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Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Tuesday; Evening Commute May Be Messy

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Germantown area beginning at 6:00 am Tuesday morning, January 29 until 10:00 pm Tuesday night. 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 evening commute,” said the National Weather Service.

The advisory for the UpCounty portion of Montgomery County goes until 9:00 pm Thursday, while the advisory for the down county areas of Montgomery County and DC, will expire at 10:00 pm.

The area is bracing for another round of wintery weather in the Germantown area and all of Montgomery County and surrounding counties. “Light mixed precipitation is expected during the morning and midday hours before becoming all snow in the afternoon. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches expected,” according to the National Weather Service.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration the storm that will impact the state beginning Tuesday afternoon. Crews are pre-treating roads in advance of the coming storm, said a MDOT SHA press release.

“The system is forecast to form to the south impacting most of Maryland in time for the Tuesday afternoon and evening commute. An Arctic airmass will arrive as the low-pressure system enters the region, creating a sudden drop in temperatures, which could make snow and ice form on pavement during the afternoon and evening rush hour Tuesday. Any areas that remain wet after the storm departs could refreeze as temperatures are predicted to be the coldest of the winter so far,” said MDOT SHA.

“Temperatures will fall well below freezing during the evening, causing any moisture or slush to freeze on untreated surfaces.,” said the National Weather Service. “A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.”

MDOT SHA recommends that travelers plan accordingly and avoid travel Tuesday afternoon and evening.

MDOT SHA will closely monitor pavement temperatures as the back end of the storm will produce the coldest temperatures of the year so far. Crews will aggressively patrol for icy spots and drivers are reminded that elevated sections of roadways (bridges, ramps and overpasses) freeze first. As the cold temperatures will be very dangerous, drivers are urged to take precautions and ensure that they have winter survival kits including blankets, snacks and water, as well a full gas tank and fully charged mobile device before traveling.

As temperatures plummet to the coldest of the season, MDOT SHA reminds motorists that it is critical to have plenty of fuel to prevent fuel line freeze. Motorists should also check over critical engine systems, especially the cooling system. Inspect for any leaks in the radiator and the coolant hoses. Extremely cold weather can exasperate a small issue to a major problem.

For motorists who travel, “Take It Slow on Ice and Snow,” and remember that speed limits are set for ideal (dry) conditions. Drivers are also reminded to not pass snow plows. The safest place to be is in the back of a snow plow or plow trains. Motorists that must travel are urged to plan plenty of additional drive time and use MDOT SHA’s STORM web application to locate where MDOT SHA and contractor vehicles have treated roads.

Motorists are urged to monitor the forecast as threat levels can change throughout the day and visit md511.maryland.gov for real-time travel alerts and conditions.

Photo by Germantown Pulse.