The wintry weather continues Tuesday with snow and sleet arriving during the morning commute. We’re bringing you the latest live updates on what’s going on, what’s open, what’s closed and what you should expect.
A burst of snow during the morning commute should end fairly quickly by the middle of the day, according to the Capital Weather Gang’s most recent forecast:
Light snow may be mixed with sleet initially as it expands over the area from the south and west between approximately 5-7 a.m. We could then see a period of moderate to heavy snow over the area around 7-11 a.m., which could quickly accumulate on roadways faster than road crews can keep up. Snow likely begins to taper from west to east by late morning, and most of the snow should be done by early afternoon, with perhaps even some sunshine breaking out by mid-to-late afternoon. Highs don’t escape the low-to-mid 30s, and temperatures could dip to the upper 20s during the snow. Light breezes from the north at 5 to 10 mph.
Howard University will remain open due to final exams, the school announced a short time ago:
Howard University will remain open to accommodate final exams scheduled on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The University's… http://t.co/o3c56M3B1q
— Howard University (@HowardU) December 10, 2013
The looming snow has closed nearly every school in the Washington area as well as the federal government and other government offices. Here’s an updated list of what is closed or delayed due to the impending snow.
While many are waking up to news about schools and government offices closing due to the looming snow, others are still reeling from the impact of the winter weather on Sunday and Monday.
There are currently more than 11,000 people in Northern Virginia without power. That’s much lower than yesterday’s peak, where 90,000 people there lacked power during the morning, but it’s still 11,000 people looking at near-freezing temperatures and potential snow while their homes are in the dark.
Keep an eye on our power outage tracker throughout the day.
Metro reports that rail service began at 5 a.m. and is running on a normal weekday schedule with no delays. If any weather-related issues crop up or change that, they’ll report the news via @metrorailinfo and we’ll have it here.
Washington awaits Tuesday’s predicted snowfall, which would be the latest in two solid days of winter weather around the nation’s capital and elsewhere. Wintry conditions have already impacted travelers over these recent days:
Local colleges, some with final exams set for this week, are alerting students that they will be closing due to the weather. But some schools do plan to remain open.
• Howard University said earlier this morning that it would remain open due to final exams.
• George Washington University has said it will remain open and run a normal schedule.
• George Mason University has said on its site that administrative offices would open at 10:30 a.m. It also said that reading day and exams would go forward as scheduled. Any change to the school’s operating status would be noted by 9 a.m., it said.
If the snowfall reaches the five or six inches predicted by forecasters, many people will choose to remain at home and off the roads today. But some will have no choice and will have to get behind the wheel or head to a train or bus so they can get to work.
Dr. Gridlock has some tips for traveling in the storm. For drivers, this includes cleaning snow off of cars and keeping to main roads as much as possible; Metro travelers need to remember that getting to stations will be tricky and to keep an eye out for buses traveling on snow emergency routes.
Police and highway officials have repeatedly warned travelers this week to get snow off of their cars before driving, which will become acutely necessary if several inches of snow are dropped on us.
“For safety’s sake, all motorists should clear snow from the roof as well as from the windows and windshields,” John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said in a news release. “It is plain old common sense. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to realize or to care enough that the accumulated snow can fly off the vehicle while driving, posing a big hazard to others on the road. Once it is dislodged, it can fall onto the windshield while driving, obscuring the driver’s vision and putting their lives and their passengers at risk.”
— Kaitlin Rogers (@kdlinrogers) December 10, 2013
Maryland’s State Highway Administration repeated its plea Tuesday morning for people to stay off the roads. “The snow is coming down fast and hard,” said Sandy Dobson at the SHA command center. “We’re expecting 2-3 inches an hour. We need people to please stay at home until this is over.”
— Ashley Halsey III
— Katie Kim (@KimKatlyn) December 10, 2013