How much snow has fallen during DC-area’s 2nd winter wallop?

Early Friday storm means snowy roads, single digit wind chills for the morning commute
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The D.C. region’s second snowfall of the week kicked off early Friday morning, dumping nearly 5.5 inches of snow in some parts of the area, far exceeding forecasted totals. Here’s what you need to know.

By midafternoon Friday, 5.4 inches of snow had fallen in Columbia, Maryland. In Gaithersburg, Maryland, spotters measured 5.3 inches. At Dulles International Airport in Loudoun County, Virginia, nearly 5 inches of snow had accumulated, according to totals posted by the National Weather Service.

School systems and organizations around the D.C. area were prepared for the wintry weather, with many announcing closings or delayed openings as early as Thursday afternoon.

Forecasters said early Friday to expect 2-4 inches of snow for the D.C. region, piling on top of Monday’s snowfall, which was the most significant wintry blast the area has seen in two years. Many areas had topped 4 inches of snow by midday Friday.

More than 3 inches of snow was measured at Reagan National Airport on Friday for the second time this week. Before Monday, the airport had not seen more than 2 inches of snow for about two years.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory until 7 p.m. for portions of central Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia.

A winter storm warning was also issued until 7 p.m. in portions of central Maryland and Northern Virginia, including Loudoun County in Virginia and Montgomery County in Maryland, where the weather service said snow could reach 6 inches.

Snowfall totals throughout the region

Anne Arundel County, Md. Crofton – 4.3 inches

BWI Airport – 4.1 inches

Frederick County, Md. Bloomfield – 4 inches

Point of Rocks – 3.7 inches

Howard County, Md. Columbia – 5.4 inches

Jessup – 5 inches

Montgomery County, Md. Gaithersburg – 5.3 inches

Damascus – 5.2 inches

Glenmont – 4.5 inches

Olney – 4 inches

Prince George’s County, Md. Laurel – 4 inches

Bowie – 4 inches

Arlington County, Va. Reagan National – 3.3 inches
City of Alexandria, Va. Alexandria – 3 inches

Lincolnia – 2.6 inches

Fairfax County, Va. Herndon – 4.5 inches

Vienna – 4.3 inches

Fairfax – 3.6 inches

Lorton – 2.6 inches

Loudoun County, Va. Dulles International – 4.9 inches

Sterling Park – 4.8 inches

Hillsboro – 3.5 inches

Prince William County, Va. Independent Hill – 2.5 inches

Powdery snow creates messy travel conditions

The powdery snow made its impact early on D.C.-area roadways.

U.S. Park Police shut down the George Washington Parkway from the Capital Beltway to Spout Run Parkway a little after 6 a.m., with both directions closed due to hazardous driving conditions in the ongoing snow.

WTOP reporter Steve Dresner reported Friday morning there were two separate incidents where vehicles took the exit ramps too fast in Montgomery County, Maryland, adding that visibility is becoming an issue.

He said by 4 a.m., secondary streets in Gaithersburg, along with portions of I-270, were snow-packed, which translated into challenging driving conditions.

“If you don’t need to be out, please stay at home,” Dresner said.

A plane departing Dulles International Airport during a period of moderate snowfall early Friday afternoon made an emergency landing on the Loudoun County Parkway. It’s not clear if weather was a factor.

At Reagan National Airport, a ground stop was in effect until 7 p.m. due to snow or ice and a ground delay until 9:59 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Delays at the airport averaged 39 minutes. The FAA also said planes departing Reagan, Dulles and BWI airports were being sprayed with de-icing fluid to remove snow or ice.

WMATA announced that Metrobus is operating on a moderate snow plan, with some routes suspended and others taking detours around roads with hazardous conditions. The transit agency also said the snow may cause delays and increase wait times for buses.

Another ‘hard freeze’ on the way

Ricketts said to expect a refreeze Saturday morning. Temperatures will be in the 20s and wind gusts are expected to be 30 mph, making for wind chills in the single digits.

Something similar happened after Monday’s snowfall, when wind chills plummeted to near zero degrees Tuesday, sparking concerns about black ice.

Temperatures will rise to around 30 degrees Sunday before a warming trend in the upcoming week as temperatures will be in the 40s and 50s. Rainfall will move into the area Tuesday and Wednesday, Ricketts said.

Friday’s snow comes on top of remnants from Monday’s snowstorm, which brought 2-6 inches of accumulation to the area that hadn’t fully melted before Friday morning. The District got around 4 inches Monday, but some parts of Fairfax County, Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland, topped 5 inches.

Full forecast

THURSDAY EVENING: Scattered snow showers. Additional accumulations an inch or less. Highs in the 30s
OVERNIGHT: Snow showers/flurries before midnight. Mostly cloudy overnight. Lows mid teens to lower 20s
SATURDAY: Becoming partly to mostly sunny. Windy and cold. Highs in the mid to upper 20s. Wind chills single digits and teens
SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. Blustery. Highs in the lower 30s
MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Highs upper 30s

Current radar

WTOP’s Thomas Robertson, Tadiwos Abedje, Steve Dresner and John Domen contributed to this report. 

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