Brutal Artic Air Chills D.C. Region
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Update: Jan. 3, 2014 at 3:45 p.m.
Original: Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.
LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — A blast of extreme cold is freezing the Washington region a day after a winter storm dropped several inches of snow on the nation’s capital.
Friday’s high temperatures topped out in the low 20s, with strong wind gusts making it feel much colder. Wind chill temperatures are in the single digits around the region — some even approaching zero degrees.
The winds will die down a bit Friday night but it will remain brutally cold, with temperatures in the low teens.
Saturday will be mostly sunny and breezy, but it won’t be as cold. High temperatures should reach into the mid-30s.
Federal government agencies in the D.C. area remained open Friday but employees were given the option to take unscheduled leave or telework.
Federal employees and contractors at the West Falls Church Metro station on Friday morning told WNEW reporter George Mesthos they weren’t surprised they had to report to work.
“You don’t want to come out here, but you don’t have a choice,” one worker said.
Another worker, dressed in three layers of clothing, said: “It’s terrible. Cold, icy.”
In Virginia, schools in Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier and Frederick counties were closed Friday. Fairfax County schools are still on vacation, but all school-related activities are cancelled Friday.
In Maryland, schools in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are closed.
The snowfall coupled with the sub-freezing temperatures created slick roads for the Friday morning commute, but most of the major roadways have now been treated. Still, officials are urging drivers to allow for extra space between themselves and other vehicles.
“Even though it may not be slippery when you start out, presume the worst and add a lot of extra care and slow it down,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Lon Anderson.
The Howard County website allows residents to track the progress of snow plows.
Winter weather across the country forced flights to be delayed or canceled, including many at D.C. area airports. Runways are open at Reagan National and Dulles airports, but many northeast-bound flights have been delayed or canceled due to inclement weather from Philadelphia to Boston.
At least 13 deaths were blamed on the storm as it swept across the nation’s eastern half.
Some areas in the region received as many as 5 inches of snow Thursday night. The 3-inch accumulation at Dulles Airport tied the all-time record for the day set in 1987.
District of Columbia
American University – 1.5″
Damascus – 5″
Gaithersburg – 4.3″
BWI Airport – 3.6″
College Park – 2.6″
Bowie – 1.8″
Fairfax – 3.5″
Dulles Airport – 3″
Bailey’s Crossroads – 2.6″
Reagan National Airport – 1.9″
Alexandria – 2.1″
Falls Church – 2.0″