Season’s First Snow Expected Wednesday

Update, 3:35 p.m.: With snow in the forecast, Loudoun County Public Schools and school administrative offices will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 16. All distance-learning classes for Wednesday are cancelled.

The first heavy snow of the winter is expected across Loudoun on Wednesday, with the National Weather Service forecasting snow before 4 p.m. follow by sleet and accumulation of up to 4 to 8 inches overnight.

The Weather Service predicts a high of 32 degrees and an overnight low of 27 degrees, with winds gusting to 20 miles per hour. The first snow is expected to mix with sleet and freezing rain in the afternoon and evening, with overnight snow adding to that.

Local weather guru Jay Hatem of Jay’s Wintry Mix on Facebook also predicted snow followed by a wintry mix.

“The overnight hi res models continue to cut back on the snow and emphasize more of a wintry mix. Not one model now is showing any part of Loudoun staying all snow,” Hatem wrote. “The track of the storm continues to shift left. The best model for us was the European which gave us 6 or so inches before the change over. But the bleeding hasn’t stopped so I’m thinking now a few inches and then a bunch of wintry mix. If you look at this map…the low is way too close. It was much further east 2 days ago but every run would nudge it to the left little by little.”

Many people in Loudoun and across the region turn to Hatem’s prognostications when winter weather is predicted; he surveys a broad swath of forecast models to make his own predictions.

“It will start as snow maybe late morning. Hope it comes in hot and heavy because we will be against the clock,” added Hatem, who always cheers news of snow.

The snow could make travel difficult or dangerous, and prompted Virginia Department of Transportation crews to begin preparations and the Town of Leesburg to activate emergency snow routes.

VDOT crews are pre-treating roads today, and trucks will begin staging along roads tonight, ready to plow snow and treat roads as the precipitation begins.

Meanwhile, the Town of Leesburg’s downtown snow emergency route restrictions will go into effect at midnight. Starting then, no on-street parking is allowed on King Street from the Union Cemetery to Country Club Drive; on Loudoun Street from Liberty Street to Harrison Street; or on Market Street from Fairview Street to the Route 7/15 Bypass. Any vehicles parked on those routes at midnight will be towed at the owners’ expense.

A pdf version of the Snow Emergency Routes map is available on the town website.

The Leesburg Snow Hotline, 703-777-SNOW, will be activated beginning at 6 a.m. on Wednesday. Residents can call the hotline to report snow removal issues and concerns.

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