NEW: A winter weather advisory has been upgraded to a winter storm warning for the immediate D.C. metro area. A winter weather advisory remains in effect for areas to the west, south, and southeast. Both the warning and the advisory continue until 3 a.m. Monday morning.
So like every time, we're left asking the question—what do you need to know? Here are five things to remember as you prepare, with a little help from our own Mike Thomas:
1. SNOW -> SLEET -> FREEZING RAIN.
That's how this is going to go. Why? Well, because temperatures. Mike tells us it's all going to be in the temps on this one, because it's still bitter outside. Temps across the entire region were well below freezing Saturday night. For that reason, this started as snow, and then as some warmer air starts to move in, it's changing to that dreaded mix.
We'll have more ice than anything, and that's no bueno.
2. WE'LL GET SEVERAL HOURS OF FREEZING PRECIP.
We're not talking an hour or two of mix here, folks. Freezing rain has taken over most of the D.C. region now, and it will be with us for hours.
The heaviest of the precip should be out of here between 3-4 p.m., and freezing rain should taper off as we head into the evening hours. Things should be dry overnight, and with temps not really dropping much tonight, road crews should have plenty of time to at least get the main roads in good shape for the Monday morning commute.
3. HOW MUCH?
Mike says totals are looking like this: a dusting to 1" of snow at most for the D.C. metro area. To the north and northwest of the city (that's you Hagerstown/Frederick), you're looking at a max of 1-3" of snow. On top of that, the entire area is in for about 1/10 of an inch of ice-- which is enough to turn a roadway into a skating rink.
4. STAY HOME.
One word: ICE. This is not a storm you want to mess with, and if you don't have to go out, you should stay in. Why? Hmmm, let's see. Remember last Saturday, when the roads filled up with people…. And then the snow fell. And then everybody was stuck for hours.
Let's not do that again.
In all seriousness (though that was pretty serious), the roads will be dangerous. Don't go out if you don't have to (and just like last weekend, a Starbucks run is still not an emergency). Trust us on this one.
5. REALLY. JUST STAY HOME.
Frank Underwood is ready and waiting with a brand new season of House of Cards. There. Now you have something to do…. Don't go out and put yourself in danger. Make some soup, and turn on FOX 5. We promise to keep you up to speed with all the details you need to know.
You might look out your window and see rain-- but it's freezing rain. That's deceptive, because it looks like regular old rain, until it hits the ground and instantly freezes. Sidewalks will be icy. Untreated roads and surfaces will be especially dangerous.
So settle in, don't chance it, and we'll keep you posted on everything that's happening. Promise.
PS. Please stay home?