Montgomery County is now in a snow emergency, meaning drivers should take extra caution and are prohibited from parking on roads and streets designated as snow emergency routes.
From Maryland State Police and the State Highway Administration:
The Maryland State Police (MSP) declares snow emergencies with input from MD State Highway Administration. Once a snow emergency is declared, the law requires certain precautions:
Prohibited parking on roads and streets designated as snow emergency routes; and The use of snow tires/chains (most cars now use all weather tires, so changing to “snow” tires is unnecessary)
Once an emergency is in effect, all requirements are in effect until lifted. A Snow Emergency Plan is put into effect by county. Certain exceptions can occur while a snow emergency plan is in effect. A specific route(s) can be lifted and the remainders of the roads in the county still remain under the Snow Emergency Plan. For the most up to date information, it is advised to call the local MSP barrack for the county.
Snow started accumulating on area roads early this morning, with a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until noon Monday and 1-3 inches expected by the National Weather Service:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EDT TODAY…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 1 TO 3 INCHES.
* TIMING… MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED EARLY THIS MORNING. SNOW WILL TAPER OFF BY THIS AFTERNOON.
* TEMPERATURES… LOWER 30S.
* WINDS… NORTHEAST 5 TO 10 MPH.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY… ESPECIALLY ACROSS ELEVATED SURFACES SUCH AS BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Montgomery County from 4 a.m. Friday until 10 a.m.
Forecasters say the Washington area could see a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain with accumulation of up to one inch, much less than the monster snows cities such as Boston and New York are expecting.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 10 AM EST FRIDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR A WINTRY MIX OF SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 10 AM EST FRIDAY.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.
* ACCUMULATIONS… SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION UP TO 1 INCH. UP TO A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH OF ICE FROM FREEZING RAIN.
* TIMING… PRECIPITATION WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA EARLY FRIDAY MORNING AND TRANSITION TO RAIN BY MID MORNING.
* TEMPERATURES… LOWER 30S.
* WINDS… EAST 5 MPH OR LESS.
* IMPACTS… ANY UNTREATED SURFACES WILL BECOME ICY… ESPECIALLY ON ELEVATED SURFACES… DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE.
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 USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
Because of pavement temperatures below 20 degrees, the SHA will not pre-treat roads using salt brine that could freeze. Salt from Thursday’s snow removal operations remains on many roadways but SHA officials still warn of slippery and icy conditions during the Friday evening rush.
“We ask that all drivers take their time traveling Friday afternoon and plan ahead. It will be important to watch the weather and time your travel to avoid driving during the snow storm. Rush hour and winter precipitation are a terrible combination since SHA’s snow removal efforts can be severely hampered by traffic, crashes and disabled vehicles – making it difficult for crews to salt and plow the highways,” SHA administration Melinda Peters said in a press release.
The SHA also said schools are likely to adjust their schedules to give its crews space to work. Montgomery County Schools will close two-and-a-half hours early today.
Some more tips for this afternoon’s drive:
• Fill your gas tank, make sure you have window washer fluid, an ice scraper, a charged cell phone and an alternate travel plan should crashes or other incidents block your normal route.
• Listen to commercial traffic reports so you know the latest traffic impacts. Call 511 using a hands-free device.
• If snow starts mid-day, considerer delaying travel until after the snow stops. SHA crews work to achieve bare pavement within four hours after a storm stops. If you do travel, have realistic expectation and be patient.
• Drive focused – Maryland law prohibits hand-held cell phone use and texting while driving.
• Buckle up! It’s the law in Maryland and your number one defense in a crash.
• Move over to an adjacent travel lane away from emergency personnel – a new Maryland law requires it.
• Allow extra time for unexpected delays.
• Slow down and pay attention, avoiding distractions such as cell-phone use, changing CDs and eating. Observe all posted speed limits.
The National Weather Service says around an inch of snow accumulation is possible from midnight to 9 a.m. tomorrow.
It issued a Winter Weather Advisory this afternoon:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EST THURSDAY…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EST THURSDAY.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW
* ACCUMULATIONS…AROUND AN INCH.
* TIMING…OVERNIGHT INTO EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.
* TEMPERATURES…UPPER TEENS AND LOWER 20S.
* WINDS…NORTHEAST 5 TO 10 MPH OVERNIGHT BECOMING NORTH 10 TO 20 MPH THURSDAY MORNING.
* IMPACTS…ANY UNTREATED SURFACES WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY. ANY SNOW COVERED SURFACES WILL REMAIN SLIPPERY THROUGH THE MORNING RUSH.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
The freezing temperatures could make for a tricky morning commute. The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang says another dusting could come during the Friday evening rush hour.