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More snow Friday could slow snarl traffic for commuters

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Local,DC,Maryland,Virginia,Naomi Jagoda

After a Thursday morning of crashes, delays and cancellations because of snow, the Washington area is likely to receive more of the white stuff Friday afternoon and evening, potentially causing problems for commuters.

The National Weather Service is predicting as much as 2 inches of new accumulation. High temperatures on Friday are expected to be in the upper 20s.

"It's going to be very cold, so it's going to accumulate as it falls," said Heather Sheffield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling. She noted that the snow will stick to the streets because road temperatures will be below freezing.

The flurries will come the day after the area got 1 to 2 inches of snow Thursday morning. The icy, slick conditions contributed to a number of traffic crashes, and a few power outages were reported. This snowfall also caused many school districts in the area to cancel classes or operate on a two-hour delay.

Source: Monica Hernandez, DDOT spokeswoman

Snow safety tips
> Exercise caution when biking, walking or driving.
> If traffic signals go dark, treat them as four-way stop signs.
> If you are a property owner, remove snow from sidewalks within 24 hours after snow stops falling.

Thursday afternoon, there were some reports of snow blowing over roads due to winds gusting up to 25 mph. But winds are expected to be less on Friday afternoon and evening, Sheffield said.

Still, "motorists need to use caution," Sheffield said. She recommended that drivers leave space between their cars and avoid speeding.

Metro spokeswoman Caroline Lukas said that if the road conditions are bad, buses may need to travel more slowly as a safety precaution. There is also the potential for buses to run behind schedule Friday afternoon because bad weather can lead to crowded roads.

"You do tend to get a little more congestion," Lukas said.

The District Department of Transportation plans to pretreat major routes and possibly some residential streets with a brine solution to inhibit accumulation on roads, spokeswoman Monica Hernandez said. After the snow falls, plows will be sent out to clear the remaining residential roads.

Saturday and Sunday are expected to be mostly sunny in the D.C. area, but they still aren't expected to be at all warm. The National Weather Service predicts high temperatures will be in the 30s over the weekend.

But for those in the capital region who wish that winter didn't exist, relief appears to be on the way. Tuesday's and Wednesday's high temperatures are expected to be in the 50s.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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