The Blizzard of 2016 is delivering what the forecasters said it would: heavy snow, strong drifts and empty streets at daybreak on Saturday.
Here’s an update:
Snow totals in Reston, measured by three residents, range from 15 to 18 inches as of 8 a.m.
— Bill Burton (@burtonwc) January 23, 2016
Here’s a deserted Baron Cameron Avenue Saturday morning.
— Eddie (@WFOcom) January 23, 2016
What’s still on the way? The Capital Weather Gang says an ADDITIONAL 20 inches is expected to fall across the area 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday.
That would put the storm at over 30 inches, making it one of the biggest snowfalls in Washington-area history.
So far, Dominion Virginia Power is reporting fewer than a dozen customers in Fairfax County without power.
Want to venture out? Here are a couple of restaurants that said they would be open for the duration, but call ahead to make sure that is still the case:
Kalypso’s at Lake Anne Plaza; Barcelona, bartaco and McCormick & Schmicks at Reston Town Center; Red’s Table at South Lakes Village Center; and Tavern 64 at the Hyatt Regency Reston.
Fairfax County public safety officials are urging businesses to close for the day.
“We recognize the blizzard’s adverse impact on livelihoods, but we encourage businesses and other non-essential entities to remain CLOSED,” it tweeted Saturday morning.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is also urging people to stay off roads. Check out VDOT’s http://www.511virginia.org site to see live traffic cameras and the check which roads are passable.
Stay safe and stay warm!
Top photo: Snowfall 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23/Credit: Kurt Rose
Reston Now readers are witty folks. So let’s have some fun and give this giant snowstorm heading here a name.
The Weather Channel is calling it Jonas. The Washington Post, after asking for reader suggestions, is calling Snowzilla.
Past DC big deals have been the Knickerbocker blizzard of 1922, the Presidents’ Day snowstorm of ’79, Snowmageddon. But Jonas? That’s a name for your new baby, not the storm that swept Reston shelves of bread and toilet paper four days in advance.
Here are a few suggestions, so take our poll and/or suggest a name in the comments.
Stay warm, Reston.
Snow in Reston 2013/file photo
The National Weather Service’s Blizzard Warning for Reston and the entire DC area began at 3 p.m. It will stay in effect until early Sunday morning.
The snow started falling here about 1 p.m. and is coming down at a steady — if not blizzardly — clip. Forecasters say the snowfall will pick up through the evening, with one to three inches an hour coming down.
When it’s over, we may see two feet of snow or more.
But it seems Reston is prepared — grocery store shelves picked clean, cars off the roads, many businesses closed.
Top photo: Snow plows are ready/Credit: Mara Gifford via Twitter
Ready for the big storm?
Here is the latest forecast, along with some other updates.
Timeline: The snow may start in the Reston area a bit earlier than expected, possibly by 1 p.m., according to The Capital Weather Gang.
The CWG adds that there is almost no chance of a last-minute fizzle-out, as many a predicted DC-area storm has done in the past. This is a real deal, and Reston may get more than two feet of snow.
A Blizzard Warning begins at 3 p.m. today as high winds and whiteout conditions are expected. The warning will be in effect until early Sunday morning.
Says the CWG:
Confidence is quite high for a crippling snowstorm. Underscoring one of many impacts in our region: do not assume emergency services will be reliably available this weekend. Make all efforts to complete preparations this morning so roads (which may slow/halt by this afternoon or evening) are not blocked. Be safe. Help those around you. Most of us will likely be immobile through at least Sunday and perhaps into early next week.
Transportation: In a rare move, Metro will suspend all operations beginning at 11 p.m. Friday and remain closed all day Saturday and Sunday. Read More
The National Weather Service says its Blizzard Watch issued yesterday will become a Blizzard Warning beginning Friday afternoon.
The Blizzard Warning for Reston, Northern Virginia and the Washington, DC area goes into effect Friday at 3 p.m. and will remain in effect through 6 a.m. Sunday, the NWS said.
A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. There will be falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibility, including whiteout conditions, the NWS says.
The forecast for the Reston area is 24 to 30 inches of snow. Read More
Several adjustments are already being made in advance of the expected snowstorm in Reston Friday and Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch for a storm expected to dump more than a foot of snow here.
South Lakes High School’s basketball games against Langley have been moved from Friday to Thursday, Jan. 21.
Girls will play at home at 7:15 p.m. Boys will play at Langley at 7:15 p.m. Freshman will play at 4:30 p.m.; Junior Varsity at 5:30 p.m.
The Reston Camp Expo, slated for this Saturday at Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods has been moved to Saturday, Jan. 30 at RCC-HW from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The camp expo is an opportunity for families to learn about the many summer opportunities in Reston.
Saturday is also an SAT date at Herndon High School. If Fairfax County Public School activities are canceled on Saturday, then the SAT will also be canceled, College Board officials said.
Students registered to take the test should monitor FCPS updates.
If schools remain open and a student is unable to get to the testing location, the student should call SAT Customer Services at (866) 756-7346 to reschedule.
In the event of a cancellation on Saturday, the makeup date is Saturday, Feb. 20. Students will need to contact their test site to confirm administration of the SAT on the makeup date, the College Board says.
Know of any other postponements or cancellations? Tell us in the comments. Reston Now will also keep you updated with more closings as they occur.