Light snow timed to affect Monday’s commute

Even though Stafford County got 2 to 3 inches of snow, in most places road surfaces are just wet. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Even though Stafford County got 2 to 3 inches of snow, in most places road surfaces are just wet. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Graphic for road conditions
On Monday morning, motorists are urged to watch for slick and slushy roads. (Courtesy NBC Washington) (Courtesy NBC Washington)
Here's the forecast for Monday, Jan. 29, 2017. (Courtesy NBC Washington)
Here’s the forecast for Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. (Courtesy NBC Washington) (Courtesy NBC Washington)
Once snow begins falling, both Maryland and Virginia will wait until an inch or two pile up on the roads before hitting the pavement with the plows.
 (WTOP/Dennis Foley)
Road crews in the D.C. region have been working since 6 a.m. Sunday putting down salt brine and preparing the pavement for the expected snow. (WTOP/Dennis Foley) ((WTOP/Dennis Foley))
(1/4)
Even though Stafford County got 2 to 3 inches of snow, in most places road surfaces are just wet. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Graphic for road conditions
Here's the forecast for Monday, Jan. 29, 2017. (Courtesy NBC Washington)
Once snow begins falling, both Maryland and Virginia will wait until an inch or two pile up on the roads before hitting the pavement with the plows.
 (WTOP/Dennis Foley)

WASHINGTON — Monday morning began with snow, and while the region is not expected to see that much, it could impact the Monday morning commute and there have been a few school delays — so let’s break down the details.

How the storm will develop

More widespread snow showers will continue through about daybreak Monday. This will be the time to see some accumulation on the roads.

How much snow could we see?

Temperatures are generally at or above freezing, so most accumulations will be on grassy or untreated surfaces. Leave some extra time in your travel plans if you’re heading out before 9 a.m., to account for slower traffic. All in all, a coating of up to an inch of snow accumulation is expected by Monday morning; however, some areas south and east of D.C. could see just slightly more as the area of low pressure intensifies as it moves off the coast. The best chance for some accumulating snowfall will be within the Greater Washington area and locations to the south and east. Shenandoah Valley and areas north and west of D.C. will likely see less than an inch of snowfall accumulation.

If you are traveling out of Southern Maryland on Monday, leave yourself some extra time in the morning. There could be some delays around the region, but very few cancelations. Winds will pick up through the day Monday, and the region could continue to see a few snow showers through the day; but additional accumulation is not expected. It will be downright blustery Monday with wind chills in the 20s and air temperatures in the 30s.

What to expect on the roads

Road crews in the D.C. region have been working since 6 a.m. Sunday putting down salt brine and preparing the pavement for the expected snow.

“That will help a little bit to prevent the snow from sticking when it begins to fall overnight,” said Jennifer McCord, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Virginia transportation officials have asked drivers to keep an eye — and ear — on the weather forecasts in case the storm’s timing or intensity changes. Transportation officials have also asked drivers to allot extra time to get to work and to not overdrive in dangerous conditions.

Ice is not expected to be a major issue, but it may form during any winter storm event. To prepare, trucks loaded with salt and sand were staged along highways across the region by 10 p.m. Sunday.

“We just ask residents and commuters coming into the District to be careful,” D.C. Department of Public Works Director Chris Shorter said. Crews in the District have been busy tackling most streets, roads and highways, especially the bridges and overpasses.

Timing is almost always an issue with these smaller snow storms, officials said.

“It’s often these little snows that are the real problem storms because it happens right during the morning rush hour, and that’s what’s going to happen overnight tonight into Monday morning,” Charlie Gischlar said, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.

He recommended taking an alternate way into work, if possible.

“If you can, maybe even use mass transit, Metro, something like that,” Gischlar said. He said that will give road crews more room to keep the roads clear of any snow, slush or ice during rush hour.


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up