News: High winds; record cold temps; ice expected in nation’s capital
Story by Joseph P Cirone
WASHINGTON – High winds; frigid temperatures and dangerous icing is expected in the nation’s capital overnight and into tomorrow. Record low temperature is expected by Monday.
Federal offices will remain open, but non-emergency, non-essential personnel may take unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework upon supervisor approval, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) follows OPM guidance. Accordingly, JBAB will continue normal operations into the weekend. All personnel scheduled to report to work are expected to do so, unless granted leave or telework.
The National Weather Service (NWS) predicts that current snowfall, which is heavy in some parts of the National Capital region (NCR), will diminish to lighter snowfall, then cease by midnight.
Total final accumulations of snow will vary throughout the NCR from a trace of an inch to as much as four inches, an NWS forecaster predicted. The variations will even be contained to a single jurisdiction, he said.
“For example, one part of the District of Columbia may get a trace amount and another part may get two inches; it’s just how the temperatures play into it,” the Sterling, Va.-based forecaster said. The Sterling NWS office provides forecasts for the Baltimore-Washington area.
After midnight, there will be a calm before winds pick up around 2 a.m., he said. Then winds will start around 10 mph and increase to 20-30 mph, with occasional gusts to 50 mph. Wind chills will bring the temperatures into the teens and single digits, he predicted.
As the winds pick up, temperatures will drop. “We could see temperatures drop by a few degrees almost immediately and experience a flash freeze effect,” he said.
“The coldest temperatures we have seen in 20 years may occur between Sunday and Monday, with real temperatures in the single digits, not including wind chill factors”
Highway and road crews in the District, Maryland and Virginia have already begun treating and in many cases, plowing, the roadways and bridges. They will continue doing so throughout the night and for as long as necessary through the weekend, sources stated.
Public transit agencies in the NCR, including Virginia Railway Express; Maryland’s MARC Train; MetroRail; MetroBus and Amtrak, Area Rail plan to operate normally tomorrow, unless winds prohibit them from doing so. They will monitor the weather conditions and adjust their service as necessary.