It’s back: More snow in the forecast for the DC region

Key Points:

  • State of Emergency: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency ahead of winter storm
  • Schools closings: Many area schools have announced closings for Thursday. See all closings and delays here.
  • Power outages: Some jurisdictions are still without power Wednesday night, including some 15,000 households in Stafford County, Virginia.

As the D.C. region reels from the snowstorm earlier this week that caused a backup for miles on Interstate 95 in Virginia and stranded some drivers for more than 24 hours, more snow is in the forecast this week.

Storm Team4 meteorologist Matt Ritter said the system is expected to move into the region Thursday evening and begin as a mix of rain and snow before shifting to all snow before midnight.

The good news is this system won’t have the same potential for serious impact as the one that hit at the beginning of the week.



“The system will not have the available moisture or the energy to do what the last one did, so it looks like a more typical storm for our area, with accumulations on the order of 1 inch to 4 inches with only isolated higher amounts,” Ritter said.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the D.C. metro area from Thursday night into Friday morning.

Ahead of the system’s arrival, the region is still dealing with the melt and refreeze of the snow from Monday’s snowfall. Ritter said there was a decent amount of snowmelt on Wednesday, and drivers should be cautious in valleys, overpasses and bridges; but otherwise, there will not be a hard freeze Wednesday night.

Thursday will be mostly dry and see highs in the upper 30s to low 40s before the snow moves in and temperatures fall again. So those looking to treat their sidewalks or walkways should try to do so before Thursday evening.

Skies will be clear on Friday after the snowfall, but it will be blustery and cold, with highs in the low 30s.

Radar

Power outages

Power outages continue to plague the entire WTOP listening area after Monday’s unprecedented snowstorm.

In Northern Virginia, as of 8:30 p.m., Dominion Energy reported about 28,000 homes and businesses are still without power. In Stafford County, the epicenter of all the roadway issues the past few days, some 500 Dominion Energy customers still remain dark.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reported over 33,00 of its Northern Virginia customers are still waiting for power to be restored.

In Maryland, nearly 3,000 customers are in the same situation across the Potomac in Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.

“This has been a historic storm,” said Peggy Fox, the media and community relations manager in Northern Virginia for Dominion Energy.

Fox said there were more than 5,000 different projects to repair in the morning hours.

“The stoppage on I-95 and Route 1 has really made it very, very difficult for our crews to get to all the outages,” Fox said.

She confirmed reports that about 800 mutual aid workers from Indiana, Florida, Georgia and beyond were added to their crews and working around the clock.

As of Tuesday night, WTOP’s Rob Stallworth had been out of power at his Woodbridge home since 8 a.m. on Monday.

“It’s challenging because there’s no power, there’s no heat, there’s no running water. And you’re kind of like, ‘are we camping in the woods, or what?'”

 

Road Conditions

Side streets are still snow- and ice-covered. Drivers may find spots of black ice where the roads refroze overnight.

U.S. 1 reopened just before 4 a.m. Wednesday. In Stafford, near Telegraph Road and Boswell’s Corner, Route 1 had been closed due to icy conditions. Drivers who had been stuck on I-95 since Monday had been rerouted to U.S.1 on Tuesday, only to have it shut down. I-95 reopened around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

On top of slick roads, WTOP’s Neal Augenstein reported that the power outages are affecting traffic signals in hard-hit Stafford County, Virginia.

WTOP’s Traffic Reporter Jack Taylor said that the traffic light outages extend from Falmouth to Quantico.


Forecast:

Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy. Cold. More icy spots. Lows: upper 20s to low 30s.

Thursday: Cloudy and chilly. Mix of snow and light rain arriving during the evening, changing over to all snow at night. Highs: upper 30s to low 40s.

Friday: Snow ending in the morning after 1″ to 4″ accumulation. Clearing skies but blustery and cold. Highs: low 30s.

Saturday: Mostly sunny. Brisk and cold. Highs: mid to upper 30s.


Current conditions:


WTOP’s Valerie Bonk, Chris Cruise, Scott Gelman and Jack Pointer contributed to this report.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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