More Icy Roads Possible as ‘Flash Freeze’ Hits Fairfax

Updated at 4:55 p.m. — NWS canceled the Wind Advisory that was set to last until 6 p.m.

Earlier: Locals should stay bundled up and cautious of icy roads as fast, freezing winds hit Reston and surrounding areas.

The National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement about a potential “flash freeze” and “intense snow” for this afternoon.

Untreated, wet roads and surfaces may become icy and create hazardous conditions for driving and walking.

More from the NWS:


At 100 PM EST, an arctic front was crossing the region. The front will cross the Baltimore and Washington metro areas during the early and middle afternoon hours.

Temperatures behind the front will quickly drop about 10 degrees in less than 30 minutes and potentially cause a flash freeze of any untreated wet roads and surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and
parking lots, causing treacherous travel or walking conditions.

Along the front a quick burst of intense snow is also likely. A quick snow accumulation of less than one inch is possible, mainly on grassy surfaces as road temperatures ahead of the front are
above freezing. Winds will gust up to 50 mph.


Sharply colder temperatures following the snow may cause any water or slush to freeze on untreated roads and sidewalks. Reduced speeds and distance between vehicles is advised.

Be prepared for areas of blowing snow. This could lead to temporary very low visibilities and the potential for dangerous driving conditions. If you are traveling and encounter adverse
winter driving conditions, reduce speed and make sure headlights are on. Also be alert for icy areas after the front passes and temperatures fall.

Wind Advisory is also in effect until 6 p.m. tonight, along with a Wind Chill Advisory, which will last until 10 a.m. tomorrow (Jan. 31).

It’s important to stay warm as the temperature plummet.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has tips for how to dress for the cold, including how to layer clothing appropriately. “Not dressing appropriately and staying outside too long in cold temperatures could lead to serious cold-related illness and injury such as hypothermia or frostbite,” the post says.

Animals also need to stay warm. Fairfax County tweeted a reminder to pet owners to bring their furry friends inside and provide adequate shelter to keep them warm.

File photo

This story has been updated

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