Another winter storm approaching, commute threatened

Here we go again. Another winter storm is moving into the D.C. area and is likely to cause big headaches as commuters head home. In a tweet, VDOT advises you to leave early.

Fairfax County Public Schools has canceled all activities scheduled in schools or on school grounds for this afternoon and evening. SACC centers will remain open until 6:15 p.m.

In fact, the weather is bad just about everywhere. California is being drenched and the Midwest will soon be  hit by freezing rain, heavy snow and heavy rain, with the storm system moving into the East Coast by Friday or Saturday, the National Weather Services warns.

Weather Advisory

The National Weather Services has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 6 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Jan. 17, until 4 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18 for Fairfax County, the District of Columbia and central and Northern Maryland. A winter weather advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

Snow will develop late this afternoon into this evening and continue into the overnight hours.

The National Weather Services has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 6 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Jan. 17, until 4 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18 for Fairfax County, the District of Columbia and central and Northern Maryland. A winter weather advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

Snow will develop late this afternoon into this evening and continue into the overnight hours. While accumulations are forecast to be light, around an inch, any untreated road surfaces and sidewalks may turn icy as temperatures fall below freezing after sunset.

According to the weather service, the greatest threat for impact from this light snowfall during the evening rush hour will be north and west of Interstate 95 from Baltimore to Fredericksburg and also near Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia.

If you plan on commuting this evening, be aware of the potential for travel disruptions. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time and consider using public transportation and telework options. You should plan on slippery road conditions and sidewalks.

Weather Forecast

National Weather Service forecast

Today: A chance of snow, mainly after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 35. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Tonight: Periods of snow before 4am, then a chance of snow and sleet. Patchy fog after 1am. Low around 32. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow and sleet accumulation of around an inch possible.

Friday: A chance of sleet before 7am. Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 45. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 7 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Northwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm.

Saturday: Rain and snow after 10am, becoming all rain after 4pm. High near 40. Light northeast wind becoming east 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Saturday Night: Rain. Low around 36. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Sunday: Rain, snow, and sleet likely before 1pm, then a chance of snow between 1pm and 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 39. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 9.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Sunny, with a high near 21.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.