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Posted at 6:15 PM ET, 01/27/2009

Snow Becoming Ice, Treacherous Travel

By Capital Weather Gang

* SnowCam | Q&A Transcript | Coming at 9 pm: SchoolCast *

Winter Storm Warning through 12 p.m. tomorrow for Loudoun and Montgomery counties and N&W (until 6 p.m. Wed for Frederick County)

Winter Weather Advisory through 12 p.m. tomorrow for the rest of the metro area

OUR LATEST FORECAST

Except in our northern suburbs, snow is now mixing with or has changed to sleet and freezing rain. In areas where it is no longer snowing, little additional snow accumulation is expected. However, icing will be a significant hazard overnight. Temperatures are presently in the upper 20s and will remain steady for the next several hours as steady sleet and freezing rain accumulate on tree limbs, power lines and untreated surfaces. Be extremely cautious driving on untreated surfaces as well as bridges, overpasses, and ramps. Pedestrians should also be very careful.

This Evening: Light to moderate freezing rain and sleet is likely across most of the area. Snow may mix in with the ice, but little additional snow accumulation is expected except in northern Montgomery County and to the north and west, where an inch or so of snow may accumulate before precipitation changes to ice.

After Midnight: Ice will remain the story -- as surface temperature only slowly rise toward freezing -- though areas south and east of D.C. may switch to plain rain. For D.C. and points north and west, the change to plain rain may not happen until morning. Some significant icing is possible in these areas -- perhaps bringing about a treacherous morning commute.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Some morning ice -- which could make for a troublesome commute -- should give way to plain rain as temperatures rise above freezing between approximately 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Much of the day may be characterized by light and spotty showers as temperatures rise to near 40. But a cold front will sweep through during the afternoon or evening, bringing with it possibly intense rain showers.

Behind the front, temperatures will once again drop below freezing late Wednesday night, so any water left on roadways may become icy again.

How much snow has accumulated in your neighborhood? Is it snow, sleeting, or is there freezing rain? Let us know in the comments area below...

By Capital Weather Gang  | January 27, 2009; 6:15 PM ET
Categories:  Updates  
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Comments

Location: Warren Co. (east of Front Royal-- elevation 1900ft)

Accumulation: Measured 2 3/8" on the back deck this evening. It may have compacted some during the afternoon.

Current conditions: 21.9F, light sleet

Posted by: spgass1 | January 27, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

i still would like to know why this winter is the first that i can recall, that nws makes it a point to forcast ice/snow at such and such feet above sea level in there advisories, other than the nova mt forcast for elevations above 2000 ft. have i missed hearing this all these years? oh btw this is like the 6th time i have asked this and it keeps geting skipped over??

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | January 27, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

We probably missed when we predicted 1-3" more snow tonight. A warm layer aloft, not evident in the data we analyzed, seems to have manifested itself...so the changeover to ice has occurred sooner than we thought.

Can't totally rule out a little more snow this evening, but it's now looking like mostly ice.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@deve

Don't know the answer. Probably best to contact NWS.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Will MOCO have school? Can you guess capital weather gang? Please respond

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

yeah they will

Posted by: danuva | January 27, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

@deve: It may be part of the standardization of WWA products this winter (i.e., the change to winter weather advisories to replace snow advisory/blowing snow advisory/freezing rain advisory/etc.).

Posted by: bjackrian | January 27, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Why is that? If there's ice and more snow why would they have it? temps wont rise til 10 am. the decision is made by 630 am which is when it will be icing and cold (temps below freezing 29)

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@hoyafan516

See the top of the post where it says, "Coming at 9 pm: SchoolCast"... patience :)

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Ok Ok. I'm just curious. I do love snow. It's starting to get icy in bethesda. A light freezing drizzle is happening. Stay tuned for updates. Patience grasshopper.

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

you guys are saying no more snow, but why does the radar show that lovely blue (not pink) shade over us?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 27, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Its in the air? I have no idea. Try weather.com they tell you whats going on.

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

It seems to have slowed down to almost nothing in Franconia. Nice little crust of ice on top of the snow on the poarch though, and the roads were a little slick. I am doubtful, but still hoping OPM will call liberal leave or something :)

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 27, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I doubt schools will stay open in MoCo. I'm surprised they don't close when we get an inch of rain. Or a light breeze.

Posted by: dcwarren | January 27, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Little bit of ice in bethesda. mostly freezing rain. not dangerous yet. Roads are covered in quarter inch of snow/drizzle if ice/freezing rain. Schools probably closing.

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

A good rule of thumb around here: If there is frozen precip falling and there are back and side roads that are not clear they will more then likely shut down schools. I think with this forcast, the change over to all rain is really tricky to predict. I would be willing to bet that Culpeper schools and the surrounding counties will close tomorrow.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 27, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Definitely getting a little ice accumulation on elevated surfaces in downtown DC. My fire escape staircase has between 0.05" and 0.1" of ice with some decent sized icicles starting to form.

Posted by: bjackrian | January 27, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I'd put money on fairfax schools closing tomorrow....

Posted by: AnneinSand | January 27, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

if fairfax closes loudon closes. if loudon closes moco closes. if moco closes every county closes. anyone agree? I'm putting money on moco. they're strict though

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I have to go to my martial arts class. Are they expecting black ice in Vienna, Reston, Herndon area?

Posted by: Southernballer | January 27, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Moco will close! It's about to ice cats and dogs. Things will be a MESS tomorrow in the AM.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

vienna will be ugly. yep and reston and herndon. Sorry. Anywhere withing Northern VA and anywhere in MD will be messy

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

MOCO WILL CLOSE!

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch as to your question about the colors (and associated precipitation types) seen on radars, keep in mind that these are produced through algorithms and are not exact measurements; in fact, at the same time, different radar products may show differing precipitation types at the same location. Take the precipitation types on radar only as the radar making a rough guess...

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

OPM and FCPS pls close *crosses fingers*

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 27, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

MOCO: Will Close

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

accuweather.com's radar is one that is currently showing sleet/freezing rain.

Posted by: bdeco | January 27, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

accuweather is terrible. Capital Weather and noaa are the best.

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

yeah when i said, "yeah they will," i meant yeah they will close. i doubt any county will be open tomorrow in the metro area with the exception of dc..

Posted by: danuva | January 27, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

OOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I thought you meant they will open. hahaha. Good call. Sorry about that. seriously im sorry.

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Wintery Mix. Tad bit of ice. Anyone else have ice?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Its been all sleet here in Culpeper Va for the last hour or so. Temp holding at 28.9 degrees.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 27, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

sounds like ice outside to me...

Posted by: timeagle | January 27, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

hoyafan i wish you were in charge of mcps :) i like your thinking but only time will tell if the big guy agrees with you!

Posted by: jenniel73 | January 27, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Freezing drizzle with sleet at times (when the precipitation is heavier) here in Sterling. Temperature holding steady at 27.0 degrees.

I had about 1.5" of snow from this storm, less than forecast for my locale, but now that the freezing rain has started, will there be more ice accumulation than forecast?

Posted by: Sterlingva | January 27, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing in New Market, MD, though it sounds a bit more like ice hitting the house than earlier.

Posted by: rquerry1 | January 27, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

hoyafan,

Saying it three times, even all in caps, on this blog will not do it. You have to flush ice cubes down the toilet, wear your pajamas inside out and backwards, and do the snow dance and snow chant.

But I really doubt that any suburban county will have school tomorrow. In my Ffx county household, we have pretty much ruled out any thoughts of school tomorrow and are now happily thinking about a delayed opening for Thursday.

Posted by: janedoe5 | January 27, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I'll be interested to see what smaller, more urban districts such as Arlington or Alexandria do tomorrow.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 27, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Hoping for a delay thursday already!?

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

If only my name was Nick Weast. :)

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Some one can correct me if I'm wrong but 18Z GFS gives us 18-24 inches of snow a week from today as coastal is about 400 miles east of us! Probably should not even be mentioning it lol. GFS this far is what we call GFS= GOOD FOR SNOW! Just thought Id mention it haha.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 27, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Feels like rain (ice rain?) in Franconia. Nothing really on trees yet, but the snow has gone a lovely snowcone texture, which will be slippery come morning. Back streets that didn't get treated today will be a yucky mess soon.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 27, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

CANT WAIT UNTIL SCHOOLCAST!!! Please make it 3 or 4. Nothing below haha. but seriously...hahaha just kidding...but seriously

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

hoyafan: The schoolcast will come when the schoolcast comes. Everyone else and their grandmother knows that most won't have school tomorrow if the current forecast holds. Calm down or else I'll call MoCo's superintendent and have him or her make you go to school and let everyone else stay home. (Just kidding)

The following school districts are already closed for tomorrow (surprise!):

VA Public Schools

Frederick Co Schools - VA - Closed
Fredericksburg City Schools - VA - Code Red
Orange Co Schools - VA - Closed
Page Co Schools - VA - Closed
Shenandoah Co Schools - VA - Closed
Spotsylvania Co Schools - VA - Closed
Stafford Co Schools - VA - Closed

WV Public Schools

Grant Co Schools - WV - Closed
Hardy Co Schools - WV - Closed
Morgan Co Schools - WV - Closed

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 27, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Im sorry im sorry. DONT DO IT!!! NOOOOOOOO hahah just kidding. Can't wait though. Is frederick couunty even in va? what the heck? Isn't Frederick in MD

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

hoyafan: There are two Frederick counties. One in VA and one in MD, hence Frederick County's closing listed under "VA Public Schools."

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 27, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Hoyas fan... he is actually jerry weast. http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/superintendent/

Posted by: samdman95 | January 27, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

18-24 inches in a week?!? You have my attention Sir =)

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 27, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

normally snow is at a 10:1 ratio(Ten inches of snow per one inch of precip) anyone know what the ratio is for sleet? because is sleeting pretty heavy in bethesda and i wonder how much it would be if it was snow

Posted by: samdman95 | January 27, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Be careful what you say about Big brother. Wouldn't be so quick to post links about him. ;-)

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

woah hey ho ha. My name is nick. I was saying he'd be my dad get it? so i could tell him that he would be upsetting 95,000 little angels by making them go to school. I wish I was his son so I could convince him. Get it? Nick...Weast?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

All of these closings for wednesday are in southern va in the mountains. We're getting that same ice they got earlier so i take it all metro area counties will close besides dc.

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'll bet all the money in the world that Anne Arundel schools will not be in session tomorrow

(teacher workday...so only the teachers will be staying up wondering!).

if it wasn't for that, they would just copy whatever MoCo schools did.

to the person that said please OPM - HA!!! you might get a 1-2 hour delay, but more realistically, it's that famous 'liberal leave' if anything.

Posted by: natsfan76 | January 27, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Moderate sleet with snow grains in Oakton, VA. I measured 2.75" of snow before the changeover.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

haha okay

Posted by: samdman95 | January 27, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@samdman95, I've never read any literature about liquid ratios for sleet, but I would imagine that it might be in the neighborhood of 5:1 (as opposed to the "typical" snow ratio of 10:1). Just a guess...

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

There are (at least) also two Montgomery Counties--Blacksburg, VA is in Montgomery Cty, VA.

Yes, poor teacher, and feeling good about the chances. It will be cold again tomorrow night and ice may form on the roads. If it does, I doubt it will warm up for an on time opening. But perhaps there won't be enough slush on the roads to cause a problem. I don't know, but I can dream. In any case, my lesson plans for tomorrow will work just as well on Thursday.

Posted by: janedoe5 | January 27, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

VA counties are always so much more efficient than MD counties with operational decisions (i.e. they decide the night before unlike moco and others in MD who decide at 4:59:59AM even though they know they're going to close)

Posted by: PeterBethesda | January 27, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Hah, yes. Lesson plans for tomorrow are good to go for whenever we get back :-)

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

where do you teach poorteacher?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I teach somewhere in MCPS hoya :-) I'll keep it a secret.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

i go to pyle ms. u teach at an ms?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse


aybe you teach at one of my schools i went too!!

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

From here in the "northern and western suburbs", Myersville,MD, halfway between the cities of Frederick and Hagerstown, it's been all snow so far. We got about an inch and a half this morning, with a lull from about 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It's still snowing softly here, with maybe another 3/4 of an inch of accumulation. Pretty!

Posted by: jcgarwood | January 27, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

anyway, from me to you, moco will be closed!!!!! I hope you don't have to teach. Sometimes I feel bad for teachers who have to work while we kids stay home and have fun. YOU DESERVE A BREAK;)

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Hoya. What's your favorite subject?

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

The sleet and freezing rain is coming down steadily in Tenleytown - there seems to be a little snow mixed in. Not that it matters since my daughter is 5 months old but will DC public schools be closed? I was a beneficiary of MoCo's liberal policy growing up. However, I can already forsee the "snow smack talk" coming from my daughters cousins -who live 7 minutes away in Chevy Chase, MD- when they are out of school and she is not!

Posted by: mjwies11 | January 27, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I really can't tell what the precip. falling in Old Town is at the moment- feels like plain old cold rain. Currently at 28 degrees. My balcony is coated with ice- all surfaces. Since everyone is chiming in with closing wishlists, I'm adding mine- I hope Arlington calls off school as well! But it seems like besides DC, we rarely do.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 27, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Capital Weather Gang needs a Facebook Fan page !

Posted by: photojenn | January 27, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Just stepped outside to check and it's sleeting steadily outside my apartment in Springfield (better than sleeting inside it, though!). Parking lot's definitely slick and the two inches of snow on my car that greeted me when I got home from work has been replaced by a coating of ice - probably between 1/8" and 1/4" so far and still coming down.

Posted by: map408 | January 27, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

poorteacher-World Studies


Please...Where do you teach?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Wintry Mix in Bethesda.Still a storm warning. Schools closing for tomorrow (mostly va)

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

That information is secret hoya! Glad to hear world studies is your favorite.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Most Likely no school. School cast in 15 min. I say 3- 3 1/2 apples

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

o man

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

well...:'( do you think we'll close? Can you talk to weast? hahaha or is there any special hotline?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I checked outside. Changed back over to some form of frozen stuff (icy/snow/sleet) One tiny iceicle on the railing. About 1/8 coating on the trees and where the cars and roads had been cleared off there is a good thick sheet of crispy ice. Looks like it was snow, melted and refroze. School cast in 15 =). Oh, and I'll take OPM - unscheduled leave. That's fine with me =) Closed would be better, but barring a blizzard....

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 27, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

trees looking shiny :)

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

not a blizzard...a small storm just cuz of the ice

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

caps are tied just to let you all know hahah 2-2 the only good dc sports team (professional)

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I would think that most counties will have at least a 2 hour delay, if not a closing. I also have a theory that school systems may be more willing to close since they haven't already had many (if any) snow days this year. If a school system has already used a bunch of snow days, they start to get stingy with them.

By the way, I grew up in Fairfax Co. in the 80s and was always jealous of Fauquier County which seemed to always get off.

Posted by: spgass1 | January 27, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Rangers, my team, are up 2-1.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

school cast in 6 min :)

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

In that case... let it rain *ice*

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 27, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The big question is.... 3 apples, or 3.5 apples?

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

yep. Im a rangers/caps fan. used to like devils haha. LET IT ICE!

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Based on the potential for significant ice, I'm going to guess that most schools will have to shut it down for Wednesday.
Let's see what the school cast has to say...

Posted by: bodyiq | January 27, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

is the green rain....or ice

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

about 1.6" of snow here in Sterling, been sleeting and freezing rain since I came home from work at 6pm. This is going to be ugly tomorrow morning.

Posted by: paul-Sterling | January 27, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

green: rain or ice?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

hoya, I think the precip is so mixed right now that you're going to have to rely on what you see outside your window, rather than what color you see on the radar, to tell you what's falling out there. The radars are having trouble getting it right.

Green technically means rain, pink means freezing rain/sleet/wintery mix, and blue means snow. But the color code appears to be meaningless right now.

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | January 27, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Hoyafan516 I hate to tell you but weather.com is for weenies. Try to stay calm. If there is no school they will tell you in due time.

Posted by: MKadyman | January 27, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I think green is falling as rain. It could freeze once it hits the ground/powerlines etc... though.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 27, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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