I would like to remind folks that just prior to the Blizzard of 1996, temperatures were in the 70s across the Washington Region. Yes the weather can change rapidly and there can be blowing and drifting snow with white out conditions after we enjoy a sunny, mild day here in the Nation’s Capital.
Federal Government Status & the Politics that OPM has to deal with when making a decision
- I predict that most school systems (college and secondary) will be closed tomorrow.
- OPM will unfortunately be dealing with the politics of whether or not you close the government. The start time of the snow in Downtown Washington really doesn’t matter tomorrow. I recommend unscheduled leave (at a bare minimum) so that the thousands of people who live in the western suburbs will be able to take leave instead of risking sitting in traffic that will inevitably block the snow plows and road crews from doing their job. Why on earth would we leave the Government OPEN to then CLOSE it at 10 AM or Noon? Traffic here is an abomination when the sun is shining… we don’t need stranded vehicles in accidents with wind chills dropping into the single digits below zero.
Snow Ratios Will be Rising on Tuesday:
- Temperatures will fall all day on Tuesday and typically when it snows at 32 degrees you have a ratio of one to ten. This means one inch of rain falling through temperatures near freezing will yield ten inches of snow. Our high temperatures tomorrow will be at midnight tonight as the arctic front comes barreling through the Washington Area.
- Snow ratios on Tuesday will be rising from 10:1 to 20:1 to 30:1 during the day on Tuesday as temperatures fall through the 20s and into the 10s. The latest models drop at least a quarter of an inch of liquid with some spots getting up to a half-inch of liquid. That would yield two to five inches of snow if the temperatures held at 32 degrees. The temperatures will be falling into the teens with ratios increasing 30:1 snowfall totals may increase tomorrow once the storm gets going.
- **Don’t be surprised if snowfall totals increase tomorrow as the snow gets going and temperatures plummet**.
Only Travel if Absolutely Necessary on Tuesday:
- The powdery nature of the snow on Tuesday afternoon will allow it to blow and drift creating very low visibility.
- Wind chills will be falling through the single digits during the afternoon and below zero during the evening.
- If you must travel tomorrow… make sure you have an emergency kit in your car, a cell phone with a fully charged battery, cat litter (for traction), warm blankets and water.