JUST IN: Flood Watch issued for D.C. area as winter storm looms

Dec. 22 Flood Watch advisory area (via Fairfax Alerts)

A major winter storm is headed for the D.C. area, just in time to disrupt holiday travel.

While the snow and ice created by a “bomb cyclone” is expected to stay further west, Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area are in for a downpour, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS has already issued a Flood Watch for the region that’s set to be in effect from 11 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday) to 1 a.m. Friday (Dec. 23).

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE THURSDAY
NIGHT…

* WHAT…Flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible.

* WHERE…DC and portions of Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Cecil, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Prince Georges, Southeast Harford and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park.

* WHEN…From Thursday morning through late Thursday night.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– Moderate rainfall is expected Thursday into Thursday evening, with rainfall totals of one to two inches. This may lead to isolated instances of flooding, especially in urban and poor drainage areas.

The Virginia Department of Transportation advises those planning to travel for Christmas to leave today instead of tomorrow, particularly if they’re going to be in the western half of the state.

“Crews have already begun pretreating and brining the roads and will begin deploying trucks early Thursday morning to treat roads as needed,” VDOT said in an advisory.

The department also warned that temperatures are expected to plummet into Friday, meaning fallen rain might refreeze into ice. Forecasts indicate this weekend may be the coldest Christmas in decades.

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