Update, 5:30 p.m. Monday: The National Weather Service has now upgraded the forecast for Tuesday to a Winter Storm Warning. Conditions are likely for a significant storm with four to six inches of snow.
Original Story — The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the area from Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening. Reston Now will keep you updated with any changes and school closings.
Here is the advisory, which predicts as much as five inches of snow for Northern Virginia:
WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW
* ACCUMULATIONS… POTENTIAL FOR FIVE INCHES OR MORE.
* TIMING… TUESDAY THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW WILL BE LATE TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON.
* TEMPERATURES… DROPPING INTO THE TEENS.
* WINDS… BECOMING NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 25 MPH TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY. THE COMBINATION OF SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL REDUCE VISIBILITY TO BELOW ONE-HALF MILE AT TIMES. TRAVELLING MAY BE DANGEROUS TUESDAY. THE MORNING AND EVENING COMMUTE MAY BE IMPACTED BY THE SNOW.
A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
Exact impacts are still somewhat uncertain depending on whether most of the precipitation is rain, snow or freezing rain, the governor said. Virginians should make preparations now for possible power outages, that could be lengthy if large amounts of ice accumulate on power lines and trees, as well as unsafe road conditions, McDonnell said at a Friday storm briefing in Richmond.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Washington area that will run from Sunday morning through Monday morning. The NWS says snow and sleet will change over to freezing rain Sunday afternoon. The freezing rain is expected to last until Sunday night or Monday morning, but will then change to rain
In the Washington area, 1 to 2 inches of snow and sleet may fall, and a quarter-inch or more of ice accumulation is possible, the NWS said.
“It might be warm today, but the weather in the Commonwealth is about to take a major change for the worse,” McDonnell said.
“With this forecast in mind, I ask all Virginians to take the necessary precautions today to ensure they are prepared for any possible losses of power during a cold weather period. Please check your batteries, flashlights, and lanterns. Power your mobile communications devices now and make sure they are fully charged. And, as always, please check on your elderly or house-bound neighbors, family, and friends in particular to ensure they are ready for this storm and any possible inconveniences or interruptions that may result.”