration awarded a $161 million contract for the project “to improve driving experience, safety and water drainage while retaining and reviving the historic beauty and significance of the parkway.”
The northern section of the parkway has seen frequent potholes and other rough driving conditions, in addition to occasional sinkholes prompting full closures. Weather has also prompted closures in the past, stranding drivers during snowstorms and blocking the parkway with fallen trees during summer storms.
More, below, from the National Park Service.
As winter approaches, construction on the North Parkway Rehabilitation Project continues with narrower lane widths and a reversible-lane traffic pattern. Bad weather could shift the reversible lane schedule or close the parkway. Drivers should be aware of the following and plan accordingly. The northern section of the parkway:
- Will close for storms forecasting 2 or more inches of snow or any amount of freezing rain or ice. The road will close 4 hours before the forecasted start of the storm. Drivers will need to seek alternate routes.
- Will remain open for storms forecasting fewer than 2 inches of snow and no freezing rain or ice.
The NPS will pre-treat roads, however treating the road and removing snow will take more time because snow removal crews need to use smaller equipment to fit in the narrower lanes. Drivers should expect delays in reopening the northern section of the parkway while crews clear snow and treat other sections of the parkway and park areas. Throughout the project, drivers should observe traffic signs, respect the 40-mph speed limit, expect delays through narrow travel lanes and seek alternate routes. Commercial vehicles are always prohibited from using the parkway.
Where to find more information
Closure and re-opening information will be shared with GWMP Rehabilitation project news subscribers. Drivers can view construction updates and opt-in to receive emails about traffic impacts, meetings and major project milestones. Updates about road closures may also be posted on social media.
This story was originally published by FFXnow’s sister site ARLnow.
Fairfax County Public Schools won’t hold classes for a third consecutive day this week, citing inclement weather in an announcement released just before 5 p.m.
The region could see freezing rain between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday), according to the National Weather Service, following Monday’s snowstorm that pummeled the region with over half a foot of snow in areas.
The NWS has issued a “Potential Winter Commuting Hazard” for Fairfax County, warning that there is a 30-50% chance of light freezing rain after 4 a.m. “that could turn into a glaze of ice on area roads.”
“Plan ahead by staying off the roads if possible,” the county said in a blog post. “If you do need to travel, allow for additional time and be extra cautious and alert while driving.”
FCPS said in a Facebook post that meal distribution will return at regular locations on Thursday (Jan. 6), and school offices will open later in the day tomorrow (Wednesday).
The school system tentatively expects to open its COVID-19 testing sites to staff and students who are experiencing symptoms, though a final decision won’t be made until tomorrow morning. Pre-registration is required, and only PCR tests will be available.
Testing is not required for students to be able to return to schools, whenever they reopen.
FCPS’ announcement comes after Monday’s snowstorm caused tens of thousands of Fairfax County homes to lose power and hundreds of crashes. As of this evening (Tuesday), Dominion’s power outage map showed over 7,000 customers in the county with electric issues.
The storm disrupted travel, but Fairfax Connector buses were slated to resume tomorrow (Wednesday). County officials asked commuters to use its BusTracker system in case any detours were still in effect.
Freezing rain expected near/just east of I-95 corridor early Wednesday. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect. pic.twitter.com/s7XnZzrFJ5
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) January 4, 2022