The snow from this storm has basically ended and we’ve entered its icy phase. The key question for schools and OPM is: When do temperatures rise above freezing to allow roads to melt and recover from the previous snow and ice?

Generally, counties farthest north and west will take the longest for temperatures to rise above freezing, perhaps not until the pre-dawn hours. Localized areas in the sheltered valleys of Loudoun and Frederick County may stay freezing until 4 or 5 a.m. Elsewhere, they should rise above freezing by between about 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. from southeast to northwest.

Even with temperatures rising above freezing in most spots overnight, the snow and ice won’t all melt at once and it’s going to take a while for crews to clear snow on neighborhood roads.


Given the likelihood of lingering slushiness and slickness, I think many school systems will delay but it’s not a sure thing.

In our far southern and southeastern suburbs from Stafford and Fauquier counties into Southern Maryland, where 4 to 9 inches of snow fell, there may not be enough time for crews to clear roads and a snow day is possible. Even some of the bigger nearby counties like Fairfax may decide to pack it in. But I’d encourage students to do their homework to be safe…

(Update, 4:30 p.m.: Stafford County schools have already announced they will close)

(Update: 4:40 p.m.: We’re told Frederick County Maryland schools are already closed for a teacher workday)

(Update: 7:05 p.m.: A growing number of school systems have announced delays and closures for tomorrow. Here’s the current list.)


I think there’s a chance the Federal government will give workers a little extra time to get in or an unscheduled leave option…but no guarantees. Temperatures inside the Beltway may be 40 degrees or milder by morning, so a quick recovery after this storm and back to normal operations can’t be ruled out.