A winter weather advisory forecasting 1 to 3
inches of snow accumulation has been issued for
the D.C. region. For some areas, the advisory is
in effect until 6 p.m. on Saturday.
UPDATE, Saturday – 12/29/2012, 2:11pm ET – The National Weather Service has cancelled the winter weather advisory for Loudoun County in Virginia and Montgomery County in Maryland.
Frederick County, Md., remains under the advisory until 6 p.m.
UPDATE, Saturday – 12/29/2012, 1:05pm ET – The worst of the storm has passed the D.C. metro region as concern turns to icy roads Saturday night.
Charlie Gischlar, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration, says temperatures can vary by one degree, which can mean the difference between slush and ice.
“We urge people to drive with extreme caution and expect the unexpected and slow it down a bit out there,” he says.
Temperatures will fall into the lower 20s to the lower 30s overnight. Maryland crews will continue to monitor the roads overnight for ice. VDOT says they will keep skeleton crews out on the roads to check for icy spots, always a concern for them.
EARLIER, Saturday – 12/29/2012, 9:44am ET – A winter weather advisory is still in effect for Montgomery and Loudoun counties, as well as points north and west of there, until 6 p.m. Saturday.
Areas to the north and west in the D.C. metro area may see some light snow later in the day and areas to the south and east may see some light rain, with the possibility of a mix in the middle.
WASHINGTON, Saturday – 12/29/2012, 4:05am ET – A winter weather advisory forecasting 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation has been issued for the D.C. region. For some areas, the advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s and highs will be in the lower 40s.
Snow may mix with some rain as well, but the storm points south and east, which might help keep snow totals lower, according to the ABC7 Weather center.
The D.C. Snow Team is preparing for the expected freezing temperatures and potentially dangerous driving conditions by deploying 200 snow plows to the District’s streets by 4 a.m. on Saturday.
The D.C. Snow Team, which falls under the Departments of Public Works and Transportation, will also pre-treat bridges, overpasses and other elevated structures with a brine and beet juice solution to reduce the possibility of freezing.
“The 200 plows will begin spreading salt on D.C. streets, including 82 residential routes once snow begins to fall,” says DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr.
The system could be fast moving so public works says they’ll monitor conditions to determine what, if any, changes should be made in its deployment plan. The temperature is expected to be just above freezing during the day on Saturday, but will drop below freezing Saturday night.
“Therefore, motorists and pedestrians should be very cautious as they travel because refreezing may occur,” Howland says.
District to provide updates
Residents can track the plows online and are encouraged to visit snow.dc.gov for updates before, during and after snowstorms. Residents also may sign up at alert.dc.gov to receive emergency alerts and notifications.
D.C. Snow Team also offers snow safety and preparedness tips to residents including:
People driving, walking or bicycling around the District should travel cautiously.
Property owners are asked to pre-treat their sidewalks with abrasives and remove snow within 24 hours of the end of the storm.
Neighbors should assist their elderly or disabled neighbors with clearing their sidewalks.
Consider the safety of the snow plow drivers and “don’t crowd the plow.”
Information on DC trash/recycling collection
The DPW says trash and recycling will be collected Saturday, Dec. 29.
“We did not collect trash and recycling on Christmas, so our collections schedule ‘slides’ to the next day. And Friday’s collections will be made Saturday,” said Director Howland.
He added that next week normal collections will be made Monday, Dec. 31. Collections will not be made Tuesday, Jan. 1 and collections through the rest of the week “slide” to the next day.
Maryland officials are urging motorists not to travel if possible during the snow, especially tractor trailers, buses and other large vehicles.
“Even a couple of inches of snow can wreak havoc on driving conditions,” says State Highway Administration Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “If you’re planning to drive on Saturday, reconsider whether travel is necessary and stay off the roads until later in the day, if possible, to allow crews time to clear the roads. If you must travel, allow extra time, take it slow.”
And the Maryland State Police urge commercial vehicle drivers to find a safe place to wait out the storm.
In Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties crews are pre-treating state maintained roads with salt brine, which serves as an anti-icer. Plow operators will begin clearing roads as soon as the storm starts, the highway administration says.
Disabled motorists should attempt to move their vehicle to the shoulder and out of the path of other traffic. Motorists should also travel with an emergency kit that includes:
blanket or sleeping bag
flashlight with extra batteries
high calorie non-perishable food
first aid kit
a charged cell phone
kitty litter or other abrasives
Prince George’s County
Prince George’s County public works crews will begin plowing county-maintained roads at 4 a.m. Saturday. Crews will work 12 hour shifts until all roads are clear and passable.
To help crews to clear roads, residents are asked to:
Move and keep vehicles off snow emergency routes
Park in driveways or other off-road locations wherever possible
Park only on the even-numbered sides of streets
Home and business owners are responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks abutting their home or business.
Arlington County crews are out pre-treating the roadways and will have a full team ready to respond at 4 a.m.