Southern snow storm reaches central Va., southern Md.

Expected snowfall in the D.C. area on Sunday. While the capital could see up to an inch, areas further south near Fredericksburg and Charlottesville could see totals of at least 3 inches. (Courtesy National Weather Service)

WASHINGTON —  Snow, sleet and freezing rain is pummeling down in North Carolina and parts of Virginia, and the immediate D.C. area may see some of the remnants of Sunday’s southern storm. While a number of school systems just south of the D.C. area have canceled classes for Monday, it looks as if the snow will not make it into the immediate area.

A winter storm warning remains effect for some parts of the D.C. area, including St. Mary’s, Stafford Spotsylvania and King George counties, until midnight. Those areas may see snow accumulations of anywhere between 3 to 6 inches.

A winter weather advisory is in effect until midnight for parts of St. Mary’s County in Maryland, Culpeper and Stafford counties in Virginia as well as along the northern Virginia Blue Ridge.

Due to the inclement weather, several school systems in Virginia will not open Monday. 

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Storm Team 4 meteorologist Somara Theodore says snow is already beginning to accumulate in Fredericksburg in Virginia and Lexington Park in Maryland. Most snow accumulation is forecast for areas south of the District, although there is a chance for light snow and flurries into the Beltway.

“By 8 p.m., the system will begin to pull away, taking the snow with it,” said Theodore.

It doesn’t take much snow on the ground to cause slippery conditions on roadways. Though highs late Sunday should hover just above freezing, overnight lows will drop into the upper 20s — possibly making for an icy Monday morning commute for the capital region.

WTOP’s Traffic Center recommends that drivers travelling anywhere south of Fredericksburg should take caution on the roads as snow falls upon the area. The National Weather Service urges drivers to plan on snow-covered roads and slippery conditions overnight and into the early morning.


In parts of North Carolina to central Virginia, up to a foot of snow is almost certain to be a travel hazard for days. The storm had already knocked out power for more than 300,000 customers across the Southeast by Sunday morning. Amtrak announced Friday that services are canceled or modified from Saturday, Dec. 8 until Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency to help agencies prepare for the storm expected to hit hardest in the state’s south.

“Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure they are prepared for winter weather storm impacts,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also declared a state of emergency, and said Saturday that residents in some parts of the state should be ready for a lengthy fight with the storm, which was beginning to dump sleet and snow across its western mountain areas Saturday night.

“We’re preparing for days of impact, not hours,” Cooper said, urging caution. “This weekend isn’t the time to head out to see the winter wonderland. Stay safe where you are. Getting out on dangerous roads could put your life at risk.”

The highest totals of all were forecast for inland regions of North Carolina, which could see isolated pockets of almost two feet before the storm moves out. Six inches of snow had already fallen in Durham on Sunday morning:

Current conditions:


Flurries to light snow possible for southern Maryland and northern Virginia on Sunday. North of D.C. should stay dry and cold. The storm will exit early Monday morning.

Sunday: Cloudy. A chance of a snow shower in southern Maryland and central Virginia. Highs in the low to mid 30s.

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs in the low 40s.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the low 40s.

WTOP’s Zeke Hartner, Jennifer Ortiz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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