VDOT News - Northern Virginia


IMMEDIATE - 9:30 a.m.

Jenni McCord | Kathleen Leonard


Feb. 17, 2021

Northern Virginia: Prepare Now for Major Mix of Snow, Sleet and Ice
Plan ahead to avoid nonessential travel Thursday and Friday; Crews staging to plow and treat roads

FAIRFAX -- With heavy snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice in the forecast for Northern Virginia on Thursday and Friday, significant road impacts are expected. While VDOT crews prepare to deploy, residents are asked to closely monitor weather updates and plan ahead to avoid nonessential travel tomorrow and Friday.

What's Happening Now

A National Weather Service Winter Storm Watch covers VDOT's Northern Virginia District through late Thursday night for heavy mixed precipitation, including five or more inches of snow and ice accumulation of a quarter inch or more. A Winter Storm Warning has also been issued covering areas south and west of the district.

Crews will finish pre-treating about 2,000 lane miles of interstates and primary routes in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties today. Drivers are asked to be alert to brine tankers and to give them room, as they move slowly to spray the salt water solution on the pavement. Pretreatment will help prevent ice from bonding to assist crews with snow and ice removal at the storm's onset. Learn more.

About 3,000 pieces of equipment will be loaded and staged tonight to treat roads and begin to plow once two inches of snow have accumulated. Additional equipment and crews are on standby to report, including to handle downed trees or limbs from ice.

Reminders for Residents and Drivers:

Prepare now to stay home. Monitor weather reports and plan to stay off roads as the storm begins to avoid deteriorating conditions and allow crews room to work. While pretreatment assists crews at the onset of the storm, it will not prevent subsequent refreeze or icy conditions. Plan ahead to avoid nonessential travel Thursday and Friday.

Where possible, park in driveways or on a single side of the street to allow a wider path for plows.

Monitor road conditions from home on www.511virginia.org or the free mobile app, or call 511 from any phone in Virginia, as well as plowing in neighborhoods at vdotplows.org.

If you must drive, ensure gas and wiper fluid tanks are full, be prepared with an emergency kit, and be familiar with these winter driving tips.

Learn more at virginiadot.org/snow and more about snow removal in Northern Virginia.

Follow @vadotnova and @NWS_BaltWash for real-time updates.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Feb. 17, 2021