As the first portion of winter’s last-gasp one-two punch begins to cover the UpCounty area with sleet and freezing rain, and residents prepare for a full day of snow on Wednesday, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Germantown and the whole of Montgomery County to go into effect at 8:00 pm tonight, Tuesday, March 20 and run until 8:00 pm Wednesday evening.
“Heavy snow expected,” said the NWS. “Mixed precipitation expected for the remainder of today, with heavy snow expected tonight and Wednesday. Storm total accumulations of 6 to 12 inches expected. A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”
The Winter Storm Warning is an upgrade from the Winter Strom Watch issued by the NWS earlier this week.
The area remains under a Winter Weather Advisory until 8:00 pm. A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.
While Montgomery County Schools will remain open for a full day on Tuesday, the school district has canceled all after-school activities, practices, games, and community events planned at public schools this afternoon.
Montgomery College will close at 2:00 pm due to hazardous weather conditions. All evening activities are canceled.
The rain and sleet portion of this storm has created havoc on area roads for drivers and kept emergency personnel busy, as roads became increasingly slick. Officers from MCPD 5th District have been responding to reports of vehicles slipping off roads and into ditches, as well as collisions.
At approximately, 12:45 pm MCFRS and MCPD responded to an overturned minivan on Clopper Road just west of Kingview Road, which forced the closure of both directions of Clopper Road for about 45 minutes as crews worked to clean up the crash. One person was transported to a local hospital, no word on condition or injury. Clopper Road opened up at 1:32 pm, according to police radio transmissions.
Germantown Pulse’s weather partner MoCo Snow has released an afternoon update with a prediction for tomorrow’s school closure. “The National Weather Service has upped their numbers once again. MoCo is now primarily in the 6-8 inch range with the upper fourth of the county in the 8-12 inch range,” said MoCo Snow. “The timing of this wave of the storm is late tonight into tomorrow afternoon. Even if the lowest amounts of these snow forecasts verified, I don't see how we could possibly have school tomorrow.”
Included in the MoCo Snow post was an email sent to school employees from MCPS Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Zuckerman. The email said, “If schools are to be closed tomorrow the last day of school for MCPS would Friday, June 15, 2018. “If schools need to be closed for two days as a result of the weather, then we will evaluate all available options. Our snow make-up day schedule calls for opening school next week over spring break; however, given the late timing of this snowstorm and the closeness to the start of spring break, we may need to re-evaluate the snow make-up day schedule and consider alternative possibilities. My hope is that we will not be in this position and I remain optimistic that if we have to close it will only be for one day.” The full MoCo Snow post and prediction can found on the MoCo Snow website.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.