Reston, VA

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory at 8:43 a.m. today for much of the D.C. area, including Fairfax County.

Precipitation started falling early this morning and could result in up to an inch of snow accumulation. The alert will remain in effect until 3 p.m.

Here is the full alert:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Rapid onset of snow which will result in snow covered roadways. Snow accumulations of up to one inch.

* WHERE…Portions of central and northern Maryland and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…Until 3 PM EST this afternoon.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions will impact the morning or evening commute.

“Slow down and use caution while traveling,” the NWS said. “When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.”

Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash

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Friday Morning Notes

Reston Community Center to Open Late — The center’s facilities will open at 9 a.m. today. Water aerobics classics that start before then in the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center are canceled. [RCC]

Detectives Issue Warning about Texas License Plate Scam — ”Detectives with our Organized Crime and Intelligence Bureau are warning unsuspecting motorists of vehicle registrations being illegally sold involving the issuance of temporary Texas state license plates. Late last year detectives learned that Latinos Solutions Inc., formerly located at 7202 Poplar Street, Suite F, in Annandale, was fraudulently distributing temporary Texas license plates. After a lengthy and complex investigation, detectives arrested Karla Lopez, 25, of Woodbridge. ” [FCPD]

Fairfax Connector Returns to Regular Service with Detours — ”As wintry weather is expected to continue to impact Fairfax County and the National Capital Region, Fairfax Connector will operate full service with established detours tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.  As road conditions improve, detours will be lifted on a route-by-route basis, or system-wide.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Local closures are in effect today as snow continues to fall in the Reston area today.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through early Friday morning, with the possibility of three to six inches o of snow and one-tenth t one-quarter inch of ice is also expected.

Fairfax County government offices and courts are closed today and all employees have been given emergency leave.

The Fairfax Connector will operate a on holiday weekend service schedule. If road conditions get worse, service may be reduced further.

All Fairfax County Public Schools and central officers are also closed today. In-person and virtual learning is also canceled.

Today’s school board meeting will take place virtually at 7 p.m.

Here’s more from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation on recent changes.

Routes 231232335351393394395396 422432461494495556585599624634697698699722724 and 985, which will not operate 

Route 980 will run every 12-15 minutes instead of every 6-8 minutes.

Passengers are encouraged to check the status of routes online before heading to a bus stop. If a bus is on detour, the county’s BusTracker will not reflect real-time estimated arrival information.

The county has also cancelled all COVID-19 vaccine clinics administered directly the Fairfax County Health Department for today. Residents will receive an email with a re-registration link for the upcoming week.

Reston Association’s member services office is also closed for appointments today. Members can call or email RA for more information.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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The D.C. metropolitan area, including Fairfax County, could get up to six inches of snow in a storm expected to arrive early tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

The region is now under a Winter Storm Warning, a step up from the Winter Storm Watch that the National Weather Service issued yesterday afternoon.

Issued at 10:24 a.m., the warning will take effect at 3 a.m. on Thursday and stay in place until 6 a.m. Friday. The NWS says there will be heavy snow mixed with sleet and freezing rain, forecasting three to six inches of snow and one-tenth to one-quarter inch of ice accumulation.

More details from the alert are below:

* WHEN…From 3 AM Thursday to 6 AM EST Friday. Snow will begin between 3 and 5 AM. Snow will change to a mixture of sleet and freezing rain during the late morning and early afternoon hours.

* IMPACTS…Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Snow Thursday morning will be heavy at times with snowfall rates around 1 to 2 inches per hour possible along with visibility reduced to around one-quarter mile at time.

Warning that the storm is expected to have “significant road impacts,” the Virginia Department of Transportation is advising residents to prepare to stay home and avoid nonessential travel tomorrow and on Friday.

VDOT says its crews are finishing pretreatment of about 2,000 lane miles of interstates and primary roads in Northern Virginia. About 3,000 pieces of equipment will be ready tonight to treat roads, and plowing will start once two inches of snow have accumulated.

“Additional equipment and crews are on standby to report, including to handle downed trees or limbs from ice,” VDOT said in a news release.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department suggests testing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they work, charging cell phones and tablets, and using a flashlight or other battery-powered device if power goes out.

Photo by Doug Errett

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More snow is expected later this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the region from late Wednesday night through late Thursday night.

Snow accumulations of five or more inches and total ice accumulations of more are possible.

More from the alert is below.

IMPACTS…Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the region this weekend.

The National Weather Service says that heavy ice is possible from Saturday morning through Sunday morning.

More from the alert is below.

* WHAT…Heavy icing possible. Total snow accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of one quarter of an inch possible.

* WHERE…The District of Columbia, portions of central and southern Maryland and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From Saturday morning through Sunday morning.

* IMPACTS…Power outages and tree damage are possible due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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As a new wave of snow accumulation is set to fall on Reston and the surrounding areas, Reston Association is clarifying its policies regarding snow removal.

In preparation for potential snow accumulation, the Reston Association (RA) issued a press release noting that “the responsibility for snow removal in Reston is shared” among Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), RA, cluster associations, individual residents and businesses.

Some RA members said they were alarmed that pathways were not cleared earlier this month.

In a letter to RA, Steven Graul, a Reston resident, wrote that Lake Anne Plaza was ‘caked thick with ice’ and remained ‘impassable and dangerous’ for more than a week.

‘It’s simply unacceptable for RA to be excusing their lack of resources for the failure on this issue. This needs to be a community priority and take precedent over other wasteful programs, which provide little or no community benefit, except perhaps to sustain the size and cost of the RA machine itself,’ he wrote.

RA is responsible for plowing snowfall on the 55 miles of pathways it owns and maintains and the access areas to village centers. Members of RA’s Central Services Facilities (CSF) will plow the pathways when snowfall reaches over two inches, according to the association’s site.

Mike McNamara, the Director of Maintenance for RA, will ultimately make the call whether or not to plow the pathways after conferring with CSF crew and mechanics.

On Feb. 3, RA turned to Twitter to explain why snowfall was not cleared from pathways. RA stated that due to a lack of snow, CSF crews could not utilize snowplows because it would risk damaging the pathways and plows. RA did state that hand crews were dispatched to clear snow.

In addition to four plows that can be used, RA’s site advises it has CSF members “to clear walkways, stairs and certain smaller pathways around community buildings and other high traffic areas in the community.”

The association’s site says that each of the four runs of pathways takes between four and five hours to clear.

While RA’s policies are to clear paths as possible, it does not guarantee that pathways will be completely clear after each storm. This is a result of changing temperatures, and hilly areas and heavily shaded locations that are vulnerable to refreezing. Hand crews and other personnel will inspect each area after a storm to address pathways as needed, according to RA.

RA also encouraged residents in its press release to shovel sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways. The association also advised that clusters could hire private contractors to remove snow from parking lots as well as other common areas.

Though RA doesn’t maintain roadway sidewalks, it will work to provide access to schools as much as possible through its pathways.

To report a dangerous section of pathway to RA, members may call the CSF’s main number 703-437-7658 or email [email protected]

VDOT is responsible for clearing snow from all state-maintained roads. VDOT’s road-clearing priority roads include interstates and most primary roads, snow emergency routes and heavily trafficked roads, and other residential roads. The department also offers a virtual map that residents may check to gauge the plowing status of their neighborhoods.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Prepare for more snow in the region later tonight and into tomorrow.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for most of the region. The advisory is in effect from 7 p.m. today through 10 a.m. tomorrow.

NWS expects snow accumulations of between one to three inches. More from the alert is below.

IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Slow down and use caution while traveling.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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More snow may be on way as the previous week’s storm melts away.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the region. The watch is in effect from late Saturday night through Sunday afternoon.

Heavy snow with total accumulations of five or more inches is possible.

More from the alert is below.

* WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND, NORTHERN VIRGINIA, AND EASTERN WEST  VIRGINIA.

* WHEN…FROM LATE SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS FOR UPDATES ON THIS SITUATION

Photo by Doug Errett

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Monday Morning Notes

Winter Weather Advisory In Effect — A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the area until noon today. Light, mixed precipitation is possible and snow accumulations of up to one inch are expected. [National Weather Service]

Reston Men Charged in Vehicle PursuitAn officer attempted to stop a 2007 Ford Focus for a traffic violation. The driver initially pulled over but then drove away, resulting in a pursuit. The driver, Chris Kpadeh, 20, of Reston, stopped down the road and was taken into custody. He was charged with reckless driving, speed to elude, and driving on a suspended license. A passenger, Mohamed Abdalla, 21, of Reston, was charged with two counts of possession of a concealed weapon and possessing a magazine for a firearm with the capacity of 20+ rounds. [Fairfax County Police Department]

No Snow Day Today — All county schools will take part in virtual learning today. Students will follow their regular Monday schedule for virtual instruction. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Deadline for Reston Association Assessments Approaches — Members have until March 1 to pay their 2021 assessment. Installment plans are also available. [RA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Fairfax County and much of the region could see up to nine inches through tomorrow.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the region last night. Snow accumulations between four and nine inches are expected.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is urging residents to avoid unnecessary travel during today’s storm.

So far, crews are treating roads and will begin to plow snow once it accumulates throughout the day.

“With more than 3,000 pieces of equipment, crews will work around the clock on state-maintained roads, focusing on clearing roads that carry the most traffic first. These include interstates, primary roads, and routes connecting public safety and emergency services. Crews can then focus on neighborhoods and lower-volume roads,’ VDOT wrote in a statement earlier this morning.”

Here’s more from NWS:

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM SUNDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST SUNDAY NIGHT…

* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT AROUND 3 TO 6 INCHES WITH ICE ACCUMULATIONS AROUND ONE TENTH OF AN INCH.

* WHERE…THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA.

* WHEN…FROM 1 AM SUNDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST SUNDAY NIGHT. SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA BETWEEN 3 AND 5 AM EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. THE STEADIEST SNOW WILL FALL THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON BEFORE  TAPERING OFF TO AN INTERMITTENT MIX OF LIGHT SNOW, SLEET, AND FREEZING RAIN. ADDITIONAL SNOW IS EXPECTED MONDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT WITH ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS MOST LIKELY AROUND 1 TO 3 INCHES, BRINGING THE STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS AROUND 4 TO 8 INCHES.

* IMPACTS…TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING DUE TO A PROLONGED PERIOD OF SNOW AND WINTRY PRECIPITATION WITH TEMPERATURES NEAR OR BELOW FREEZING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD, AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY.

VDOT also issued the following tips for residents

Stay home and avoid driving throughout the storm. Heavy snow bands will mean reduced visibility and potential for conditions to deteriorate quickly. Should the higher end of forecasts materialize, it will take some time to make a passable lane on all roads. 

Park in driveways or a single side of the street to allow a wider path for plows.

View tips on shoveling driveways, as the plows will push some snow back. Take frequent breaks, especially when shoveling heavy, wet snow.

If you absolutely must travel, completely clear your car, reduce speeds significantly and use these winter driving tips. Use extreme caution on areas prone to freezing such as bridges, ramps and overpasses. Be prepared with gas and wiper fluid tanks and an emergency kit.

Monitor road conditions and traffic cameras from home on www.511virginia.org, on the free mobile app, or call 511 in Virginia.

Follow @vadotnova and @NWS_BaltWash for real-time updates. Learn more about snow removal at virginiadot.org/snow and stats for Northern Virginia.

Photo via Doug Errett/Twitter

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The D.C. metropolitan area could potentially get its biggest snowfall in two years starting on Sunday (Jan. 31), The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang predicts.

The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for the region at 10:49 a.m. today. While Northern Virginia is not under a gale warning like Maryland, the agency warns that “there is an enhanced winter storm threat for Sunday and Sunday night, with a slight winter storm threat Monday and Monday night.”

“If the threat materializes, it may cause travel disruptions,” the NWS said.

The current forecast for the Tysons area suggests Saturday night will see clouds set in with a 30% chance of snow or other precipitation after 4 a.m. Chances of precipitation go up to 100% on Sunday, when snow is expected to start falling before 4 p.m. with some freezing rain possibly mixed in.

The NWS forecast suggest snow could continue through Monday with the chance of precipitation still at 50% that night.

As of 9:57 a.m. today, the D.C. area was expected to get three to four inches of snow between 7 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. on Monday.

However, the Capital Weather Gang says this is a “complicated” storm, where total accumulation could vary from two to 12 inches depending on whether a coastal storm forms off the North Carolina coast and brings a second wave on Monday.

In preparation for the weekend, Virginia Department of Transportation crews have been treating roads in Fairfax County and elsewhere in Northern Virginia over the past two days.

 

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A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Fairfax County through 9 a.m. tomorrow.

According to the National Weather Service, between one to two inches of snow is possible throughout much of the region.

Here’s more from the NWS alert.

IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening and morning commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Slow down and use caution while traveling. When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is asking drivers to avoid slippery roadways.

Closely monitor weather reports for shifts in forecasts in your area.

Plan ahead. If road conditions become hazardous, delay travel for your safety and to give crews time to clear or treat roads.

Be aware of the potential for ice. With freezing temperatures in the forecast, any precipitation may freeze quickly. If you must drive, use extreme caution in areas prone to freezing such as bridges, overpasses, hills, curves, and ramps. See more winter driving tips.

Monitor road conditions from home on www.511virginia.org, on the free mobile app, or call 511 from any phone in Virginia.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Monday Morning Notes

Case Average Takes Downturn — “On Sunday, Virginia recorded 3,792 new coronavirus cases while the seven-day average continues to decline from last week, according to Virginia Department of Health data.” [Reston Patch]

Reston Group Opposes zMOD — The Reston Citizens Association has issued a lengthy statement opposing certain elements of the county’s zoning modernization project. [Reston 2020]

Snow Possible Tonight — “Precipitation breaks out sometime after 3 p.m., probably starting as light rain before changing to a sleet/snow mix. Mixed precipitation will continue to fall lightly through midnight, probably changing back to light rain overnight. High temperatures in the mid- to upper 30s. Accumulations in the D.C. metro area will be mostly confined to grassy surfaces.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Hospital Center Staff Receive COVID-19 Vaccine — Dr. David Adler, an anesthesiologist, was first in line to receive the vaccine at Reston Hospital Center. More than 100 physicians, nurses and caregivers received the vaccine at the hospital so far. [Reston Hospital Center]

Icy Roads and Sidewalks Pose Hazards after Yesterday’s Snow — “So far, between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m., FCFRD has responded to two incidents related to people slipping and falling on ice and injuring themselves. If you must be out this morning, walk with care and caution! Walk like a penguin!” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Metrobus to Operate on Moderate Snow Plan — Metrobus will begin service on its moderate snow service plan, in which some routes will be suspended and detours will be in effect on selected routes. Metro will continue to restore conditions as conditions allow. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

FCPD Launches Community Survey on Search for New Police Chief — Fairfax County has hired POLIHIRE to lead the search for the police chief. The firm is seeking input from the community on key characteristics, skills, traits, and issues to consider. [FCPD]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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