Freezing Rain Advisory: 5 things to know for Monday morning's icy commute

Freezing rain fell Monday across the D.C. area causing numerous school and business delays.

Although not as bad as we expected, the weather made for messy morning commutes.

9:00 a.m. - Airports in the Washington region say winter weather is affecting some travel. On Monday morning, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's website said runways were open and in good condition at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport.

7:45 a.m. - Metro says all trains are at or near their regular schedules despite freezing rain in the region, and buses should be running on a regular schedule.

7:00 a.m. - District of Columbia government offices will open on time despite a freezing rain advisory in effect for the region.



1. FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY ISSUED.

This is where it all begins. Monday's winter weather will come in the form of freezing rain (though as Mike Thomas tells you in his forecast above, it may start as a mix of freezing rain and sleet in some spots, depending on temperature), and a Freezing Rain Advisory is in effect for our area (it started at 10 p.m. Sunday night). The advisory calls for accumulations of about or less than 1/10 of an inch, depending on your location, but that's enough to make a mess. And because it's been cold already (as though you needed us to remind you of that), some surfaces that are ABOVE freezing may actually be icy.  We'll also see some patchy fog. That's right-- throw the rule book out the window.

But seriously, this is a serious situation and you need to be aware of the potential problems BEFORE you try to leave your house on Monday. Which brings us to #2...

2. YOUR COMMUTE = BAD.
There's no nice way to put it: If you live in the D.C. region and you travel on the roads-- or sidewalks-- to work/school/wherever you need to go, your trip will be impacted. That freezing rain we warned you about above means the roads and sidewalks could be icy-- especially any untreated roads and surfaces, bridges and overpasses. To make matters worse, you also need to look out for areas that haven't gotten much sun lately because those spots may also freeze. And let's be honest: Some spots are still icy/snowy from last week's storm.

Our point: You need to know BEFORE YOU GO that you'll need extra time to get where you're going, and if you can, delay leaving for a little while (see also #5). Perfect time to bring up #3....

3. DELAYS WILL HAPPEN.

Some school districts started making the call for two-hour delays on Sunday night. More are likely to follow. Traffic will be slowed to a crawl (and if you think it won't, read #4). Flights will be delayed or canceled. Be prepared. Check our updated list of weather-related closings often to see if your school district will be impacted, because even if you don't have kids in school, you still need to know who you'll be sharing the road with during those icy conditions.

In short, if you're going somewhere, don't expect to get there fast-- or on time. And remember, the complete list of weather-related closings is HERE.

4. YOU SHOULD REALLY SLOW DOWN.

Yes, you're going to be late. So embrace it and stay safe. SLOW DOWN. Drive for the conditions you're in. Freezing rain means you must use caution to protect you and the rest of the drivers (and pedestrians) on the road. And if you're on foot, watch where you walk. Those sidewalks will be slick and it only takes one slip to ruin your already-challenging Monday.

Be safe out there, friends... (S-L-O-W).

5. IF YOU CAN WAIT TO LEAVE, DO.

We know it's not an option for everyone, but if you have the flexibility to leave for work a little late on Monday, you should. Just a couple of hours could make a drastic difference. Stay tuned in to weather reports (from the FOX 5 Weather team, of course) and road conditions before you go. Waiting it out will make your experience a better one.

Bonus:
All of that freezing rain will wrap up mid-morning in the immediate D.C. area, and sometime after noon to the north and west. It will eventually change over to all rain.

The FOX 5 News Morning crew will have constant updates on weather, traffic and school delays/closings all morning long on Monday, so tune in for the latest. We've also got you covered here on myfoxdc.com, as well as on Twitter @fox5newsdc, and on our FOX 5 DC Facebook page.


P.S. Have you downloaded our FREE FOX 5 Weather app yet?  The answer should definitely be yes, but just in case, click here to find out how you can get the latest forecast updates no matter where you go.


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