WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The sun was shining on the U.S. Capitol Thursday, but not enough to take the bite out of the winter cold.
Those who had to spend time outdoors either dressed for the weather or shivered in the freezing cold air.
"I come prepared, I dress for it," says Alonzo Mudd, a car wash employee.
Even though they layered and covered up as much as possible, a lot of people made quick trips to wherever they needed to go, hoping to get back inside fast.
"It's so cold -- I mean, it's hard to talk, my lips are frozen," said D.C. resident Lisa Field.
But when it gets this cold, it occasionally proves to be too much for some heating systems.
Rafael Diaz, a Michael & Son heating expert, says he was very busy Thursday, and that days like today are among the most demanding.
Silver Spring resident Andarge Asfaw spent the day bundled up, and awoke this morning to a bum furnace and biting cold.
"Oh, it was freezing!" he exclaimed.
Asfaw just hopes that repairs are quick and his heat is on inside soon, because he knows it’s only to get colder outside.
“They promised they would try to get it done by today, so hoping it is something minor than major," he said.
Later that evening, the normally vibrant National Mall was nearly deserted except for a jogger or two.
In Fort Washington, drivers opted for the drive-thru lane, preferring to do business from the warmth of their cars. It’s a dress-in-layers, bone-chillingly cold kind of night in the D.C. region.
"What is it, close to 20? It's very cold," said Milton Goldsmith of Maryland.
"Well I have to work in it, so I prepare myself for it," added Sylvia Young, who spends a lot of time outside when she's on the job. So she plans ahead.
"I had on four pair of pants, five shirts, and two hats," she said.
It’s been a wild week of winter weather, as Sunday’s ice storm wreaked havoc on roadways and knocked out power to thousands. That was then followed up by a few inches of snow a couple of days later.
Now, we’re dealing with a deep freeze, as D.C. area residents are wondering what will happen this Saturday. There’s talk, maybe, of more snow.
"I'd rather it snow than ice because you have no control over your vehicle -- once you hit your brakes, it's over," said Umar Hussain from Maryland.
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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Syrians at a sprawling refugee camp in northern Jordan scrambled to batten down their tents against torrential rains and high winds as a blustery winter storm battered parts of the Middle East for a second day Thursday.
The storm, dubbed Alexa, already has pounded much of Lebanon and parts of northern Syria, pushing temperatures below zero and dumping snow and heavy rains. In some parts of Israel and the West Bank, meanwhile, government offices and schools shuttered to wait out the winter weather.
Syrian refugees across the region, however, were among the hardest hit by the storm, which heaped another layer of misery on the already grim existence of many of the more than 2 million Syrians who have fled the civil war raging in their homeland.
At Jordan's sprawling Zaatari refugee camp, which is home to 120,000 refugees, wind toppled at least 10 tents overnight, leaving residents vulnerable to freezing temperatures.
"It was very cold, windy and muddy and all I was able to think of is how to protect my wife and four children," said Ali Shatri, 36. He said aid workers quickly evacuated him and other families whose tents were blown down to other secure areas in the camp.
Zaatari spokesman Wadah Hmoud said two days of heavy rains have flooded several areas of the camp. He said aid workers were struggling to replace tents with prefabricated housing units for the camp's 120,000 inhabitants.
Snow also battered most parts of central and southern Jordan, shutting down government offices, causing power disruptions, blocking roads and stranding motorists.
The snowstorm is expected to continue through Friday and possibly early Saturday, Jordan's Meteorology Department said.
In neighboring Israel and the Palestinian territories, the early snow surprised many.
In Jerusalem, schools cancelled classes and buses in and out of the city were not operating. Snow blanketed palm and cypress trees. Revelers threw snowballs along the walls of the Old City, while others built a snowman across from a U.S. Consulate building.
By midafternoon, the snow had turned to a cold rain, leaving Jerusalem streets slippery with slush. The main highway linking the city with Tel Aviv was closed till midday.
A light snow also fell throughout the West Bank, prompting officials to close schools and government offices for the day.
In the Gaza Strip, the Health Ministry said authorities evacuated 30 people to hospitals and moved others into shelters after heavy rains caused flooding and power outages.
Yousef al-Zahar, the director of Gaza's civil defense, said most of the water collecting pools were already filled with rain. He said a lack of fuel meant municipalities could not pump it out, so authorities were trying to close some streets with sand bags to channel water away from homes as a temporary solution.
As cold air continues to hang around the Continental U.S., any system that develops has had the potential to bring snow.
This weekend will be no different, as enough cold air will be in place for the potential of another wintery mix in the D.C. area. Once again, the hot spots are anticipated to be in the common locations north and west of D.C.
Low pressure is expected to move into the region from the southwest. High pressure over Canada will help ensure a supply of cold air at the surface, but it shouldn't be as strong of a cold air damming situation that brought the icing to the region last weekend.
At this time, it appears light snow may develop in the late morning hours Saturday, changing to rain by the afternoon in the D.C. Metro and points southeast. As surface temperatures in those locations are expected to be above freezing, it should turn out a lot like Tuesday, with little to no snow expected.
Farther north and west, however, temperatures may hang at or below freezing for much of the day, resulting in light accumulations on par with the snow that accumulated in those areas Tuesday.
Everyone in the D.C. Metro saw what can happen when temperatures are only a degree or two above freezing, as snow is again may melt on contact with little disruptions to the city.
Northwest into western Fauquier, Loudoun, northern Montgomery and points west, light snow may again be possible. Pinpointing accumulations at this point isn't very smart as accuracy would be exceptionally low, but the possibility for a few inches of snow is possible through Saturday evening. We'll be sure to keep you updated when we learn more!
(WJLA) - Sunday’s ice storm toppled a massive tree onto lines that knocked out power to hundreds of people in this Centreville neighborhood. It came down on Sunday night at about 4 a.m.
And while crews are still fixing the mess as of Tuesday, resident Jonathan Hamby, his wife, and children did what they could to stay warm.
"We're on day two-and-a-half and it's getting pretty cold in the house, so we have a fire out here and it's actually warmer out here than it is in the house," said Jonathan Hamby.
Up the road in Purcellville, Mark Lussier is hustling to remove ice and snow from his car and driveway.
"I think it's about six inches total," he guessed.
Temperatures are expected to plunge overnight into Wednesday, which means that anything on the ground now will be frozen and treacherous come morning.
"We just had a three-year-old fall in the driveway, that's kind of my concern with the little ones. Trying to get some salt down before we go to bed tonight," said Lussier.
Back by the fire in Centreville, the Hambys hope the power is restored by morning.
"To the little ones it gets cold, so we're all sleeping in the same bed and trying to stay warm together," said Jon.
Earlier in the day in Frederick, there was no business like snow business for Brian Mullinex.
After a mostly snow-free winter last year, the contractor was glad to be pushing snow and making money.
Dale Reynolds, who lives up the street, said you can never be too old for a snow day. But he experienced the negative side of a snow fall during his commute to Westminster this morning, during which he found conditions to be terrible.
In Westminster, you can see why some businesses chose to close. The town seems to be the accumulation champion for both Sunday and Tuesday’s storm: about a foot total of snow.
"It caught everybody off guard," said Jeff Giles.
Both Giles and Amanda Swartzbaugh were told to say home from work.
"I'm shoveling, she's playing," he said.
"I helped him last time," she replied.
Meanwhile, letter carrier Lynda Rogers said she had no choice but to shovel out and go to work. She’s now worried that all this pre-Christmas snow is a bad omen.
“I think we're gonna have a rough winter," she predicted.
In Northern Virginia, 260 bucket trucks were at work trying to restore power to about 5,000 people throughout Tuesday. That included a major repair job for Dominion Power in Centreville, where 600 people were out of power in the area of Heron Drive and Eames Avenue.
The heavy, wet snow toppled trees throughout the area, and in some cases, they brought down power lines with them.
Another 1,000 NOVEC customers in Northern Virginia were still in the dark on Tuesday afternoon, while each of the region’s other major power providers have – for the most part – restored power to the majority of their customers.
Fairfax County reportedly had the most outages.
Prince William County recently approved $11 million to bury power lines, but not here at this house -- Daryl Brooks and his wife Shirley have no power, and they just stocked their fridge with about $200 worth of food.
In McLean, Bill Callaway gave his snow blower a workout, but is still concerned about what will happen to the pavement when the temperature drops.
"In this neighborhood, it just takes a little bit of ice to keep you from getting in and out," he said.
Meanwhile in the District, the snow fell so heavily that the Capitol Dome was just a shadow, but was it really enough for both the federal and D.C. governments to close?
"I'm from Minnesota so this whole concept of closing down at every hit of snow is a little silly," said resident Ryan Jensen.
Justified or not, since they were off, workers enjoyed it. Home Depot was a busy place on Tuesday, with shoppers purchasing plenty of rock salt and Christmas decorations.
And in NW, an unexpected day off meant a trip to what many call “Sliding Hill.”
The place was teeming with kids with every imaginable type of slide taking advantage of the snow slopes. One told us the formula for making this snow day happen:
"I put a spoon under my pillow, an ice cube in the toilet, wore my pajamas inside-out, and wished it would snow," explained Roland Jennings Cashman.
D.C. will rotate more than 200 trucks between the salt domes and the streets to minimize problems as temperatures drop further tonight into Wednesday.
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11:50am: All Warnings and Advisories have been allowed to expire. Through the rest of the afternoon expect snow to come to an end and temperatures to hang in the low 30s. Tonight will be cold with lows in the mid 20s around town and mid teens in the western suburbs. Be ready for icy spots tomorrow morning!
11:29am: Low temperatures tonight will be in the teens in the western suburbs to lower 20s in D.C. and points southeast. Roads will be icy throughout the region and areas that don't have snow removal may see this wet snow become a big icy problem by the morning. I think delays will be likely and cancellations will again be possible.
10:46am: Conversational snow continues to fall in the D.C. area but that's about it. It should continue to exit the region closer to lunch time. Here is our latest snow map (as of 9am). We'll have an update this afternoon.
10:04am: Here is the National Weather Service's latest update.
9:48am: There's a giant snowman warning in effect for Howard County, MD :)
... And that's how you make a snowman boys and girls. pic.twitter.com/4QnpqOYfcg— Matt Goode (@mattgoode) December 10, 2013
9:15am: The Winter Storm Warning has been cancelled for D.C. and Fairfax but continues for Montgomery and Loudoun Counties and points west.
9:10am: Latest radar trends are depicting the heaviest of the snow now beginning to leave D.C. There are breaks showing up on radar so snow will be tapering off in the next few hours. Expect light snow through 11am and then a few flurries through lunch time.
9:00am: Snowfall totals are beginning to come in to the National Weather Service office, with 4.3" the high spot in Berryville, VA (Clarke County), 4" in Frederick, MD and 4" in Hamilton, VA (Loudoun County).
8:23am: Cancellations are beginning to pile up at Reagan National Airport. The problem is this storm is affecting much of the northeast including Philadelphia, New York and Boston. This will have an impact through the afternoon.
8:16am: Roads are still wet for much of the immediate D.C. Metro, though snow has been sticking on roads in the western part of the Beltway.
7:50am: Check out this video from Leesburg, VA of the snow coming down and accumulating on the roadways. Currently in D.C. it's snowing but temperatures are at 34°F, so it's not sticking to the roads and I've only seen a dusting so far outside.
This is shaping up to be your typical snow situation in the D.C. area with more the farther north and west of D.C. you are.
7:42am: This car has become stuck off Greensboro Dr. in Tysons Corner, VA. It's that easy to do, very slick!
7:33am: Snow is making for a very quiet morning in the Tysons Corner, VA area! Roadways are covered so be sure to take it slow if you need to head out this morning.
Here's a better view of Tysons Corner, VA. Quiet for a work day! pic.twitter.com/ObnLqa0a2M— Alex Liggitt (@alexliggitt) December 10, 2013
7:19am: This is one of the things I'm worrying about today, as snow is falling on trees that are already covered with ice. This could lead to more tree branches (or entire trees) coming down with the added weight of the snow. Luckily winds shouldn't be that high. Be safe out there today!
7:14am: Plenty of snow is falling across the region with light accumulations of 1-3 inches becoming common west of D.C. Currently in Arlington we are seeing wet roads, still waiting for the moderate snow to start accumulating.
7:00am: We have some unofficial reports of a few inches (possibly up to 4" in Winchester, VA) of snow across the western parts of the area. Snow is expected to continue through the the morning before ending by the early afternoon.
For those of you that made it to work today, this should give plenty of time for road crews to treat the roads through the afternoon prior to the PM rush hour, though slick spots and side roads may be tricky.
6:50am: Here is the latest look at our Doppler Radar. Snow and sleet has been coming down in the D.C. Metro, snow to the west and a mix to rain south of town. Conditions will deteriorate quickly with roads becoming hazardous. Looks like a good day to stay home and enjoy it!
6:46am: Roads are beginning to get very slick across the D.C. area so be very careful out there this morning!
6:29am: Snow is beginning to cover the roads in Winchester already. Heavy snow was being reported there over the past hour.
6:27am: Eileen is already noticing the roads (at least this parking lot) are being covered with snow in a very short period of time.
Mainly snow now, as temp profile cools. Snow is coming down quick! Parking lot already covered! pic.twitter.com/DwciyQd55G— Eileen Whelan (@EileenABC7) December 10, 2013
6:21am: Our very own Eileen Whelan is out live with the Stormchaser this morning and is now reporting sleet mixing in with some snow in Fairfax, VA.
Sleet has started in Fairfax & is mixing in with snow now!! pic.twitter.com/Rp63OZCouH— Eileen Whelan (@EileenABC7) December 10, 2013
6:11am: Snow is beginning to fall in parts of the area with moderate to even heavy snow being reported west of the Blue Ridge and now some light snow as far east as Leesburg, VA.
A few areas of sleet and rain are being reported in the southern portions of the area such as Quantico, VA and points southeast but they will eventually change over to snow over the next few hours.
WALDORF, Md. (WJLA) - Charles County school bus drivers were busy on Monday as schools opened two hours late due to bad road conditions.
But once the kids got to school, the buses had to return ahead of schedule when the decision was made to close schools 90 minutes early.
The problem this time? Loss of power.
A school spokesperson said that 12 schools and the administration building started losing power intermittently throughout the day around 9 a.m. this morning due to ice – seven of those schools lost water as well.
And with those same buses serving the elementary, middle, and high schools, officials decided to send the children home.
Now, everyone must fast forward to tomorrow with another batch of bad winter weather on the way.
At the Food Lion in Waldorf, parents are preparing themselves for a possible day off from school as shelves are being stacked for a potential onslaught of customers, who are buying what they need just in case Mother Nature does indeed have her eye on Southern Maryland.
(WJLA) - Sunday brought a one-two punch of snow and freezing rain to Montgomery County that, even a day later, has people throughout the area anxious and nervous on the roads.
The county's school system closed down for the day due to the storm's aftermath, but those who were compelled to head out to work did so on some treacherous, slushy roads.
In the neighborhoods off of Baur Drive in Rockville, hundreds spent the night in the dark and cold; the ice proving too much for some power lines that are now strewn across roadways.
Seemingly at every turn, ice has taken over as residents emerged to chip away ice from their cars. For Cindy Chin, she was greeted by a section of tree that came down onto her snow-covered car.
Later on Monday night in Gaithersburg, residents are keeping a close eye on Tuesday morning's forecast. The Maryland State Highway Administration says it has 982 trucks ready to go, while the District says it has more than 200 ready.
"I'm very worried because I work in Virginia, and there's a long commute," said Melissa Dupree.
And in Northern Virginia, there are more than 1,200 trucks prepped.
"Pretty concerned...I'm driving all the way from Frederick, so I guess I'll have to leave a couple hours early," said Nate Jackson.
"I might even take the Metro instead of drive, just to stay off the icy roads," added Bill Reges of Germantown.
Trucks pre-treated the roads before Sunday's storm, but a Maryland Highway spokesperson says with roads still wet on Monday, it wouldn't have worked to do it again.
Even with the pre-treatment, yesterday's snow, sleet, and freezing rain caused accidents and made driving tough.
"I left my house 15 minutes after it started snowing yesterday, and the car was just sliding all over the road -- I had to turn it around and take it back home," said one commuter.
On Monday night, fog rolled in and reduced visibility, but on Tuesday, it looks like it won't be fog but snow piling on top of what's already out there.
As one winter storm exits, another is forecast to enter by early Tuesday morning, making for the possibility of more delays, cancellations and additional travel complications.
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect everywhere besides Southern Maryland as well as Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties in Virginia.
Areas to the southeast are expected to mix in a bit more of the way of rain and sleet so accumulations will be limited in those locations, thus not hitting the 5" or greater Winter Storm Watch criteria.
At this point, our team is thinking a more general 2" to 5" will be possible tomorrow, with the highest amounts just to the west of D.C. where snow should be the primary precipitation type with colder air available.
I like the graphic from the National Weather Service below showing the probability of greater than 4" of snow in a given area. For the D.C. Metro it only stands at 40-50%.
At this point it appears that snow will begin in the morning hours during the rush hour and continue through the early afternoon. Precipitation may start as a mix in the D.C. Metro and points east but should change over to snow the rest of the day. This will of course create more travel headaches, and delays and cancellations will be likely.
The National Weather Service is discussing the potential for a banding feature to set up somewhere just west of the D.C. area that could bring the potential for heavier snow in isolated locations. At this point, I think it's a little difficult to say exactly if this feature will happen or where exactly it will be.
We saw the same kind of feature yesterday north and west of D.C. where very heavy snow fell from Winchester north to Hagerstown and east to north of Baltimore. We'll be monitoring radar trends tomorrow to try and stay on top of it. With that being said, there's an outlying chance of some locations seeing 5" or more.
Another note is most of the roadways are wet right now and will continue to be wet through tomorrow morning.
Area roadways are currently above freezing and should be tomorrow morning, leading to the majority of snow in the morning to melt on contact. Snow will need to become moderate or heavy to overcome the warm roads in order to pile up.
Snowfall totals may be reached but you might not notice it if the roads aren't as bad!
We'll of course be on air and online all day so tune in tonight at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. and tomorrow starting at 4 a.m. (if you happen to be up that early!) to see if there are any changes to the forecast!
(WJLA) - A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for a majority of the D.C. Area through Tuesday afternoon.
The National Weather Service says that periods of heavy snow may be possible for portions of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The Stormwatch 7 team expects anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of snow to fall early Tuesday morning and into Tuesday afternoon.
Stafford and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia and Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties in Maryland are not included in the advisory. Every other city and county in the D.C. area is affected.
Several counties are already making preparations for the potential second round of snow. In Prince George's County, many agencies are once again readying their plows and salt trucks. Meanwhile, in Virginia, VDOT officials say that they're reading their roads for more snow as well.
This latest bout of snow comes just a day after the region was battered by snow and freezing rain, leaving thousands in the dark and tree limbs littered across streets.
From scraping cars to sweeping driveways, residents woke up early across the D.C. area to clean up mother nature's mess. In Alexandria, Laurie Salama was inside her home when trees came crashing down.
"It was a huge explosion and it looked like fireworks outside my window," Salama said. She's one of the tens of thousands in the region that lost power, and like many, she's not sure when it will come back.
Crews from a multitude of power agencies, including Pepco, NOVEC and Dominion, are out in full force trying to restore power to affected customers. However, some residents are concerned that the ice that's hanging around may still bring down more branches.
Meanwhile, for the first time in two years, the city of Frederick has had to deploy its plows. The neighborhood cul-de-sacs were the final stop on Monday.
"Last night everything was icing up, so it was a little difficult to scrape the road, but today, with the warming of the sun, it's been an easy task," said Tom Rippeon, a resident of Frederick.
Closer in, mostly wet but still downed trees did pose a hazard -- like this one on Massachusetts Avenue near Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda. And the further north you go, the whiter it gets.
In Gaithersburg, we found Alexander Atzert clearing a couple of inches of slushy snow and ice off his driveway.
"Thought I'd get a little bit of exercise," he said. "Come out here and shovel a little bit!"
The worst was overnight and early this morning, when emergency crews responded to multiple crashes triggered by icy roads. By mid-morning however, the sun was out, but so too was power in scattered areas – 7,000 outages at one point in Montgomery County.
This crewman carefully manipulated a pole to cut off the power so they could work on the downed lines. And while the roads are now clear, the Maryland State Highway Administration is now gearing up for a messy morning rush on Tuesday.
It’s estimated that there will be even more snow for Frederick, which already has up to eight inches, and gave the Spangler family of Frederick a day off from school and work.
"We really enjoyed it," said Joey Spangler. "We've been baking Christmas cookies and watching some Christmas movies and kind of taking advantage of the day off."
It seems there’s a good chance that five-year-old Martin will be making more snowballs tomorrow.
(WJLA) - The blast of snow and ice that passed through the Washington area passed through the nation's midsection earlier in the week, and one of the places heavily impacted was Texas.
In one part of the Lone Star State, the massive chunks of melting ice proved to be rather dangerous.
Check out this video of large sheets of ice falling off the top of an apartment building and onto the street below, damaging several cars in the process.
(WJLA) - Some local power companies are still dealing with outages in the thousands after snow and freezing rain fell blanketed huge portions of the D.C. area in ice. More snow arrived in the area Tuesday.
Here are the latest power outage numbers as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. You can click on the name of your power provider to get a detailed map of outages.
The main problem being faced by power companies is feeder line that has knocked power out to tens of thousands of NOVEC and Dominion customers.
The numbers encompass the entire D.C. area and stretch north to Baltimore, south to the Stafford County area and west into the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley.
If you lose power, here's a list of things to do and keep around.
If your power goes out, you can report the outage to your power company by calling these numbers:
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