Posted at 9:30 a.m.
The National Weather Service (NWS) and county emergency management officials are monitoring the progress of a powerful cold front that is forecast to affect our area this afternoon. With temperatures rising to near 80 degrees there will be an unusual amount of heat energy available for this time of the year to fuel thunderstorms as the cold front passes. The primary threat will be high winds and related power outages. In addition, isolated thunderstorm cells could also bring us hail and wind gusts to 40 mph or greater.
NWS reports scattered severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail are possible this afternoon and evening. The most likely time for severe thunderstorms is between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m.
If you aren’t yet registered for severe weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts, you may want to sign up. You can receive alerts via text and email.
Today: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Breezy, with a southwest wind 15 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 7 p.m. and midnight. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds. Low around 44. Breezy, with a southwest wind 21 to 25 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 51. Breezy, with a northwest wind 16 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.
Posted at 4:30 p.m.
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.
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.
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 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.
- Sign-up for text and/or email alerts through Fairfax Alerts by subscribing to “Fairfax Connector Passenger Information.”
- Follow Fairfax Connector on Twitter and Facebook.
- 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.
For additional winter preparedness and safety information, be sure to visit our winter weather guide.
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.
- Snack food.
- Extra hats, socks and mittens.
- Necessary medications.
- 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