Governor Declares State of Emergency As Snowstorm Approaches

Snow in Reston on Jan. 21/Credit: Robbie Nolan

Update, Tuesday 5:20 p.m. — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency for Virginia. This  an authorizes state agencies to be ready to assist local governments in responding to the major snow storm that is forecast to hit the Commonwealth Wednesday.

Update, Tuesday 9:30 a.m. — Current forecasting models say as little as three inches or as many as 20 may fall in the Metro D.C. area. The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang breaks it down.

Original story: 

The biggest snowstorm of the season may be on the way for Northern Virginia.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the area from Wednesday evening through Thursday evening.

The event could bring as much as five or more inches of snow. The NWS expects to update the forecast Tuesday, and Reston Now will report any changes.

Here is the full forecast from the NWS:

… WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW AND SLEET

* ACCUMULATIONS… THE POTENTIAL FOR 5 OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET.

* TIMING… SNOW IS EXPECTED TO MOVE IN FROM THE SOUTH WEDNESDAY EVENING. SNOW MAY MIX WITH SLEET AND RAIN LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY. THE SNOW COULD BE HEAVY AT TIMES WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY.

* TEMPERATURES… IN THE MID TO UPPER 20S 20S WEDNESDAY NIGHT… SLOWLY RISING INTO THE LOWER AND MIDDLE 30S THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

* WINDS… NORTH 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH.

* IMPACTS… ROADS MAY BECOME SNOW AND SLEET COVERED AND SLIPPERY. TRAVEL MAY BE DANGEROUS WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY. HEAVY WET SNOW COULD LEAD TO SOME POWER OUTAGES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

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