Winter Storm Watch Issued Beginning Tuesday Evening, March 5

Significant Snow Possible for the Area

Posted at 11:44 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch starting Tuesday evening and lasting through Wednesday evening. A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.

Accumulations of more than 5 inches are possible with the potential for significant snowfall somewhere within the watch area. (NWS graphical maps)

Winter Storm Warning issues for Fairfax County (and much of National Capital Region) starting Tuesday evening, March 5.

“Snowquester” is expected to bring up to 5 inches or more of snow to the region beginning Tuesday evening.

NWS reports that the precipitation will be mixing with and changing to snow Tuesday night, with snow continuing into Wednesday evening, causing difficult driving conditions. Heavy wet snow and gusty winds also could lead to power outages.

The Weather Service, however, notes that “uncertainty remains with the track of the low and location of the rain/snow line,” which ultimately will determine snowfall totals.

There also is a potential for flooding of creeks and streams if heavy rain occurs Wednesday, or if significant snow melt occurs thereafter. 

The Capital Weather Gang has dubbed the potential storm “Snowquester” and that big March snows “can and do happen at the close of winter.”

The most snow D.C. has ever seen on one day in March is the 11.5″ on the 29th in 1942. The largest March snowstorm on record is 12 inches, way back on the 27th-28th of 1891.

Residents are encouraged to stock up today on winter preparedness emergency supplies and other preparedness items, such as :

  • Have extra batteries in case of power outages.
  • Keep cellphones charged and purchase a charger for your car if you don’t already have one.
  • Purchase rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products. Sand also is helpful to improve traction.
  • Make sure that snow shovels and other snow removal equipment are in a convenient place and ready to use if necessary.

Should significant snow affect our area, please minimize travel and remember to “get where you need to be before the weather gets bad.” If travel is necessary, keep an emergency supply kit in your vehicle. Also, don’t forget your pets — bring pets/companion animals inside; move other animals to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

Stay tuned to local weather forecasts, NOAA weather radio and this blog for additional information. And be sure to sign up for weather alerts from CEAN — the Community Emergency Alert Network — at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cean.

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