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Monday Weather and Commute: What to Expect on the Roads and Rails

How to make your way down Interstate 66, Route 29 and other roadways.

Is the VRE operating Dec. 9?
Is the VRE operating Dec. 9?
The storm warning for the region is set to end Monday morning, but there's still plenty of lousy weather to go for Northern Virginia and Washington, DC.

The hourly forecast for Northern Virginia calls for rain all day Monday and overnight into early Tuesday morning. 

More than 2,000 salt trucks and plows are working to keep roads passable in northern Virginia, the Virginia Department of Transportation officials said Sunday night. 

VDOT crews began plowing and heavily salting roads since the the wintry weather began and will continue to do so through Monday morning’s rush hours.

Ramps, bridges and underpasses tend to be more treacherous than roadways and are likely to remain so until temperatures begin to rise as Monday progresses. 

 “We are urging folks to stay off the road today and to delay travel in the morning until conditions improve,” said Branco Vlacich, head of maintenance for VDOT in northern Virginia. “While crews are keeping up with the storm for now, we expect conditions to deteriorate as the snow turns into freezing rain.”

Temperatures during Monday morning's rush hour are forecast to be right around freezing, and keep in mind that long before the warnings about snow and rain falling, plenty of leaves had already fallen from trees, which can add to the slick conditions. 

Driving to rails or all the way to work? Here are tips on how to drive safely on slick roads:

Leave room. It can take a driver twice as long (and twice as much space) to stop a vehicle when driving in snow versus driving on dry pavement. You should leave twice as much room as you normally would between you and other vehicles on the road.

Slow down. Driving too quickly for the conditions is the biggest cause of snow crashes, according to Edmunds.com.

Don’t slam on your brakes. If you’re sliding on a patch of ice, hitting the brakes harder won’t stop you. Learn more about how to safely brake in snow and how to exit a skid here.

Or, don’t drive. If you can avoid driving in when roads are covered in snow or ice, that’s probably your safest bet. Walk when it is safe to do so.


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