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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 02/08/2012

Snow and rain to complicate Wednesday commute

[This post has been updated]

Snow and rain are expected throughout the region on Wednesday afternoon, which could cause problems during the evening commute.

The Capital Weather Gang forecast predicts light to moderate snow, with the snow potentially mixing with rain. The heaviest precipitation is expected between 3 and 7 p.m., with most of it likely out of our region by 10 p.m.

Snowfall could limit visibility and lead to slick roadways, so you should expect a slow and steady trip once you leave work. The roadways will be particularly slick in the suburbs to the north and west due to colder temperatures.

If you have any flexibility on when you can leave work, try to leave early or late to avoid traveling between 3 and 7 p.m. That is when the worst of this weather will be passing through our region.

The federal Office of Personnel Management said government workers may leave early or take unscheduled leave.

Use extra caution when you’re heading out no matter how you travel. Roadways will be slick, as will sidewalks, outdoor stairs and escalators. Even if you take the train, walk or ride a bicycle, you will need to be cautious.

District officials also activated rush-hour signal timing at 1 p.m. and began deploying traffic control officers to help “facilitate the movement of traffic” as people leave their offices.

Many transit agencies, including the Fairfax Connector and Virginia Railway Express, announced plans for regular service during the afternoon.

Dan Stessel, Metro’s chief spokesman, said they are monitoring ridership and are planning regular service. Changes will be made if needed, he said.

However, Maryland emergency officials warned drivers to prepare for the precipitation to fall during the commute — and to consider not traveling.

“If at all possible, try to avoid traveling during periods of heavy snow so snow removal crews have a clear path,” the Maryland Emergency Management Agency said in a statement. “If at work, ask your employer if you may shelter in place until conditions improve, or perhaps have dinner at a location near work. If at home, determine if you can wait to leave until conditions improve.”

Follow the Capital Weather Gang for the latest updates and forecasts. Let us know about any issues or delays you encounter by sharing them in the comments section below or by tweeting @drgridlock.

Snow reports from around the region

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By  |  01:30 PM ET, 02/08/2012

 
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