Tag Archive | winter weather

Fairfax County Government Open With Unscheduled Leave for Employees on Thursday, March 22; Schools Closed

Posted Wednesday, March 21, at 7:20 p.m.

County and School Status

  • Fairfax County Government offices are open on Thursday, March 22, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed on Thursday.
  • School Age Child Care(SACC) centers are also closed.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will be open.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

Transportation: Connector, Fastran


  • 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.

View the public meetings 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), 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 announce county government closing status and also broadcasts weather forecasts several times per hour.

Winter weather preparedness information can be found in 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.

Winter Weather Safety Tips from the Red Cross

extreme cold and winter weather preparedness

Posted at 12:05 p.m.

As winter temperatures have finally arrived in Fairfax County, many of us now turn our attention to the perils that Old Man Winter can bring, such as extremely cold temperatures, snow, ice and freezing rain and even the loss of electricity.

Before we start sharing in-depth and specific information about the possible major winter storm this weekend, the American Red Cross recently published a list of winter safety tips to help you safely weather the cold.

In Your House

  • If there’s a power outage, go to a designated public shelter to stay warm. Fairfax County has official warming centers available during regular business hours.
  • Keep your thermostat at the same setting day and night.
  • Bring pets indoors. If that’s not possible, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Run water, even at a trickle, to help stop pipes from freezing. Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage
  • Before taking on tasks such as shoveling snow, consider your physical condition.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.


  • Know the signs of hypothermia – confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. If someone has these symptoms, they should get immediate medical attention.
  • Watch for symptoms of frostbite including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy feeling skin.
  • Dressing in several layers of lightweight clothing keeps someone warmer than a single heavy coat.
  • Mittens provide more warmth to the hands than gloves. Wear a hat, preferably one that covers the ears.
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry and to maintain one’s footing in ice and snow.

Remember, when temperatures drop and winter storms roll in, check on your elderly neighbors and help those who may need special assistance, including people with disabilities and children. And 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.

Thanks to the American Red Cross for allowing us to repost this information.

Learn more about winter storm preparedness at www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm and www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/winter-storm-snow-cold.htm.

Video: Winter Weather Preparedness

Posted at 3:55 p.m.

This week is Winter Preparedness Week across Virginia.

In the video below, Whitney Kazragis with our emergency management office offers three things you can do to be prepared for winter as well as other preparedness tips for extreme cold.

Learn more about winter weather preparedness on our winter hazards Web page and be sure to sign up for weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts.

It’s Winter Preparedness Week; Are You Ready?

Posted at 11 a.m.

Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia

Winters in Virginia often are cold, snowy and icy and can bring power outages. To highlight the importance of being winter-ready, the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management have set aside this week, Nov. 30 – Dec. 6 as Winter Preparedness Week.

Last week’s snow was a gentle reminder that whether we are ready or not, we do have the chance for snow — as well as ice and freezing temperatures — throughout the winter months.

Although the current National Weather Service (NWS) winter outlook indicates Virginia could have a less severe winter than last season, you still need to be sure to have emergency plans and supplies are in place.

winter weather, snow and cold

“A significant winter storm is possible any winter in Virginia, even during those winters with overall temperatures near or above normal,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “If the El Nino weather pattern happens as expected, then Virginia residents should anticipate storminess and a wetter than normal winter overall. El Nino winters are generally not snowier, but they can be, if atmospheric conditions are right. A recent example is the 2009-10 winter.”

During Winter Preparedness Week, take these preparedness steps:

Make a Kit

Basic emergency supplies include:

snowflake-iconThree days’ food that doesn’t need refrigeration or electricity to prepare it.

snowflake-iconThree days’ water (a gallon per person per day).

snowflake-iconA battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with extra batteries.

snowflake-iconA first-aid kit, prescription medications, blankets and warm clothing, and supplies for special members of your household and pet items.

snowflake-iconA power pack for recharging cellphones and other mobile devices.

snowflake-iconFor businesses and offices, keep some bottles of water and food bars on hand.

snowflake-iconHave a radio to hear local information about whether or not it is safe to travel. Officials may advise staying in place until it is safe to travel.

snowflake-iconBe sure to keep an emergency kit in your car as well.

Make a Plan

Everyone needs an emergency plan:

snowflake-iconDecide who your out-of-town emergency contact will be. Where will you meet up with family members if you can’t return home?

snowflake-iconGet an emergency plan worksheet at www.ReadyVirginia.gov or on the new Ready Virginia app.

snowflake-iconVisit ReadyNoVa.org and create a family emergency plan or an emergency plan for your business.

Stay Informed

Before, during and after a winter storm, you should:

snowflake-iconListen to local media for information and instructions from our emergency management and public safety officials.

snowflake-iconBe aware of winter storm watches and warnings and road conditions.

snowflake-iconGet road condition information 24/7 by calling 511 or checking www.511Virginia.org.

snowflake-iconIf you do have to travel, remember to get where you need to be before the weather gets bad.

Learn more about winter storms and extreme cold from VDEM as well as on our winter storm, snow and cold Web page. And get tips on how to make a kit, make a plan and stay informed.