The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for most of the counties west of Washington, D.C. The warning anticipates heavy snow, with some counties receiving between 6 and 10 inches, and the possibility of sleet or ice accumulations.
As noted by WTOP, the storm warning is in effect from 8 p.m. Tuesday until 3 a.m. Thursday for Frederick County, Maryland, and Loudoun, Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, Nelson, Albemarle, Greene, and Rappahannock counties in Virginia.
The National Weather Service has also issued a Winter Storm Watch for the majority of counties in central and southern Maryland, along with a band of counties extending into central Virginia from Washington, D.C. The watch goes into effect from 6 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday evening, noting that snow accumulations of 5 or more inches are possible.
Residents in those areas should expect rain mixed with snow. It will gradually turn into snow from west to east through Tuesday.
The Washington Post has dubbed the snowstorm the "Snowquester" and said the effects could be "crippling" for the western section of Washington's metro area. Power outages could occur in areas north and west of Manassas, Fairfax, and Rockville.
The Washington area has been without a snowstorm of at least 2 inches for 769 days, its longest streak on record, the Washington Post reports. It is also expected that total accumulations will surpass that of "Commutageddon" on January 26, 2011, with double-digit snowfall in Oakton, Gaithersburg, Sterling, Germantown, Warrenton, and Leesburg.
The storm is also expected to cause large waves due to wind gusts of 50 to 60 miles per hour. There could be significant beach erosion or minor to moderate flooding at Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia beaches, according to the Washington Post.
Snow is predicted to lessen gradually starting early Wednesday evening.
Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal who lives near Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland.
- Natural Phenomena
- National Weather Service