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First Snow of 2014: Latest Arlington Forecast, Closing and Outage Information

Virginia officials warn of potentially icy roads Friday morning thanks to a winter storm expected to fall on the greater Washington area, including Arlington, overnight.

A light snow fell on Arlington and the surrounding area Thursday night. Officials warn of icy roads Friday morning. Photo by Twitter user @DMVPics
A light snow fell on Arlington and the surrounding area Thursday night. Officials warn of icy roads Friday morning. Photo by Twitter user @DMVPics

Editor's note: Bookmark this link, which will be updated as new information becomes available.

Arlington Public Schools announced at 4:50 a.m. that they will be closed Friday, Jan. 3. The Administration Office is open. 

Update (10:30 p.m.): Arlington County announced on Facebook that the county government will be open Friday with unscheduled leave in effect for employees.

No word from Arlington Public Schools, though several students have tweeted that the snow is a sign that winter break ended a tad too early.

Update (10:25 p.m.): Total nighttime snow accumulation for Arlington is now up to 2 inches, with another half-inch accumulation possible before 7 a.m. Friday, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.

Generally, the winter weather advisory for inside the Beltway now predicts up to 3 inches for this area.

Wind gusts in Arlington could reach 33 mph Thursday night or 46 mph on Friday.

Update (10:20 p.m.): The federal government will be open Friday, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Federal employees have the option of using unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.

Update (8:34 p.m.): The National Weather Service shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday expanded its winter weather advisory to include Arlington County and Washington.

The advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. Friday. It calls for snow accumulation of up to 1 inch.

Snow is expected to fall into Thursday night and taper off in the early morning hours Friday, according to the advisory. Temperatures should be in the mid-20s, but the windchill in some areas could make it feel like only 5 degrees.

Hazardous travel conditions should be expected into the night, according to the advisory.

Original article: Light snow reportedly began falling on parts of the greater Washington region by mid-afternoon Thursday as Arlington and the rest of Northern Virginia braced for a winter storm that could bring dangerously low temperatures and equally dangerous winds.

If the storm causes any Arlington County offices or Arlington Public Schools closures, the county will announce them on its website, Facebook page and Twitter account. The school system will do the same (here, here and here).

To report a power outage or check the status of an outage, click here or call 866-DOM-HELP (866-366-4357).

Thursday afternoon, Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation began preparing for the worst, though it remained difficult to tell if any snow would actually accumulate.

In Arlington, a skeleton crew of 18 county trucks and four contractors will be treating roads with salt from midnight until noon Friday.

By 7 p.m. Thursday, VDOT will have more than 1,250 trucks working to treat snow and ice on roads in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.

“The major concern is overnight icing on bridge decks and roadways,” Branco Vlacich, VDOT’s district maintenance engineer for northern Virginia, said in a statement. “Be aware of black ice (Friday) morning — pavement temperatures will drop quickly tonight and remain well below freezing Friday.”

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the entire Washington-Baltimore region, including a large chunk of north-central Virginia that extends down to Charlottesville.

The advisory will be in effect from 2 a.m. to noon Friday. Expect sustained winds between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts in some areas up to 50 mph, the advisory states.

The high winds can down tree limbs and power lines and cause difficulty driving, according to the National Weather Service. The service recommends securing outdoor furniture.

Rain and snow are expected to fall on Arlington on Thursday night, becoming all snow after 3 a.m., according to the latest forecast. The low should be around 19 degrees.

The chance of snow continues until 7 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

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