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Icy Conditions Expected Tonight

Posted at 4:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service reports that icy roads and sidewalks are expected tonight as temperatures drop well below freezing in the wake of today’s light snowfall.

Motorists and pedestrians should exercise caution when driving or walking this evening. Reduce speed, leave extra stopping distance, and allow plenty of extra time to get to your destination.

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Winter Weather Guide

Fairfax County Winter Weather Guide

Winter is here and that means cold temperatures, the possibility of snow and lots of questions. Questions like:

  • Who is responsible for plowing the snow off Fairfax County roads?
  • Who clears walkways, sidewalks and bus stops?
  • Where can I get severe weather alerts?
  • How do I know if county government is open on a snow day?

For the answers to these questions and other things you need to know this winter, check out our Winter Weather Guide.

Hypothermia Prevention Program

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

The long, cold winter nights are upon us. Imagine spending the night sleeping outside. For those experiencing homelessness in our county this is a frightening and potentially life-threatening reality.

To help ensure no one has to sleep outside during the winter months, a collaborative effort by the county, nonprofits and faith communities created the Hypothermia Prevention Program more than a decade ago. Last winter, the program provided more than 1,000 people experiencing homelessness in our county with a warm, safe place to sleep and a healthy meal.

Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.

If you see someone at night who is unsheltered and you think he or she could be at risk of hypothermia, call the county’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131.

NewsCenter has more on the hypothermia prevention program and other county news and event information.

Climate Prediction Center Issues U.S. Winter Outlook

NOAA Forecasters Predict Cooler, Wetter North and Warmer, Drier South

Posted at 11 a.m.

Yesterday, the forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center released the U.S. Winter Outlook, with La Niña potentially emerging for the second year in a row as the biggest wildcard in how this year’s winter will shape up.

“If La Niña conditions develop, we predict it will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

“Typical La Niña patterns during winter include above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures along the Northern Tier of the U.S. and below normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South.”

In this video, Halpert explains the 2017-18 winter outlook.

NOAA’s seasonal outlooks give the likelihood that temperature and precipitation will be above-, near, or below-average, and also how drought is expected to change, but do not project seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance because they depend upon the strength and track of winter storms.

The U.S. Winter Outlook will be updated on Nov. 16.

Be Ready For Any Weather

snow shovelWhether it’s a warmer, drier winter or a colder, wetter one with lots of snow, you and your family need to be prepared.

The first thing to do is sign up for our free severe weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts. You can also get severe traffic alerts and other notifications.

Next, make sure your family has an emergency supply kit at home and that you have emergency kits at work and in every vehicle. Learn how to make your kit and what supplies you need to have.

Prepare now and be ready for whatever “Old Man Winter” throws at us this year!


Fairfax Alerts

Wind Advisory in Effect Until 7 p.m.

Posted at 1:40 p.m.

A National Weather Service wind advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. this evening. A wind advisory means that winds of 45 to 55 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

East winds 25 mph, with gusts to 45 mph, are expected through early evening tonight. These strong winds may blow down limbs, trees and power lines. Scattered power outages are to be expected.

Our fire and rescue department reports that from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, units have already responded to 21 calls for reports of downed power lines.

Downed power lines can be deadly. Always assume a downed power line is live and avoid going near it or anything in contact with it.

downed-and-dangerous-downed-power-line-safety

Graphic courtesy of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).