- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2012

Weather officials said the low temperatures that produced some snow across the region Monday set up a threat to roadways Tuesday morning in the form of black ice.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Heather Sheffield said overnight temperatures in the District would drop to just above freezing while those in the surrounding areas would be in the upper 20s.

“Driving is going to be the main thing impacted from this,” Ms. Sheffield said.

The Monday evening commute was snarled as drivers as far north as Baltimore maneuvered through light slush. The District’s Southeast-Southwest Freeway was backed up as police worked to clear a three-car accident about 5:30 p.m. And an accident on southbound I-295 delayed traffic in the latter half of the rush hour.

Around the Capital Beltway, drivers were delayed up to an hour, as motorists on the usually fast-moving highway were slowed by slippery conditions.

Large flakes fell through most of Monday, leaving some areas such as Manassas with an inch of snow. The District received only a quarter-inch, prompting many people to grab their cameras instead of shovels.

Though January is not an unusual time for area snow — last year a late-month storm dumped heavy, wet snow on the District and created a traffic nightmare — unseasonably warm temperatures reaching into the upper 60s over the weekend stood in stark contrast to Monday’s flurries.

Despite the quirky weather, area residents experienced a normal workday. The National Zoo, for example, was open and a few die-hard golfers even braved the chilly weather to play a round.

East Potomac Golf Course Assistant Professional David Marshall said a small party of golfers gave him “a thumbs up.”

“They really enjoyed themselves,” he said. “Golf is about playing in different elements.”

Mr. Marshall said the course is open 364 days a year and “some people just play all year-round.”

The warm temperatures over the weekend were pushed out by a low pressure system from the Carolinas, which brought in the cooler air, Ms. Sheffield said.

Area residents can expect another break from the seasonal cold weather by Thursday, when temperatures are supposed to rise as a result of more warm air arriving.

But Monday’s snow could a harbinger for later January in the area. Last week, snow in Western Maryland caused several accidents on Frederick County roads and prompted Garrett County and parts of Allegany County to close schools because of dangerous street conditions.

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