VDOT prepping for first winter blast – UPDATED

UPDATED FRI., 4:30 p.m.

VDOT highway crews have finished pre-treating roads in Northern Virginia. Now, they’re waiting for the snow to fall.

About 1,200 trucks will be heading out around 7:00 p.m. They’ll begin treating the roads once the snow actually begins and to plow once two inches is on the ground.

Due to the forecast Fairfax County public schools have cancelled all activities on Saturday (Condition 8).

The National Weather Service’s 4:00 p.m. forecast calls for snow to begin after midnight and continue through the day Saturday. Total accumulation in the DC area: 1 – 3 inches.

That nasty blend of rain, snow and sleet known as a “wintery mix” is headed for Northern Virginia.

Virginia Department of Transportation trucks started pre-treating major roads Thursday, between the rush hours, and are out again on Friday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from midnight Friday through 4:00 p.m. Saturday. It’s calling for 2 – 4 inches of snow, beginning after Friday’s evening rush hour. On the other hand, the Capitol Weather Gang at the Washington Post thinks it’s more likely that, after midnight, the DC area will have “a chance of light, slushy snow — perhaps rain and snow mix….The best odds of snow falling by sunrise should be from the Interstate 95 corridor and to the southeast.” They expect areas that get steadier precipitation could wind up with an inch or two.

VDOT crews have been using brine or liquid magnesium chloride to get the highways ready for whatever might fall. This includes more than 2,100 miles of roads in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington Counties. This includes interstate, primary, and high-volume secondary roads, particularly ramps, bridges, and other critical areas prone to freezing. If you see white brine lines on the road you’ll know that road has been treated.

The latest road info is available from VDOT at:


About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.