An inch or two of snow fell around Washington yesterday with the greatest accumulations reported on the outskirts of the metropolitan area, where the weather was implicated in three traffic deaths.

Dulles Airport reported an inch of snow by 5 p.m., the same amount recorded in Waldorf and Hagerstown, while Frederick, Md., reported two inches. Total accumulations of as much as three inches were expected by morning in some spots, particularly on the eastern edge of the area.

Although heavy, wet snow fell for part of the grey afternoon, city streets remained free of any accumulations, and District of Columbia road crews confined themselves to watching and waiting.

In Prince William County, Va., however, a snow-covered road surface was blamed for the death of a 79-year-old Nokesville, Va., woman in an automobile collision.

County police said Nellie V. Dodd was a passenger in a vehicle that was headed south on Nokesville Road about 1 p.m. during a period of heavy snowfall. Another vehicle, northbound on the same road, "slid on the snow-covered road surface" into the path of Dodd's vehicle and the two collided, according to police.

Dodd was pronounced dead on arrival at Prince William Hospital.

In Frederick County, Md., state police trooper Carl Valentine said he considered the snow a factor in a collision in which two Frederick residents were killed.

Paul W. Stull, 74, and his wife, Catherine I. Stull, 72, were driving west on Fish Hatchery Road about 8 p.m. when they crossed the northbound lanes of U.S. 15 and paused momentarily at the southbound lanes, according to Valentine.

As a tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes approached the intersection, the Stulls' station wagon pulled into its path and the vehicles collided, Valentine said. He said the Stulls were killed instantly.

Although not the cause of the accident, "weather would be a factor," Valentine said. He said roads were wet and light snow was falling, which could have impaired visibility.

Yesterday afternoon and evening a chance of as much as six inches of snow here was foreseen. National Weather Service forecasters later scaled down the prediction. They said the atmospheric ingredients for making snow would be blended farther east than first expected.