Quantcast
El Tiempo Latino
7:37 a.m. | 62° 10/23/2017

Snow blanketing Washington region expected to turn into freezing rain by mid-afternoon


The snowfall that blanketed the Washington region Monday morning is expected to transition into sleet and freezing rain that could create hazardous conditions by mid-afternoon.

By John Woodrow Cox, Tara Bahrampour and and Fenit Nirappil | 2/15/2016, 4:36 p.m.
Snow blanketing Washington region expected to turn into freezing rain by mid-afternoon
Una pareja camina por el puente de la 395 I en Arlington, Virginia, el 15 de febrero. | TWP

The snowfall that blanketed the Washington region Monday morning is expected to transition into sleet and freezing rain that could create hazardous conditions by mid-afternoon.

Snowfall totals should reach between three and five inches in most places, according to the Capital Weather Gang, which predicted that a snow-melting rain will arrive tonight as temperatures continue to rise.

Many of the region’s workers and their children avoided what might have been a treacherous morning commute thanks to President’s Day, though whether governments, businesses and schools will open on Tuesday remains uncertain.

But not everyone in the region got to stay home.

“I don’t work for the government,” said a bundled-up Pari Farmani, as she listened to Adele on her iPhone and waited for a southbound train in Petworth Monday morning. “So no President’s Day off for me.”

Farmani’s commute to her job at the Institute for Inclusive Security isn’t difficult as long as Metro keeps running, but the same can’t be said for most of her co-workers who drive to the downtown office.

“The roads look like they’ve barely been touched,” she said.

Rachel Rivas opted to take an hour-long train ride to a job in Bethesda rather than the usual 30-minute drive from her home in Washington.

Wearing sweat pants tucked into her L.L. Bean boots, the Austin native has lived in the District for just six months — long enough to know how slick the roads can get.

“I haven’t driven here in the snow,” she said, “but I know from Ubers I’ve taken, it’s bad.”

On Monday morning, Virginia officials described road conditions in the Commonwealth as “treacherous” and asked that people delay unnecessary travel until the weather improves.

Between midnight and 7 a.m., state police responded to 101 disabled vehicles and 163 traffic crashes, including a cattle-packed tractor-trailer that ran off Interstate 81 and overturned. Six of the 33 animals were killed, according to an email from police. Another six escaped the truck but were being “gently rounded up by troopers.”

Both Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford canceled their public appearances for the day and are working from their statehouse offices in Annapolis. A state senate committee canceled a 5 p.m. hearing to consider nominations for gubernatorial appointments, but the general assembly is still scheduled to convene at 8 p.m.

In D.C., all Smithsonian museums are scheduled to close at 3 p.m.

At area airports, between 10 and 20 percent of departing and arriving flights have been cancelled today, according to flightaware.com.

Operations were generally normal as crews cleared out snow, but the freezing rain expected tonight presents greater troubles for travelers, said Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Chris Paolino.

“Ice is usually more challenging than snow because snow you can go out and push,” Paolino said. “Ice you have to treat and clear a little more continuously.”

A Metro spokeswoman said the weather hasn’t significantly disrupted rail service, which can operate normally after as much as six inches of snow. Only a limited number of bus routes are running today and all service will be suspended at 6 p.m.