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).
Posted at 11 a.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for snow, sleet and freezing rain from midnight tonight to noon tomorrow (Saturday). A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities, and if you must be out use caution while driving.
Accumulations of snow and sleet of less than 1 inch along with around a tenth of an inch of glaze ice are in the forecast. More on the winter weather can be found on the National Weather Service winter weather page.
The weather service is expecting snow and sleet will overspread the region after midnight tonight, then change to freezing rain before dawn tomorrow morning. The freezing rain will change to rain by noon on Saturday. Temperatures are expected in the mid to upper 20s later tonight, rising into the lower 30s tomorrow morning and above freezing tomorrow afternoon.
With extreme cold and snow, sleet and freezing rain, the chance of getting frostbite or hypothermia increase dramatically. Check this blog article for more on frostbite and hypothermia, as well as additional information from the Fire and Rescue blog. Additional winter weather preparedness information also can be found on NewsCenter’s winter weather guide.
Posted at 6:50 a.m.
While the first “official” day of winter doesn’t start until next week — Dec. 21 with the winter solstice — the extremely cold winter temperatures are already here. Try and stay inside if you can, but if you must be out in the elements, remember to dress warmly.
It’s going to be extremely cold today and for the next couple of days — in fact the coldest December temperatures in years. The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts blustery temperatures with a high near 26° Fahrenheit today with a low tonight around 15°.
Friday it will be partly sunny with a high near 27°. Friday night’s forecast calls for a chance of snow before 1 a.m., then freezing rain and sleet likely, with a low around 25°. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent.
Frostbite and Hypothermia
According to the weather service, frostbite is damage to body tissue caused by extreme cold. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. If you must wait for help, slowly rewarm affected areas. However, if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.
Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops below 95°. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. Take your temperature and if it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately.
Hypothermia Prevention Program for the Homeless
To help our vulnerable neighbors survive the winter, the county provides overnight shelter with a “no turn-away” policy at all emergency homeless shelters during freezing weather. Through the coldest months of the winter, we also provide the Hypothermia Prevention Program, a countywide community network of 45 overnight shelters. Through this program last winter, our nonprofit and faith-based community partners served almost 1,000 men and women with a safe, warm place to sleep.
If you see someone at night who is unsheltered and you think could be at risk of hypothermia, call the county’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.
Posted at 12:20 p.m.
Sprint has resolved its issues with customers in Fairfax County being able to reach 9-1-1.
There appears to be an issue with Sprint customers being able to reach 9-1-1. Sprint has been made aware of the problem.
If you cannot get through to 9-1-1 please call 703-691-2233 instead.
Text to 9-1-1 for Sprint customers appears to be working.