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Winter Weather Advisory in Effect at Midnight

Posted at 4:30 p.m.

Winter Weather Advisory

A winter weather advisory is in effect from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet and freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities; use caution while driving.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain, with snow accumulation of up to 1 inch along with around a trace of ice is possible affecting the area late tonight through tomorrow.

For more winter preparedness and safety information, visit our winter weather guide.

VDOT Crews Prep for Weekend Weather

Posted at 2:15 p.m.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reports this afternoon that they have crews and contract crews preparing for plummeting temperatures and a gamut of winter weather forecast this weekend for Northern Virginia.

Crews began pretreating roads yesterday and will be staged roadside in the region by 10 p.m. tonight. Throughout Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington* counties (*Arlington maintains own secondary roads) crews treat about 5,200 lane miles of interstates and other high-volume roads with liquid magnesium chloride or brine when conditions allow for winter weather. Learn more about Northern Virginia’s snow preparations.

Drives are asked to monitor weather reports for the latest updates to avoid being on the road during periods of limited visibility or icy conditions.

Weather Forecast

weather forecast Jan. 13-16, 2017

The National Weather Service predicts a slight chance of rain, snow and sleet between 9 p.m. and midnight tonight, then snow, freezing rain and sleet likely. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 31° Fahrenheit and a 60 percent chance of precipitation. Little or no ice accumulation and little or no snow and sleet accumulation are expected.

On Saturday, snow, freezing rain and sleet are in the forecast before noon, then rain or freezing rain is likely with a high near 33°. New ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch is possible.

For severe weather alerts on your mobile phone or by email, be sure to sign up for Fairfax Alerts.

Fairfax Connector

Fairfax Connector reminds riders that during inclement weather, heavy snow or icy conditions, service may be reduced, modified or suspended to poor travel conditions. If road conditions become unsafe, icy or snow packed, service may be suspended on a route-by-route basis, or system-wide.

Take one of these 3 easy steps to stay informed of operating status, service changes and detours before, during and after a winter weather event.

  1. Sign-up for text and/or email alerts through Fairfax Alerts by subscribing to “Fairfax Connector Passenger Information.”
  2. Follow Fairfax Connector on Twitter and Facebook.
  3. Call Fairfax Connector customer service at 703-339-7200, TTY 703-339-1608; Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Se habla Español.

Listen to OEM Coordinator Seamus Mooney on the County Conversation podcast

For additional winter preparedness and safety information, be sure to visit our winter weather guide.

It’s Not Too Late to Winterize Your Vehicle

Posted at 2 p.m.

Don’t hit the road without a jack or until your car is ready for winter weather. There are maintenance checks to keep you safe, your vehicle warm and your engine running — as well as specific emergency items to store in your car during the winter.

Check or have a mechanic check items, such as:

  • Antifreeze levels — ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system — should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Exhaust system — check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Heater and defroster — ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights — check for serviceability.
  • Windshield wiper equipment — repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires — Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.

You’ll also want to add winter items to the emergency kits in all your vehicles:

  • A shovel.
  • Windshield scraper and small broom.
  • Water.
  • Snack food.
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens.
  • Necessary medications.
  • Blanket(s).
  • Tow chain or rope.
  • Road salt and sand.

Learn more on how to make an emergency kit for your vehicle(s) in this short video from the county’s Office of Emergency Management.

Follow these tips and find more winter preparedness information at www.Ready.gov and at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/winter-storm-snow-cold.htm.

Reprinted from the Dec. 16 edition of FEMA’s “Individual and Community Preparedness” e-Brief email newsletter

Icy Road Conditions This Morning

Posted at 9:20 a.m.

As you and your family are waking up and looking to head out, please consider staying inside — and not out on the road — for a few extra hours to allow temperatures to rise and icy roadways to become more manageable.

The overnight rain/freezing rain and below freezing temperatures have caused numerous issues on county roads — and roads across the region. Multiple accidents have been reported.

The National Weather Service winter weather and freezing rain advisories have also been extended until noon today.

Don’t forget about icy sidewalks as well, so be careful as you take the dog(s) outside or to get the morning paper.

Some Fairfax Connector (@ffxconnector) bus routes/stops have been affected this morning. Even our Fire department (@ffxfirerescue) had a fire engine involved in a crash at Route 50 and I-66 East in the Fair Oaks area of the county this morning due to icy road conditions. The Police department (@fairfaxpolice) also has enacted its accident policy.

Get more on the forecast. And if you haven’t already signed up for Fairfax Alerts, do so here. Among the alerts you can receive on your cellphone and by email are customized weather alerts as well as severe traffic alerts.

Bottom line … stay off the roads until temperatures rise and ice melts. If you must be out, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reminds you to slow down and allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination (PDF).