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Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Overnight Into Thursday Morning

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Germantown area beginning at 10:00 pm tonight until 11:00 am Thursday morning. A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. “Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities and use caution while driving,” said the National Weather Service.

The area is bracing a snow storm of the winter which will bring wintery weather to the Germantown area and all of Montgomery County and the District of Columbia and north central and northern Maryland and northern Virginia. Snow expected. Plan on slippery road conditions, including during the morning commute on Thursday. Total snow accumulations of around one inch are expected, according to the NWS.

While this isn’t a lot of snow, the bitter cold of the last couple of days and a small amount of snow will make all untreated roads slippery and potentially dangerous.

“Very cold conditions mean that snow will quickly stick on roads and sidewalks making the Thursday morning commute dangerous,” said the NWS. “Plan ahead and allow extra time to get to your destination if traveling late Wednesday night or Thursday. Bitterly cold conditions will follow for late Thursday through the weekend causing snow to remain on untreated surfaces.”

MoCoSnow, the Germantown Pulses weather partner, said, “We have some models showing the precipitation shield reaching past MoCo while others have barely anything making it to MoCo. I think a well-timed inch will be enough to delay schools tomorrow and 2 inches may be enough to close them...especially if the snow continues into the later morning. The difficult part is figuring out if we are gonna get that much.” MoCoSnow’s full post on this evening’s storm and a prediction as to if a delay or full closure of school might be in play are available at MoCoSnow.com.

The Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) has issued a Hypothermia Alert for today, Jan. 3. Residents should be prepared for temperatures and/or wind chill values to be below 20 degrees. The temperature and wind speeds combined, will create a hazardous situation in which hypothermia and frostbite are likely.

MCOEM suggests residents try to stay indoors if possible. Take extra precautions if you work or spend long amounts of time outdoors. Wear extra layers and when possible, take frequent breaks in a warm location. Know the signs of hypothermia, which include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. For infants – bright red, cold skin, very low energy.

All emergency and transitional shelters will allow homeless individuals to stay inside until temperatures increase, and/or return to a shelter early from daytime activity programs. For additional information on County services contact MC311 by calling 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311 between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm weekdays, or through the www.MC311.com website address available 24/7.

Due to an extended period of extreme cold temperatures, the Montgomery County Police Animal Services Division is continuing to enforce Executive Regulation 10:00 pm -10:00 am, Anti-Cruelty Conditions for Dogs. Director of Animal Services Division Thomas J. Koenig is notifying residents that animals must not be left outside unattended. Furthermore, leaving animals left outside unattended in these conditions may be considered an act of cruelty and pet owners could be charged accordingly.

Section II-C of the regulation states that “a person must not tether a dog under circumstances that endanger its health, safety, or well-being including: unattended tethering of the dog during a weather emergency.” The enforcement of this regulation is put into effect during periods of high heat and humidity, and during conditions of extreme cold, wind, and heavy snow which can all be damaging to dogs and other animals. Dogs spending a period of time outdoors must have access to shelter to properly protect them from the elements. The penalty for this violation is a $500 fine.

Montgomery County Police Animal Services officers want to remind citizens to be particularly careful with all pets during this time period of record cold. The best advice during periods of extreme weather conditions is to bring your pets indoors. Even animals that are accustomed to living outdoors can be susceptible to the dangers of extreme cold weather. Livestock animals should have a place to get out of the wind and dry bedding must be provided to protect them from frostbite. 

ASD Officers will be on-call, patrolling neighborhoods and responding to any animal-related emergencies. If you see an animal left outside that appears to be in danger, please call the Animal Services Division immediately at 301-279-8000.

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