WASHINGTON — Clean up is well underway after the D.C. area got hit by the biggest snowstorm in more than two years and one of the biggest spring snowstorms in the area’s history.
Storm Team4 meteorlogist Chuck Bell said Wednesday’s snowfall probably ranks in the top-10 for spring snowstorms, meaning snow falling after March 20.
Most of the area saw between 3 to 6 inches of snow, although the National Weather Service recorded more than a foot of snow in some parts of Frederick County, Maryland. All three D.C. area airports recorded at least 4 inches of snow as well, Dulles International Airport set a new daily record with 4.8 inches of snow.
Thurmont, Maryland in Frederick County got the most snow, with the National Weather Service recording 16.5 inches by 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Outside of Frederick County, Lineboro in Carroll County Maryland saw 13.5 inches of snow by 4:06 p.m. on Wednesday.
A bit closer to the D.C. area, the National Weather Service said Oella, Maryland, in Howard County got 7.5 inches. In Prince George’s County, Greenbelt, Maryland got 6.9 inches. In Montgomery County, Clarksburg, Maryland got 6.3 inches.
Virginia didn’t get as much snow as parts of Maryland did. In the D.C. area, the National Weather Service said Lovettsville in Loudoun County led the way with 7 inches of snow. In Fairfax County, the National Weather Service recorded 6 inches of snow in Herndon a little after 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
Federal agencies in the D.C. area opened up with a two-hour delay on Thursday because of the snow. Most school systems also had delayed starts, although some chose to stay closed for a second-straight day.
For the most part, major roads in the area were in relatively good shape, although WTOP Traffic Reporter Jack Taylor said some some secondary and neighborhood roads could still be slick.
Taylor said the most important thing drivers can do is to make sure their car is completely cleared of snow before they hit the roads.
Some transit systems are still affected by the hangover from the storm. Metrorail has regular weekday service, while Metrobus will begin on a light snow plan with snow detours in effect on a route-by-route basis. The Virginia Railway Express will operate on an “S” schedule. MARC commuter trains will operate on the “R” schedule.
Closings and Delays
In Virginia, Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier and Prince William County public schools, announced they will be closed on Thursday.
In Maryland, schools in Prince George’s, Carroll and Frederick are closed on Thursday. Several systems have announced delayed openings as well.
A complete roundup of up-to-date information on school delays and closings is on WTOP’s Closings and Delays page.
Here is the forecast for the next few days:
- Thursday: Icy spots in the morning with clearing skies. It will be breezy and cold with highs in the low-to mid 40s, but wind chills near 30 through the afternoon.
- Friday: Sunny, cold and quite breezy. Wind chills will be in the low 30s all afternoon with highs between 38 and 44.
- Saturday: Increasing clouds and cold with slight chance of late evening showers. Some wet snow is possible on Saturday night with highs between 40 and 46.
Bell said a weak storm system will approach from the Ohio Valley over the weekend, but it should mainly affect the southern areas of the D.C. area.
“As it looks now, this storm will pass by late Saturday night bringing a slight chance of some very light rain or perhaps, a little wet snow,” said Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell. “This will not be a high-impact event.”
The average high temperature for this time of year in D.C. is 58, but Bell said we won’t be near that during the weekend as temperatures remain quite cold, with highs in the mid 40s.
There should be a bit of relief by the middle of next week. Bell said temperatures could reach the low to mid 60s on Wednesday and Thursday.
The D.C. area hasn’t seen a day when temperatures got above 60 degrees in March, which Bell said has only happened once before, in 1958. This month is on track to be the coldest March in 25 years.
Reported snowfall totals as of Wednesday night included:
Rockville, Maryland: 5.9 inches
Columbia, Maryland: 7.2 inches
University Park, Maryland: 6.5 inches
Reagan National Airport: 4.1 inches
Chantilly, Virginia: 5.2 inches
Lovettsville, Virginia: 7.0 inches
National Zoo, D.C.: 4.1 inches
Herndon, Virginia: 5.3-6.0 inches
Thurmont, Maryland: 16.5 inches
(Keep up with the National Weather Service’s snowfall totals here.)
Travel and Transportation
Metro announced Wednesday night that full bus service would resume Thursday, with the exception of any specific required snow detours. Rail and MetroAccess service are also running as normal.
Amtrak has announced that service reductions will continue Thursday:
- Acela Express Service D.C. — New York City — Boston: 2159 will not operate between New York and Boston.
- Acela Express Service D.C. — New York City — Boston: 2190, 2150, 2100, 2154, 2104, 2158, 2160, 2164, 2166, 2168, 2126, 2128, 2103, 2107, 2109, 2151, 2153, 2155, 2117, 2121, 2163, 2165, 2167, 2171 has been canceled.
- Northeast Regional Service D.C. — New York City — Boston: 171 and 93 will not operate between Boston and New York City. 95 will not operate between Boston and D.C. 190, 170, 180, 130, 172, 151, 111, 183, 185, 137, 173, 179 has been canceled.
- Boston — Newport News, Virginia: 86, 174, 176
VRE said Wednesday evening that they will operate on an S schedule Thursday.
MARC trains will operate on the “R” schedule.
Check WTOP’s traffic page for updates on weather-related accidents and road closures.
A few thousand customers around the area had reported losing power Wednesday. Monitor any continuing outages in the map below.
- Dominion Energy: 866-366-4357
- NOVEC: 703-335-0500 or 888-335-0500
- Pepco: 877-737-2662
- Potomac Edison: 888-544-4877
- BGE: 877-778-2222
- Rappahannock Electric Cooperative: 800-552-3904
Comcast has offered to help residents in the D.C. area stay connected by opening more than 3,500 Xfinity Wi-Fi hot spots at select outdoor and business locations. This free service is available to anyone — including non-Xfinity internet customers — through Monday, March 26.
WTOP’s Jack Pointer, Chantalle Edmunds and Nahal Amouzadeh contributed to this report.