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Tornado Watch in Effect for Fairfax County Until Midnight

Posted at 2:25 p.m.

Fairfax County and most of the National Capital Region are under a tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service. This is in addition to the hazardous weather outlook and flash flood warning already in effect. Read more in yesterday’s blog post about the approaching weather.

A tornado watch means that you should be prepared to take action. Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area, which are typically large areas, covering numerous counties or even states.

When a tornado watch is issued you should review and discuss your emergency plans with family and co-workers, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives!

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You will want to monitor the weather forecast and stay up-to-date on current conditions. In addition, sign up for severe weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts to get notifications on your mobile device, as well as by email.

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Should a tornado warning be issued, take action immediately. A warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

Flash Flood Watch Issued in Advance of Severe Weather on Friday, April 19

Posted at 3:55 p.m.

Fairfax County is expected to encounter some severe weather throughout the afternoon and evening tomorrow Friday, April 19.  Because of the expected heavy rains, coupled with the strong winds that make flash flooding possible, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Watch from noon Friday until 5 a.m. Saturday morning, April 20.

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor weather forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Weather Forecast

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According to the NWS forecast, the expectation is two primary periods of weather. The first is likely to occur during the late morning and extend into the early afternoon. During this time, isolated thunderstorms will begin in the area and may be strong in nature. Rainfall amounts of a quarter to a half inch are possible during this first round of storms.

The main storm front is expected after 4 p.m., with the most severe weather after 8 p.m. This line of thunderstorms may be severe, with 1.5 to 2 inches of rain possible across the county. The compounding storms may result in as much as 3 inches in some isolated areas, primarily in the northwest of the county.

Along with the rains, these storms will bring high winds of 11 to 15 mph sustained and gusts as high as 30 mph. In addition, some hail is possible.

Turn Around Don’t Drown

If you encounter water on roadways, please remember — Turn Around, Don’t Drown! It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.

Turn Around Dont Drown Sign yellowAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water.

Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.


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County Government Closed Wednesday, Feb. 20

Posted at 4 a.m.

County and School Status

  • Fairfax County Government offices are closed today, Wednesday, Feb. 20, and employees are granted emergency administrative leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed today, Wednesday, Feb. 20. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

View the public meetings calendar at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/Calendar for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County Government Boards, Authorities or Commissions

Emergency information is available on Fairfax County’s website (www.fairfaxcounty.gov), Emergency Information Blog (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog),  Facebook (www.facebook.com/fairfaxcounty), Twitter (www.twitter.com/fairfaxcounty), Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts or by calling the Fairfax County Emergency Information Hotline at 703-817-7771, TTY 711. Fairfax County Government Radio (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/radio) will also announce county government closings.

Fairfax County Snow Guide can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/snow.

 

Winter Storm Warning in Effect Tonight Through Tomorrow Evening

Posted at 1:35 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning from 10 p.m. this evening, Tuesday, Feb. 19, until 10 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 20. Snow will overspread the area late this evening, and mix with and change to sleet and freezing rain Wednesday morning.

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

Heavy mixed precipitation is expected, with total snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches and ice accumulations of one tenth to two tenths of an inch possible.

Weather Forecast

Snow is expected to move into the county sometime between 3-5 a.m. We will see all snow at first with a transition into sleet after 1 p.m. After 4 p.m. it is expected to change to freezing rain with the sleet. Winds will be out of the east at 7-9 mph with temperatures hovering near 33 degrees.

Wednesday evening will bring rain and/or some periods of freezing rain becoming all rain after 10 p.m.

Winter Storm Warning

Tonight: Snow, mainly after 4am. Low around 29. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Wednesday: Snow before 1pm, then sleet between 1pm and 4pm, then freezing rain and sleet after 4pm. High near 33. East wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Wednesday Night: Rain or freezing rain, becoming all rain after 10pm. Low around 33. Northeast wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch possible.

Precautions

Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. 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.

Plan now to avoid driving through the day Wednesday and after the storm until conditions have improved. This will allow VDOT crews time to plow and treat roads. VDOT reminds you to park your vehicles in driveways or on the same side of the street to allow plows room to pass.

Impending Weather Affects Some Programs and Public Meetings

Fairfax County Government Operating Status

Posted at 11:55 a.m.

UPDATED 2:40 p.m.

  • The Fairfax County Public Library and its branches will close at 6 p.m. this evening.
  • All Neighborhood and Community Services facilities and programs will be closing at 6 p.m. this evening.
  • Channel 16’s “Your Community, You’re Connected,” scheduled for this evening, has been cancelled. The program has been rescheduled for Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. 

Due to today’s hazardous weather outlook, several county programs and meetings are affected this afternoon and evening.

County and School Status

  • All Fairfax County Public Schools are closing two hours early today, Tuesday, Jan. 29. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers will remain open until 6:15 p.m.
  • Fairfax County Government offices and the Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court remain open at this time.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

Libraries

  • Library hours may be affected; call your local branch before visiting. For branch phone numbers, call 703-324-3100 or go to fairfaxcounty.gov/library.

Public Meetings

The following advertised public meetings have been cancelled.

  • 3 p.m. – Board of Supervisors Health, Housing, and Human Services Committee
  • 6:30 p.m. – Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Affordable Housing Resources Panel
  • 7 p.m. – Lincolnia Planning District Study Task Force Meeting

For more information on advertised public meetings of Fairfax County Government Boards, Authorities or Commissions, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/Calendar.

Additional Information Sources

Emergency information is available on Fairfax County’s website and the Emergency Information Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Fairfax Alerts or by calling the Fairfax County Emergency Information Hotline at 703-817-7771, TTY 711. Fairfax County Government Radio will also announce county government closings.

Fairfax County Snow Guide can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/snow.


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