- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2003

Forecasters said the Washington area, dusted over the weekend with snow for the second time this season, could expect an icy, slushy mess of a commute this morning.

“Temperatures will be around a freezing mark, but most of the icy conditions will be on bridges and overpasses,” said a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

Much of the region received about 4 inches of snow early Sunday from 2:30 until about 10 a.m., when the precipitation changed to rain. Forecasters expected more snow and freezing rain last night but no significant accumulation.

The metropolitan area usually gets about 1 inches of snow in December. The weather service reports about 6.6 inches have accumulated so far this month. A record 16.2 inches fell in December 1962. The biggest accumulations yesterday occurred west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, according to the weather service.

Holiday shoppers going to malls and other travelers were slowed by slush on the streets, but no serious traffic accidents were reported by Virginia state police, the Metropolitan Police Department or Maryland State Police.

“The roads [were] slick, and [there were] lots of accidents but none of them major,” said Trooper J. McDonough of the Maryland State Police’s Rockville barrack. Road crews, including about 80 trucks from the District, have been de-icing and clearing streets since early yesterday morning.

The only school delays reported as of last night were Alexandria City and Prince William County public schools, which will open two hours late. The Fresta Valley Christian School in Marshall, Va., will be closed.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reported no delays for the subway system but said buses were running slightly behind schedule. She said no delays are expected today.

Washington Dulles International and Reagan National airports reported some minor weather-related delays yesterday and expect no major problems today as long as temperatures remain higher than freezing.

“It should be over, but we could have some delays very early in the morning,” said Tom Sullivan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority. He said that airlines’ de-icing planes could cause delays and that airport crews would be out last night trying to keep runways from freezing again.

Mr. Sullivan advised travelers to check with airline before heading to the airports, especially if going to southern New England or other destinations with heavy snowfall yesterday.

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