Messy Winter Storm Heads Toward Region

By Fred Barbash
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 8, 2005; 5:39 PM

A messy and hazardous winter storm of snow, sleet and freezing rain is headed toward the Washington area, the National Weather Service warned today, with the potential to disrupt Friday morning's rush hour.

The storm, moving eastward from the Ohio Valley, is expected to bring 3 to 6 inches of snow to Washington and the close by suburbs before it's over Friday, with the serious snowfall starting about 11 p.m. tonight and picking up early Friday morning.

The snow will be heaviest to the north and west of the city, with the far suburbs getting as much as seven inches.

A winter snow warning is in effect for the entire Washington and Baltimore area beginning at 6 p.m.

Lesser snowfall is expected to the south in the area of Charlottesville and Fredericksburg, according to forecasters. The Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Fredericksburg and Southern Maryland starting at 6 p.m. Snow totals are expected to be only 2 to 4 inches.

The Weather Service said snow, sleet and ice will make travel "very hazardous" Friday morning.

Once the snow tapers off around 10 a.m. and moves out of the area, strong northwest winds are expected. Gusts could range from 35 to 40 mph.

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