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Good Tuesday morning, Alexandria!

🌥 Today’s weather: Overcast throughout the day. High of 45 and low of 34.
Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 45 and low of 34. Sunrise at 7:28 am and sunset at 5:06 pm.

🚨 You need to know

A new bill could mean the end of snow days for Virginia public schools.

Currently, during severe weather conditions, schools have the option to switch to remote learning. House Bill 1666, pre-filed yesterday by Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville) would change that to a requirement rather than an option: school divisions must declare unscheduled remote learning days to provide instruction and student services.

The school divisions are also not allowed to claim more than 10 unscheduled remote learning days per year without an extension granted by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

While snow days are forever popular among students and teachers, the change is likely spurred on by concerns about learning loss in Virginia students over the last few years. Before disheartened teachers and students start shaking their fists at the state legislature, it’s worth noting that Alexandria City Public Schools had already started moving in that direction.

📈 Monday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Jan 9, 2023.

  1. Notes: Popular D.C. brewery opening new location in the Carlyle neighborhood (604 views)
  2. Saving herself: Alexandria author kidnapped by Somali pirates to publish second book (529 views)
  3. Poll: Should Alexandria implement more ‘no turn on red’ restrictions? (399 views)
  4. ‘The most blighted property in the West End’ gets redevelopment recommendation from Planning Commission (318 views)

🗞 Other local coverage

🐦 Tweets of note

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.

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A snow plow drives down Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria, Jan. 3, 2022 (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) says drivers heading out for the holidays should consider starting a little early, with heavy storms likely to affect travel over the next few days.

In an alert, VDOT said today is the best day to travel, given the forecast.

“Drivers should expect roads to be impacted Thursday and Friday,” VDOT said. “Today will be the best day for holiday travel. Adjust travel plans and avoid all nonessential travel during the height of the storm. This helps to avoid deteriorating conditions and to allow crews room to work.”

VDOT said crews are already pretreating and brining roads, with trucks deployed early Thursday morning to treat roads as needed.

According to the release:

Please continue to monitor forecasts closely as forecasts can improve or worsen quickly. The National Weather Service forecast shows winter weather will impact the region from overnight Wednesday through Friday. The forecast shows the potential for periods of freezing rain and sleet, as well as below-freezing temperatures, heavy rain, and high winds. A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for western Loudoun County starting at 4 a.m. Thursday.

Additionally, the National Weather Service has issued an areal flood watch for Alexandria, advising locals not to drive through water on roadways and to avoid small streams.

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Snow started falling at around 2:45 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 28) in Alexandria, as the city remains under a Winter Weather Advisory until 4 a.m. Saturday.

The National Weather Service says that the snow could lead to slippery road conditions for the evening commute. One inch of snow is expected.

“The steadiest snow is expected late this afternoon through this evening,” NWS said in the advisory. “Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute.”

Temperatures are expected to fall to 23 degrees this evening.

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Alexandria City Public Schools will provide synchronous, virtual learning Thursday after a Winter Weather Advisory warned there may be 2 to 3 inches of snow in the morning.

Class times will include live instruction through Zoom and independent work. All essential personnel must still report to schools, if it is safe to do so.

ACPS advised parents to check students’ Canvas or Clever account no later than 8 a.m. Thursday for specifics about their schedule.

ACPS has implemented virtual instruction for some inclement weather days this year, possibly making snow days a thing of the past. Fairfax County Public Schools similarly announced it would go virtual Thursday as well. And in Arlington, a full school closure was announced for tomorrow, using its last traditional allotted snow day.

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The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Alexandria and its neighbors ahead of snow expected tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

The advisory is set for 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday morning, with the city expected to get two-three inches of snow in the morning with a chance for more in the afternoon.

If it does snow, it will be the third snow of the year for Alexandria. The city received a fairly light dusting this past weekend that followed a severe snowstorm earlier this month.

See the full advisory below:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 1 PM EST
THURSDAY…

* WHAT…Snow. Snow accumulations of up to two inches with locally
higher amounts around three inches possible.

* WHERE…The District of Columbia, portions of central, northern
and southern Maryland, and central and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 6 AM to 1 PM EST Thursday.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous
conditions will impact the morning commute.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Precipitation will start as rain and then
switch over to snow during the Thursday morning commute.
Instructions: Slow down and use caution while traveling. When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.
Target Area:
Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria
Fairfax
Prince William, Manassas, Manassas Park
Southern Fauquier
Spotsylvania
Stafford

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Trucks prepared for pretreatment efforts, photo via Alexandria T&ES/Twitter

Nearly a fortnight after a snowstorm shut down Alexandria, the city’s emergency services finished pretreating local roads just before the snow started to fall.

“In advance of the storm, T&ES completed pretreatment of roads and snow response operations were deployed at 7:00 a.m.,” Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services said on Twitter. “Snow response operates for 24 hours through the duration of winter weather events and staff will continue to monitor the weather conditions as the event ensues.”

Locals are already reporting that the snow is starting to stick.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Alexandria and the immediate D.C. area.

From the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 1 AM EST MONDAY…

* WHAT…Mixed precipitation. Additional snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches and ice accumulations of around one tenth of an inch. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph.

* WHERE…Portions of The District of Columbia, central, north central, northeast and northern Maryland and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 1 PM this afternoon to 1 AM EST Monday.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

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The big story this week was snow.

A snowstorm on Monday had the city working at clearing roads and putting weather-affected services back into play. There was a smaller dusting of snow last night, though it didn’t have nearly the same level of impact.

Alexandria City Public Schools went virtual for the first three days of the week as well. Thursday was closed for students as a teacher workday, and both teachers and staff had today off.

Of course, Alexandria wasn’t alone in dealing with the snowstorm: similar operations were underway this week in Arlington and Fairfax.

Top Stories:

  1. Comcast working on fixing widespread internet service outages caused by fire and snowstorm
  2. JUST IN: Officials investigate fire at Jordan Street 7-Eleven
  3. PHOTOS: Scenes from today’s snowstorm in Alexandria
  4. Winter Weather Advisory issued ahead of Thursday night snow
  5. Power outage hits North Ridge neighborhood as weather topples trees and power lines
  6. DEVELOPING: Winter weather conditions shut down city services and some streets
  7. ACPS cancels school in Alexandria for students, but staff will have a virtual workday
  8. School closed tomorrow as students and staff both get proper snow day
  9. ACPS goes to virtual schooling Monday ahead of expected snow
  10. Alexandria Restaurant Week returns this month with new dining options
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Trash and recycling collection has been suspended for the rest of the week as the city prepares for potential snow tonight just days after Monday’s snowstorm.

The city has previously said trash collection days would operate a day or two behind schedule, but a press release from the City of Alexandria today noted that the city is dealing with a perfect storm of issues hindering trash-recovery operations.

“Due to staffing shortages caused by COVID-19, safety issues related to the forecasted overnight snow and to prioritize resources to prepare for and respond to the inclement weather, curbside recycling, trash, yard waste and Christmas tree collection will not take place this week,” the city said in the release. “There will be no sliding of routes and days as previously communicated. Collection crews will be mobilized tonight and tomorrow to support and respond to the forecasted snow tomorrow.”

The city asked that residents hold their trash until collection resumes next week, but for urgent disposals, the city said residents can drop off small amounts of trash free-of-charge at the COVANTA Waste-to-Energy Facility (5301 Eisenhower Ave.) Monday through Friday from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The city noted those hours could change based on weather conditions.

“City crews continue to respond to tree and brush damage due to Monday’s storm,” the release said. “The City has added arborist contractor resources and is adding bulk yard waste collection resources to assist in the collection of tree and brush. City refuse collection customers who need tree and brush collection will be able to submit a request via Alex311. Items must be properly prepared for collection to be picked up by City crews.”

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It was the best of times and the worst of times for many Alexandrians this week.

Monday’s snowstorm shut down many services around the area — delaying trash pickup, canceling bus service, and more — but also offered some winter fun around Alexandria.

Alexandria students didn’t quite get snow days on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday — with Alexandria City Public Schools going to virtual learning — but students had today off while staff still had to work.

If you’re more in the anti-snow camp a word of warning: there’s more expected tonight.

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Just three days after a snowstorm hit Alexandria, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an advisory that more snow could be incoming tomorrow night.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from 9 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday) to 5 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 7.

The NWS warned to expect a total snow accumulation of around 2-4 inches, with isolated amounts of 5 inches possible and the heaviest snowfall expected between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. The advisory covers much of the D.C. area, including Alexandria.

“Plan on slippery road conditions,” the NWS warned. “The hazardous conditions could impact the Friday morning commute.”

From NWS:

233 PM EST Wed Jan 5 2022

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THURSDAY TO 5 AM EST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Snow. Total snow accumulations 2 to 4 inches. Isolated high amounts of around 5 inches are possible.

* WHERE…The District of Columbia, portions of northern and central Maryland, and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 9 PM Thursday to 5 AM EST Friday.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the Friday morning commute.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The heaviest snow is expected between 10 PM and 2 AM when snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour are possible.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

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