Commuters in the Washington, D.C. area should prepare themselves for the possibility of this season’s first snow.

Forecasters aren’t predicting a heavy snowfall in our area, but it’s likely thatwintry conditions will move in early Saturday and affect morning travel. Temperatures are expected to be cold enough to allow for snow, and there is weather system heading up the coast that could bring precipitation. Those area residents living further east and south have a higher chance of seeing snow late Friday into Saturday.

Crews in Virginia took time Thursday to treat roads in Loudoun, Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington Counties. By the end of Friday, they will have treated about 2,150 lane miles with brine or liquid magnesium chloride, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.

Be Prepared

While the weather forecast is not calling for blizzard conditions, it’s important to remember that some of our largest traffic nightmares have some when small amounts of snow and ice came unexpectedly. Local commuters may recall the “Carmageddon” in January of 2016, when an inch of snow and ice fell and snarled traffic around the Beltway for hours.

Even if snow does not impact our region this week, longer term forecasts for the Washington, D.C. area show that low temperatures could drop below freezing for the remainder of December, so any precipitation that falls could come in the form of snow or ice.

VDOT on Thursday offered some common sense tips to drivers, warning them to give space to trucks treating the roads, drive slowly, and fill up gas tanks. It also noted that bridges and ramps are more prone to freezing. VDOT has a helpful video on how to prepare your car for winter driving.

This also may be a good time to review our Winter Weather Driving Tips for 2017, with lots of good info from the good people at AAA.

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