WASHINGTON - A wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain approaching the District prompted early releases for several schools and businesses in the region, creating a traffic nightmare for commuters Monday afternoon.
The precipitation mixed with frigid temperatures created the potential for a hazardous evening commute, leading to the call for early releases to avoid icy roads.
Traffic gridlocks could be seen for miles in the area as commuters made their way out of the District, especially along the Beltway.
As the potential for dangerous road conditions set in, travelers were urged to exercise extreme caution when driving. Though it may look like rain hitting the windshield, the water can freeze rapidly when it meets the road surface, creating slippery conditions.
Conditions were expected to be worse on side streets as they are usually less traveled and not pretreated as much as the major interstates and roadways.
The storm system will clear from our region during the evening hours, but subfreezing temperatures, especially in the suburbs, means some patchy slick spots will remain possible into the overnight hours, possibly leading to a few school delays Tuesday morning.
By Tuesday afternoon, however, sunshine coupled with widespread temperatures in the 40s will put travel concerns behind us. Our region will continue to thaw into the latter half of the workweek, with temperatures nearing 60 degrees expected by Friday afternoon.