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Freeze Warning In Effect Again Thursday Morning

by Aaron Kraut | April 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm | No Comments

The mid-April cold hasn’t quite left the area. The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued a Freeze Warning for early Thursday morning, with temperatures expected to be in the upper 20s and lower 30s starting Wednesday night:

…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM EDT THURSDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A FREEZE WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM EDT THURSDAY. THE FREEZE WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* TEMPERATURES…LOWS IN THE UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S LATE TONIGHT.

* TIMING…LATE TONIGHT INTO EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS…UNPROTECTED COLD-SENSITIVE VEGETATION WILL BE KILLED OR DAMAGED.

Tomorrow’s temperature is expected to climb back toward 60 degrees, with temperatures in the 60s forecast for the weekend.

Freeze Warning In Effect Overnight

by Aaron Kraut | April 15, 2014 at 8:15 am | 93 views | No Comments

An anticipated cold front means a Freeze Warning from the National Weather Service and some mid-April talk of snow.

The National Weather Service issued a Freeze Warning for much of the D.C. area, including Montgomery County from midnight tonight to 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The low temperature is expected to be in the mid-upper 20s:

…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A FREEZE WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY. THE FREEZE WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* TEMPERATURES…LOWS IN THE MID TO UPPER 20S.

* TIMING…OVERNIGHT TONIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS…UNPROTECTED COLD-SENSITIVE VEGETATION WILL BE KILLED OR DAMAGED.

As for the snow, don’t expect any significant amount, if any.

NWS Issues Winter Weather Advisory

by Aaron Kraut | March 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm | 267 views | No Comments

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday, with most of a possible 1-3 inches of snow expected in the morning.

Roads will be slippery and the morning commute could be difficult:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 3 PM EDT TUESDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 3 PM EDT TUESDAY.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS…1 TO 3 INCHES. THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS WILL BE NORTH AND WEST OF INTERSTATE 95 TOWARD THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS.

* TIMING…SNOW WILL BEGIN EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED TUESDAY MORNING BEFORE TAPERING OFF DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.

* TEMPERATURES…LOW TEMPERATURES TONIGHT IN THE MID TO UPPER 20S. HIGH TEMPERATURES TUESDAY WILL BE IN THE MID TO UPPER 30S.

* WINDS…BECOMING SOUTHEAST AROUND 5 MPH.

* IMPACTS…ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY TUESDAY MORNING AND TRAVEL WILL BE DIFFICULT DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE. MOST SURFACES WILL BECOME WET TUESDAY AFTERNOON WITH TEMPERATURES RISING ABOVE FREEZING.

Weather Chatter: Winter’s Last Gasp?

by Aaron Kraut | March 24, 2014 at 11:30 am | 411 views | No Comments

Snowfall projections from National Weather Service

The possibility of snow on Tuesday has folks talking, if only because it’s almost April.

The likelihood is we won’t receive much snow at all and the cold and windy conditions expected aren’t too out of the ordinary for this time of year:

National Weather Service: 0.9 inches.

Amelia Segal (NBC4): Dusting-2 inches. “Not a lot but timing from morning into the evening may cause delays.”

Terp Weather: “Cold today, light snow tomorrow, windy on Wednesday and then warming. In other words, March in the Mid-Atlantic.” Oh, and no chance of school cancelations.

Capital Weather Gang: “Snow could whiten the ground.” Periods of light snow likely during the day.

Weather.com: A high of 36 degrees with 100 percent chance of precipitation and 1-2 inches of snow.

Map via National Weather Service

Tab For County Snow Removal Hit $25 Million Before Monday’s Snow

by Aaron Kraut | March 18, 2014 at 10:20 am | 64 views | No Comments

Snow removal equipment whizzes by on Woodmont AvenueThe cost of snow removal and storm cleanup in Montgomery County before Sunday’s snow was about $25 million, already much more than $9 million budgeted.

According to an executive staff report, that is good for the third most expensive winter since 2000, with 2009 and 2010′s “Snowmageddon,” blizzards accounting for $64 million in treatment and removal costs. The next year’s winter brought $27 million in removal and treatment costs for fiscal year 2011.

The 6-10 inches the county got Sunday and Monday might have put this winter on par or even past that one. The County Council on Tuesday will get a briefing on snow removal costs and a more detailed look at the major storm Feb. 12-13 that dumped 10-21 inches of snow across the county.

The county’s MC311 phone line experienced a technical problem on the morning of Friday, Feb. 14 that left many folks calling about unplowed neighborhood streets on hold. In the 11 a.m. hour of Feb. 14, MC311 reports there was a call abandonment rate of 73 percent with an average wait time of more than 35 minutes.

A server syncing issue between the phones and 311′s software system meant more time to process calls and prevented some call takers from being able to pick up the next call in line. According to the county’s Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security, the 311 welcome announcement was not changed to a technical difficulty message until about 9:30 a.m., about three and a half hours after the technical difficulties began.

As of Feb. 22, there were 3,800 requests made to 311 regarding snow removal, more than half of which came on Feb. 14. During a relatively calm winter in 2013, there were just 183 snow removal requests.

There were also reports of problems with the Department of Transportation’s Storm Operations Map, which at points on the night of Feb. 14 did not work.

As for the plowing and snow removal, DOT had 358 total personnel and 680 total pieces of snow equipment on the roads in the days following the initial storm and the additional 4 inches that fell later on Thursday, Feb. 13.

According to DOT, 505 of those pieces of equipment belonged to contractors. In all, 5,200 lane miles of roadway were plowed and treated with 15,250 tons of salt.

The 940 lane miles of county primary, arterial or emergency roads were cleared within nine hours of the initial storm Wednesday night into Thursday. The 4-inch second part of the storm required crews to go back to those roads and another six hours of re-treatment.

Neighborhood plowing of 4,210 residential lane miles was completed within 40 hours of the end of the initial storm and lasted until Sunday, Feb. 16.

On Feb. 14, the county determined it had to remove large piles of plowed snow in the downtown areas of Silver Spring, Wheaton and Bethesda because of subfreezing temperatures the next few days.

From 9 p.m. that Friday until 10 a.m. Saturday, the county called in 80 additional dump trucks and loaders to pick up and move snow to dumping sites in order to clear intersections and crosswalks.

The Council will get the briefing at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

Snow Day Closings Pile Up Monday

by Aaron Kraut | March 17, 2014 at 4:20 am | 637 views | No Comments

(Updated 9:10 a.m.) Montgomery County Public Schools and federal offices are closed Monday, March 17 as snow continued to fall overnight Sunday into Monday.

Bethesda had 8.2 inches by 7:30 a.m. A trained spotter for the NWS recorded an even 8 inches at the Dalecarlia Resevoir.

The Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service is in effect until 2 p.m. and calls for 5-10 inches throughout Montgomery County.

Montgomery County government will open at 10 a.m., with a liberal leave policy in effect for non-essential employees. County libraries will open at noon. Regular trash and recycling pick-ups will be made starting at 10 a.m.

If crews can’t get on your street Monday, the pick-ups will be made Tuesday.

Montgomery County said Ride On would operate with its regular schedule and with regular routes:

Ride On to Operate Regular Weekday Schedule Monday; Expect Some Delays and Detours

Montgomery County’s Ride On bus service will operate a regular weekday schedule on Monday, March 17. However, as roads are expected to be icy and snow covered, passengers should expect delays and detours.

Meanwhile, Metrobus is being limited to major routes only will go to its moderate snow service plan at 11 a.m., meaning all routes will be in service but some may include detours to avoid hilly, narrow streets.

Montgomery Parks will open some facilities at noon:

Montgomery Parks’ ice skating rinks and tennis centers will open at noon today, classes are cancelled. Montgomery Parks’ offices, including Brookside Gardens and the Park Permits Office will open at 10 a.m. today. All Park Activity Building rentals are cancelled this morning and afternoon. Evening rentals are currently on as scheduled. Customers whose reservations have been effected by today’s weather should contact the park Permit Office at 301-495-2525 to obtain a refund or reschedule their event.

Major roads are still wet, but look much improved from earlier this morning:

Wilson Lane and River Road Bradley Lane and Connecticut Avenue Wisconsin Avenue and Bradley Lane
Beltway at Old Georgetown Road Rockville Pike and Nicholson Lane Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues
Flickr photo by Kit Case, traffic photos via TrafficLand.com

NWS Predicts 3-6 Inches Of Snow Sunday Into Monday

by Aaron Kraut | March 16, 2014 at 9:20 am | 642 views | No Comments

Yet more snow is in store for the area Sunday evening into Monday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning from 7 p.m. Sunday to 2 p.m. Monday for Montgomery County and many others in the area.

The NWS predicts 3-6 inches of snow:

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 2 PM EDT MONDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 2 PM EDT MONDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW

* ACCUMULATIONS…3 TO 6 INCHES.

* TIMING…A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW EARLY THIS EVENING WILL CHANGE TO ALL SNOW BY MID EVENING. SNOW WILL CONTINUE OVERNIGHT THROUGH EARLY AFTERNOON MONDAY. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT THROUGH EARLY MONDAY MORNING.

* TEMPERATURES…FALLING INTO THE LOWER 30S BY MID EVENING AND THEN DROPPING INTO THE MID TO UPPER 20S LATE TONIGHT. HIGHS MONDAY IN THE LOWER 30S.

* WINDS…NORTHEAST 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH.

* IMPACTS…ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY. TRAVEL WILL BE DANGEROUS…ESPECIALLY TONIGHT THROUGH THE MORNING RUSH ON MONDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Wednesday Evening

by Aaron Kraut | March 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm | 78 views | No Comments

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Wednesday evening until 10 p.m.

Keep in mind the NWS sometimes cuts Severe Thunderstorm Watches short as storms pass through:

EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 500 PM UNTIL 1000 PM EDT.

* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE…SEVERAL DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH LIKELY

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 85 STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 35 MILES SOUTH SOUTHWEST OF RALEIGH NORTH CAROLINA TO 5 MILES NORTHWEST OF WILMINGTON DELAWARE.  FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU8).

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…REMEMBER…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

Some Freezing Rain Possible Friday

by Aaron Kraut | March 6, 2014 at 11:05 pm | 108 views | No Comments

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory to warn Friday morning commuters of the potential for freezing drizzle and rain.

The Advisory is in effect from 6 a.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Friday, with sleet and freezing rain expected to start after 9 a.m:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 2 PM EST FRIDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 2 PM EST FRIDAY.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…FREEZING RAIN…FREEZING DRIZZLE…AND SLEET.

* ACCUMULATIONS…LESS THAN A TENTH-INCH OF ICE.

* TIMING…FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL START DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE…WITH SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN ARRIVING AFTER 9AM. PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE OVER TO RAIN FROM EAST TO WEST DURING THE MIDDAY.

* TEMPERATURES…AROUND 30.

* WINDS…NORTHEAST 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* IMPACTS…FREEZING PRECIPITATION WILL AFFECT THE FRIDAY MORNING COMMUTE. ROADS WILL BECOME ICY AND SLICK…ESPECIALLY BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES.

County Government Open, Metrobus Open Tuesday

by Aaron Kraut | March 4, 2014 at 6:35 am | 230 views | No Comments

Flickr photo by Bill in DC

Metrobus service will be restored on all routes at 7 a.m., but WMATA officials are warning of some route adjustments and delays.

Metrobus will operate under a moderate snow service plan, which means snow detours will be used to keep buses off hilly streets, narrow side streets and other problem areas. Get detailed maps here.

Montgomery County government is open Tuesday with liberal leave in effect for non-essential employees. The federal government offices are open with a 2-hour delayed arrival.

As you’ve probably heard, MCPS has closed school for the second straight day Tuesday.

Montgomery County snow removal operations have not yet reached many neighborhood streets. Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, said crews hope to have snow removed by Tuesday afternoon:

Beach Drive has been reopened but remains closed at East-West Highway (the intersection of East-West and Jones Mill Road) in Chevy Chase because of ice.

Also, here’s your obligatory reminder to be careful because of that ice. Near-record low temperatures overnight mean plenty is leftover on roadways and sidewalks.

Flickr photo by Bill in DC

Record Low Temperatures Tonight, Snow Removal Continues

by Aaron Kraut | March 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm | 720 views | No Comments

(Update at 8:35 p.m.) The National Weather Service is warning of near record-low temperatures on Monday night and early Tuesday:

…ICY ROADS AND ABNORMALLY COLD CONDITIONS TONIGHT…

CLEAR AND CALMING CONDITIONS WILL ALLOW TEMPERATURES TO DROP TO NEAR RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES TONIGHT. INTERIOR AREAS CAN EXPECT LOWS AROUND ZERO DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. EVEN WITHOUT A WIND CHILL DUE TO LITTLE OR NO WIND…THESE TEMPERATURES CAN LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA ON EXPOSED SKIN IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. FURTHERMORE…ROADS REMAIN SNOWY AND ICY FROM SNOWFALL EARLIER TODAY.

IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTSIDE TONIGHT…PLEASE TAKE EXTREME CAUTION AND DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE CONDITIONS.

Temperatures are expected to drop to the single digits, with negative wind chills.

(Update at 7:10 p.m.) MCPS is closed on Tuesday. Here’s the announcement:

(Update at 7 p.m.) We’re hearing reports that a snow plow truck hit a power line in Woodmont Triangle, which has caused almost 700 Pepco customers to lose power. According to Pepco’s outage map, power in the East Bethesda and Woodmont Triangle areas should be restored by 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Montgomery Parks announced it will close Beach Drive at 7 p.m. because of icy conditions.

(Update at 6:30 p.m.) The Town of Chevy Chase is warning its residents that dwindling salt and sand supplies might mean a longer than usual process for clearing its streets and sidewalks:

Town crews continue to clear Town streets; however, this effort has been more difficult and time consuming than anticipated because the County has severely limited the amount of salt and sand available to the Town and other down-County municipalities due to a supply shortage.  The Town was not able to pre-treat the roads before the snow began and is now applying salt and sand in limited quantities in order to melt the snow.  The Town is trying to secure more salt and sand from other sources.

The Town’s sidewalk snow removal program has begun, and we anticipate that the sidewalks will be clear by midday tomorrow (Tuesday).

Montgomery County announced this evening that Ride On will operate under a normal schedule on Tuesday. Passengers should anticipate some delays because of icy roads.

The county also announced that it hopes to have all county-provided recycling and trash collections that were canceled Monday performed on Tuesday. Trash collections will slide one day later than normal, so Tuesday collections will happen Wednesday with Friday collections set for Saturday.

With frigid temperatures, the snowy and icy road conditions are expected to remain tomorrow morning:

Snowy and icy road conditions are expected tomorrow morning, so the trucks may run a bit behind their normal schedule. If a street is not passable in the morning, the crew will attempt another pick up again at the end of the day. Streets remaining unplowed by late Tuesday will be serviced first-thing  Wednesday morning. By the end of the day on Wednesday, the Division of Solid Waste Services expects all Monday and Tuesday routes to be complete.

(Original 4 p.m.) After about five inches of observed snow on Monday in Bethesda, Montgomery County will lift its Snow Emergency at 5 p.m.

Parking will remain free in county-owned lots and garages.

As for snow removal operations, the county’s MCDOT Storm Operations Map shows work continues on primary neighborhoods roads with most neighborhoods roads untouched.

Officials are urging motorists to be careful. Main roads appear to be in much better condition than this morning, when the heaviest of the snow was falling.

The MC311 Call Center will again remain open all night. Call 311 or 240-777-0311.

The county is providing limited Ride On bus service until 10 p.m., when the last bus trips will leave from Metro stations. Core routes that will operate are Routes 1, 5, 8, 15, 16, 17, 23, 30, 34, 43, 46, 47, 55, 56, 59, 61 and 100. Passengers should expect delays, with bus service every 30 to 60 minutes.

WMATA earlier on Monday announced all Metrobus service will remain suspended for all of Monday. Metrorail never closed.

An trained spotter for the National Weather Service reported exactly five inches of snow at the Dalecarlia Resevoir. That measurement happened at 3:25 p.m.

Photos via TrafficLand.com

USPS Asks Residents To Help Mail Carriers During Snow

by Aaron Kraut | March 3, 2014 at 11:10 am | 203 views | No Comments

Flickr photo by Nicole'The U.S. Postal Service on Monday asked homeowners to help out mail carriers by clearing a path to mailboxes.

The USPS put out a press release asking customers to clear enough snow from curbside boxes so that mail trucks can approach the box, deliver the mail and drive away “without danger or the need for backing.”

The release also asked that all walkways and stairs be cleared of snow and ice to allow enough traction so that mail carriers don’t fall. From the release:

Whether mail arrives on foot or by postal vehicle, the letter carrier needs access to the mailbox to deposit mail. Please make sure the mailbox itself is visible and free of snow and ice, and make sure it is safely accessible for your letter carrier. Letter carriers are instructed to hold mail to addresses where ice and snow are not cleared.

A very snowy winter has caused delivery issues for USPS in Bethesda, where some homeowners say they have gone a week at a time without mail. In January, local USPS officials said mail delivery may have been suspended for two days in parts of Bethesda because of snow and ice.

More complaints popped up in February after last month’s 12-inch snow storm. Some said they didn’t get mail for as long as eight days.

USPS officials put part of the blame on the winter weather and Presidents’ Day Holiday. But mail carriers said they were told to end their deliveries by 6 p.m. regardless of weather.

That prompted an inquiry from a number of local members of Congress.

On Monday, the USPS made it clear: It can’t deliver the mail if a mail box is inaccessible.

Flickr photo by Nicole’

Monday Snow Day: Closures, Delays and Weather

by Aaron Kraut | March 3, 2014 at 7:10 am | 1,360 views | 2 Comments

Updated at 11:20 a.m.

Roads The snow fall hasn’t stopped, which means Montgomery County Department of Transportation crews are still working on clearing major roads.

From Montgomery County:

Snow crews remain focused on keeping emergency routes, main roads and secondary roads passable for emergency vehicles, ensuring that every household is within one-half mile of a cleared road. Once the snowfall ends later today, crews will complete plowing main roads and then focus on neighborhood streets.

All Ride On bus service remains suspended due to hazardous weather conditions. Ride On will monitor weather and road conditions today and determine when service may be restored. Bus service will only be restored when it is safe to do so.

Trash and recycling collections are canceled today.

What’s Open? Metrorail. That’s it as far as transit goes.

Sports Extra (7817 Old Georgetown Rd.) is open for its regular 10 a.m.-7 p.m. hours. Anyone who makes it in will get a 10 percent discount. Bethesda Bagels (4819 Bethesda Ave.) and Old Georgetown Grille (7755 Old Georgetown Rd.) are open for anybody who feels like leaving the house for breakfast. Georgetown Square Beer and Wine (10400 Old Georgetown Rd.) is also open. Brickside Food & Drink (4866 Cordell Ave.) is open for its normal 4 p.m.-1 a.m. hours with happy hour pricing all night.

Westfield Montgomery Mall is planning to open at noon, though stores within the mall may have different schedules. Mussel Bar & Grille (7262 Woodmont Ave.) and Wildwood Kitchen (10223 Old Georgetown Rd.) will be open for lunch and dinner.

If you have a Bethesda, Chevy Chase or North Bethesda business that will be open Monday, let us know. We’ll add it.

What’s Closed? County government, the federal government, MCPS, Metrobus, Ride On and the Bethesda Circulator are all closed or have suspended service on Monday.

That has left quiet roads Monday.

Parking is free in county garages on Monday. Make sure not to park on streets that are Snow Emergency Routes. Cars parked in those areas will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Power Outages? Fewer than five customers are without power in Wood Acres as of 9:30 a.m. The possibility of freezing rain put Pepco officials on standby for downed lines and outages.

Photos via Mike Landsman@jennielynnshine@JohnMendez

UPDATE: NWS Now Predicts 4-8 Inches Of Snow For Monday

by Aaron Kraut | March 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm | 1,657 views | No Comments

(Updated at 7:15 p.m. Sunday) The National Weather Service on Sunday afternoon predicted 4-8 inches of snow for late Sunday night and Monday.

MCPS announced schools will be closed on Monday. Federal government offices will also be closed.

The NWS issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire area on Sunday morning, then shifted its projected snow total downward at about 2 p.m.:

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM EST MONDAY…

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…FREEZING RAIN…SLEET…AND HEAVY SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS…UP TO ONE TENTH INCH OF ICE…FOLLOWED BY 4 TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW.

* TIMING…RAIN CHANGES TO FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET FROM NORTH TO SOUTH THIS EVENING THEN BECOMES HEAVY SNOW LATE TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY.

* TEMPERATURES…FALLING INTO THE LOWER 30S THIS EVENING…THEN DROPPING INTO THE LOWER 20S OVERNIGHT AND MONDAY.

* WINDS…NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH. GUSTS TO 25 MPH LATE TONIGHT AND MONDAY.

* IMPACTS…HAZARDOUS TRAVEL DUE TO ICE AND SNOW THROUGH MONDAY. BOTH THE MONDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON RUSH HOURS WILL BE AFFECTED. POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE WITH THE COMBINATION OF ICE AND HEAVY SNOW.

That’s enough for Montgomery County to declare a Snow Emergency starting at midnight.

Parking at county garages on Monday will be free all day Monday:

Snow Emergency Declared Beginning at Midnight

A Snow Emergency for Montgomery County has been declared beginning at midnight tonight. With freezing rain and heavy snow expected through tomorrow, County officials urge residents to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

A Snow Emergency Declaration means that parking is prohibited along routes signed and marked as a “Snow Emergency Route.” Vehicles parked on emergency routes will be ticketed and towed. During a Snow Emergency, vehicles on the road must have all-weather or snow tires or chains. Residents are asked to move vehicles off-street if at all possible so snowplows can remove snow more efficiently. Taxicabs operating in Montgomery County during declared snow emergencies are allowed to charge $2.50 extra per trip.

Free Parking in County-Owned Lots and Garages

All County parking lots and garages will offer free parking beginning at midnight tonight through Monday.

311 Call Center to Open at 10 p.m. and Remain Open All Night

Due to the worsening weather forecast, the Montgomery County 311 Call Center will open at 10 p.m. tonight and remain open all night and through the day Monday.  Residents can report issues associated with the storm, such as downed trees, by calling 311 or 240-777-0311, or visiting the website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/311.The TTY number is 301-251-4850.

Weather Chatter: Sunday-Monday Wintry Mess?

by Aaron Kraut | February 28, 2014 at 3:25 pm | 543 views | No Comments

Snow in Bethesda in December 2013 (file photo)

A potentially wet and messy storm is heading our way Sunday night, another winter episode to keep an eye of in a season full of snow and ice.

Forecasters across the board are saying it’s hard at this point to tell if the storm will bring snow, ice, sleet, rain or some combination of all four.

Here’s a sampling of what area weather watchers are saying as we head into the weekend:

Capital Weather Gang (Washington Post)

Monday Snow Probabilities
Chance of at least 1″: 50% (60% north & west burbs)
Chance of at least 4″: 25% (35% north & west burbs)

As we’ve said over the past couple days, the metro area will likely be in or near the wintry mix battleground between primarily snow to the north and primarily rain to the south. The models continue to advertise that the storm will likely start as rain as early as late Sunday afternoon or as late as Sunday evening or overnight, developing first in the far north and west suburbs and then spreading south and east. Rain likely transitions to mixed precipitation overnight (rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow are all possible) from northwest to southeast. Then the big question is if and how early Monday precipitation transitions to mostly or all snow, before ending by or during Monday evening.

Some of today’s models have trended colder and snowier for Monday, while others have trended warmer and more toward mixed precipitation. Even the models we trust the most are still wavering from run to run, and that inconsistency means we still can’t say with much confidence how much of each precipitation type will fall and where.

Terp Weather

Storm scenarios (note: the lines depicted are not authoritative, they’re highly generalized)

Track 1: This scenario would play out should the boundary between warm/cold establish itself near us and the low tracks either over the region, or just to the south. Warm air thrown in front of the system, and a lack of cold air to reinforce throws the rain/snow line back deep into Pennsylvania.

Track 2: This scenario involves a low tracking through southern Virginia or northern NC. This scenario involves more cold air to start with so precipitation starts frozen and stays frozen along I-95 including Washington and Baltimore. Areas far N/W stay all snow. This is the scenario the models appear to be shifting away from

Track 3: Southern track even more south of Track 2 would push the mixing line to I-95 and deeper into the Eastern Shore as the push of cold air in front and behind are stronger. This is the solution models seem to be heading towards

Mark Ellinwood (Mad US Weather):

Howard Bernstein (WUSA9):

Weather.com: Freezing rain/sleet on Monday with a 90 percent chance of precipitation.

AccuWeather.comRain Sunday night into Monday, when it will become an icy mix. Monday will get colder with periods of snow, sleet and freezing rain in the afternoon with 1-3 inches of snow.

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