Early Snow Blankets the Area and Closes Schools
Montgomery County Public Schools are closed today, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, March 21, due to emergency weather conditions. All school-sponsored and community-use activities in school buildings are canceled. All administrative offices are open. Daycare programs in school buildings may remain open as scheduled.
The storm which entered the area overnight began dropping snow and sleet in the area at about 5:30 am. Initially, at 5:00 am MCPS declared that schools would open two hours late and informed the public that the decision would be reevaluated at 7:00 am. At 6:50 am, MCPS announced that it would stick with the two-hour delay and schools would open.
But, about an hour and a half later, as reports of slick roads and steadily falling snow were coming in throughout the County, at 8:38 am MCPS issued an “URGENT UPDATE: Based on an updated forecast with worsening weather conditions, MCPS schools are now CLOSED.”
Montgomery College has closed for the day, all classes have been canceled, and MCPS has canceled all school-sponsored, and community use activities in schools are canceled except for Childcare.
The storm is the earliest measurable snowfall in the Washington DC area since 1996 when the area received 0.2 inches of snow. The weather conditions made traveling around the area hazardous, there were numerous reports of collisions and spinouts on area roads, including one on Damascus Road near Viewland Road in Damascus which resulted in a utility pole coming down and an overturned vehicle. Police also closed a portion of Barnesville Road due to collision and slick conditions.
Montgomery County Government offices and departments are OPEN today Thursday, November 15, according to their normal operating schedules with optional LIBERAL LEAVE for non-essential employees. Essential employees must work their regular hours and report as scheduled.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Germantown area beginning at 4:00 am Thursday morning until 4:00 pm Thursday afternoon. A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. “Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute,” said the National Weather Service.
The area is bracing for the first storm of the season which will bring wintery weather to the Germantown area and all of Montgomery County and surrounding counties. Mixed precipitation is expected to begin falling overnight and with total sleet and snow accumulation of up to one inch, and ice glaze accumulations of one-tenth to two-tenths of an inch expected. The wintery mix will continue into the evening commute making travel conditions hazardous, according to the National Weather Service.
Top: The Maryland SoccerPlex stadium covered in snow on Thursday morning.
Next: A jeep overturned on Damascus Road near Viewland Road and took down a utility pole on Thursday morning.
Photos courtesy Maryland SoccerPlex and MCFRS.