Washington – Arctic gusts are raging in the Washington, DC area, and December temperatures can be the coldest in nearly 30 years.
FOX 5’s Tucker Burns Snow fell en masse in the area Friday morning as the Arctic border was shifting into the area.
Expect gusty winds, a sharp drop in temperature, and near-zero chills in the afternoon.
Wind chill warnings are in place throughout the region, and temperatures could drop to -5°C to -15°C by evening. The Arctic front is also expected to cause widespread and rapid freezing across the region as temperatures rapidly drop below freezing after heavy rains.
Precipitation will be gone by Friday night, with a dry night. Single-digit temperatures are expected in the area by Saturday morning. Highs are expected to hover around 24 degrees Celsius on Saturday, with highs nearing 29 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
Transportation Security Administration Lisa Ferbstein says traveling across the country this weekend is an all-inclusive approach. Farbstein said travel numbers were expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels, but have fallen due to a large number of weather-related cancellations.
Utility crews across the region prepare for the worst, as damaging winds can cause power outages.
Most schools in the area were already closed for winter break, so there were very few closures and delays reported on Friday.
A winter weather system that brings dangerously cold temperatures to the DC area is expected to bring blizzard conditions over the weekend that are likely to intensify into a bomb cyclone over the Great Lakes and parts of the Midwest on Friday.
Travel conditions are expected to be very difficult, if not impossible, in many areas affected by winter weather this weekend. Here are some tips for drivers who have to hit the road this holiday weekend.
Prepare an emergency kit before departure:
- Abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mat
- shoveling snow
- Flashlight with spare battery
- window washer solvent
- ice scraper with brush
- jumper cable
- Winter clothes (gloves, hats, mufflers), blankets
- Warning device (flare or triangle)
- Drinking water and non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
- first aid kit
- A set of basic tools (driver, pliers, adjustable wrench)
- mobile phones, chargers, power banks
AAA tips for safe driving in ice and snow:
- stay at home. Go out only when necessary. Even if you can drive successfully in bad weather, it is better not to venture out and take unnecessary risks.
- Please drive slowly. When driving on snow or ice, always slow down and adjust for reduced traction.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply gas slowly to regain traction and prevent skidding. Don’t rush to move and take your time slowing down at traffic lights. Note: Slowing down will take longer on icy roads.
- Increases follow distance to 5-6 seconds. This increased safety margin increases the required distance if you have to stop.
- Know your brakes With or without antilock brakes, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to press the brake pedal firmly and steadily.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There is a big difference between the amount of inertia it takes to start moving after coming to a complete stop and the amount of inertia it takes to start moving while spinning. If you can slow it down enough to keep spinning until the light changes, do it.
- Do not turn on the hill. Applying extra gas on snowy roads will only cause your wheels to spin. When you reach the top of the hill, slow down and proceed slowly downhill.
- Never stop climbing hills. There’s nothing worse than trying to climb hills on icy roads. Build up your inertia on flat roads before climbing hills.
If your vehicle is stuck in snow or ice:
- stay in your car. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to find you.
- Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose track of your car and get lost in a snowstorm.
- Don’t try to dig in the snow or push your car over. Keep sand, cat litter, or a traction mat in your car to help your car tires gain traction in ice and snow. Even the floor mats in your vehicle can help with traffic jams.
- Send a distress signal by tying a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or placing it on top of a rolled up window.
- Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice, or mud. A clogged exhaust pipe can leak deadly carbon monoxide gas into your vehicle when the engine is running.
- If possible, run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill and conserve gas.