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Rain plus refreeze makes black ice a ‘major concern’ Thursday

A wintry mix caused school delays and closings in the D.C. area on Wednesday. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

WASHINGTON — With icy conditions expected in parts of the D.C. area for Thursday morning, a school system in Virginia has already announced a two-hour delay.

Prince William County Public Schools will open two hours late Thursday. Check with WTOP’s Closing and Delays page for the latest updates.

The freezing rain that made for a slick commute Wednesday morning transitioned to just plain rain for the rest of the day. But plummeting overnight temperatures mean there’s a possibility of a refreeze that could snarl Thursday morning’s commute.


Closings and Delays
WTOP’s Weather Center
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According to Storm Team 4 meteorologist Chuck Bell, “temperatures in the mid-20s will make black ice and refreeze a major concern [Thursday] morning.”

Fellow Storm Team 4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts added, “We got a good deal of icing over the day.” She said to look out for patchy ice in the overnight and into the morning. Some areas can expect to have temperatures drop below freezing, especially north and west of D.C.

“Everything on the roadways will refreeze, especially untreated surfaces, so we’re going to be dealing with that during the overnight and Thursday morning,” Ricketts said.

Winds are also expected to bring wind chills down into the teens overnight and into Thursday morning, with gusts expected to calm down after at least noon Thursday. Expect wind chills to stay in the teens and 20s through Thursday morning.

Areas that could especially be affected by wind and “a glaze of ice” include Hagerstown and Frederick County in Maryland, and coming down Interstate 81, Ricketts said.

Later Thursday, high temperatures will reach the mid to upper 30s with some sun, and 1 to 2 inches of rain are possible this weekend. See the full forecast on WTOP’s Weather page.

Here’s the latest forecast:

  • Wednesday overnight: Icy patches, some clearing, breezy. | Lows: below freezing | Gusts up to 30 mph
  • Thursday: Clouds clearing; winds calming during afternoon | Highs: mid to upper 30s
  • Friday:  Partly sunny, warmer | Highs: mid to upper 40s
  • Saturday: Cloudy with rain possible after lunch | Highs: around 50
  • Sunday: Showers through the day, heavy at times | Highs: upper 50s


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