- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A winter storm is expected to hit the Washington region this afternoon, bringing light snow and potential problems during the evening commute.

The heaviest snowfall is predicted for north and west of the District of Columbia, with Montgomery County projected to get about an inch and Western Maryland to get as much as 2 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow is expected to end by tonight, but road crews already are treating streets and cautioning motorists, while some school districts already have canceled classes.

The Maryland State Highway Administration “will continue to closely monitor the storm, but we certainly need motorists to do their part as well,” agency Administrator Melinda Peters said. “Traveling the roads this afternoon during the height of the normal rush hour should not be an option; plows need space to clear the roads and gridlocked traffic does not allow crews the opportunity to make the roads safe.”

In Virginia, Frederick County public schools are operating on an early-dismissal schedule Wednesday, with high schools dismissing at noon, middle schools at 12:15 p.m. and elementary schools at 1 p.m.

In addition, federal employees are being allowed to take unscheduled leave or work from home, according a U.S. government website.

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