Alexandria, VA

For the second Sunday in a row, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning until noon in Alexandria and the surrounding area, as the city is expected to receive up to three inches of snow.

“Plan on slippery road conditions,” NWS said in its alert on Sunday morning. “Visibility will be reduced to around one- quarter mile at times through late this morning. Temperatures will rise well above freezing this afternoon, but temperatures will fall quickly below freezing this evening.”

NWS recommends slowing down and using caution while traveling.

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Updated at 4:45 p.m. — A winter weather advisory remains in effect throughout the day, as the City was blanketed with snow on Sunday. Up to two more inches are expected overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow shut down in-person schools and non-emergency city staff are allowed to telework.

The city also opened warming centers at recreation centers late. The warming centers are intended to help poor residents cope with the cold temperatures.

The city released the following:

  • Closed: Chinquapin Recreation Center
    Mon Feb 1, 2021 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM
    Location: Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility, 3210 King St.
  • Closed: Warming Centers
    Mon Feb 1, 2021 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
    Location: All City Recreation Centers
  • CANCELLED: Board of Zoning Appeals
    Mon Feb 8, 2021 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Location: City Hall, Council Chamber, 301 King St.

According to NWS:

* WHAT...Mixed precipitation. Additional snow accumulations of
  up to one inch and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an
  inch.

* WHERE...The District of Columbia, portions of central Maryland,
  northern and northwest Virginia and eastern West Virginia.

* WHEN...Until midnight EST tonight.

* IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous
  conditions could impact the evening commute.

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.

https://twitter.com/patpend/status/1356180396535406594

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Morning Notes

ACPS In-Person School Called Off Monday, Virtual Learning Still Happening — “WEATHER ALERT: For Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, ACPS buildings are closed for all. Virtual learning to continue. Food distribution and child care at ACPS buildings canceled.” [Twitter]

Warming Centers Open in Alexandria Until Feb. 5 — “Due to forecasted cooler weather, the city of Alexandria will offer warming centers Friday through Feb. 5 to provide relief from the cold for community members who may not have access to a warm shelter during the day.” [Patch]

Former Mayor Allison Silberberg Not Running — “While the mayoral role is considered part-time, in my experience being Mayor is more than a full-time job. I have been torn between running for office or pursuing new opportunities that are before me now. While these new opportunities will allow me to continue to make a difference and serve others, they would not allow me to serve as Mayor in the way I believe our residents expect and deserve. And so, it is with a heavy heart and mixed emotions that at this time I have decided not to run for Mayor.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy with rain and snow in the morning, light snow in the afternoon. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 70%. About one inch of snow expected. Variably cloudy with snow showers (in the evening). Low 32F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 50%. About one inch of snow expected.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Salon Coordinator/Receptionist — “PR at Partners in Old Town is seeking a part-time professional and motivated individual for our front desk receptionist position. This position is responsible for delivering exceptional client service while successfully managing this busy salon’s schedule. An ideal candidate would enjoy working with many types of people and provide service with a smile.” [Indeed]

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in Alexandria and the surrounding area, as the city is expected to receive four to eight inches of snow on Sunday and Monday.

“The steadiest snow will fall through this afternoon before tapering off to an intermittent mix of light snow, sleet, and freezing rain,” NWS said in its alert on Sunday morning. “Additional snow is expected Monday through Monday night with additional accumulations most likely around one to three inches, bringing the storm total accumulations around four to eight inches.”

NWS recommends carrying an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency if you must travel.

Rain and snow are expected to continue into Monday morning. Less than an inch of snow is expected.

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High winds are expected in Alexandria today, as the National Weather Service has issued a gale warning for the city and surrounding area.

That means it’s going to be a gusty day with sustained winds ranging from 39-54 miles per hour.

The advisory was issued just after 5 a.m. and includes the the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay, tidal Potomac River, and Interstate 95 corridor through Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and central Maryland.

Nearly half the country is under a winter weather advisory as storms are expected throughout the East Coast this week.

“There is an enhanced winter storm threat for Sunday (during the day) and Sunday night, with a slight winter storm threat through Monday night. If the threat materializes, it may cause travel disruptions,” according to NWS.

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Restaurant Preps 15,000 Meals for National Guard — “We will be closed today, Saturday January 16th through Thursday, January 21st. Last week, we were honored to be selected to provide meals to the National Guard during inauguration week. Our kitchen will be used to prepare 15,000 meals per day this upcoming week. We will re-open on Friday, January 22nd. We appreciate your continued support!” [Alexandria Living]

City to Host COVID-19 Vaccine Panel Discussion — “The City of Alexandria will co-host a recorded panel of local medical experts, civic leaders and community leaders to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines. A premiere of the panel discussion will be available online in English, Spanish, Amharic and Arabic at 5 p.m. on January 27.” [City of Alexandria]

Alexandrians Describe Experiences During Capitol Siege — “They ended up gaveling out and Lankford’s staffer ran right up to him and his mic was still hot. He said something like, ‘They’ve gotten in the building.’ At that point, I was like, ‘Woah, what did I just hear?'” [Alex Times]

Alexandria Winter Shelters are Open — “As a reminder, the Winter Shelter is open 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. in two locations: Lee Center (1108 Jefferson St) serves single adults and @CarpentrShelter (930 North Henry St) serves families. Learn more about services: alexandriava.gov/49636.” [Twitter]

17th Annual Alexandria Warehouse Sale Returns Next Month — “The 17th Annual Alexandria Warehouse Sale returns this year in a different format and will take place over two days the weekend of February 6-7, 2021. Deemed in the region the longest-running boutique driven warehouse sale, the popular mid-winter event will convert to a walkable sale and will take place throughout Old Town with nearly 40 independent boutiques participating.” [Visit Alexandria]

Today’s Weather — “Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. High 52F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy skies in the evening. Low 33F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Valet — “We are looking for Valets for our busy Sales and Service departments. Duties include parking and washing/detailing vehicles. Must have a valid driver’s license, a good driving record and be at least 18 years old. Must also be able to drive a manual transmission. Both full time and part time positions available.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria, along with D.C. and Arlington, will be under a winter weather advisory starting tomorrow morning with possible rain, snow and ice.

The advisory was Tuesday afternoon and includes Arlington, Alexandria and D.C., where 1-2 inches of snow is expected to fall amid the mix of precipitation.

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM WEDNESDAY TO 1 AM EST THURSDAY…

* WHAT…MIXED PRECIPITATION EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES. A LIGHT GLAZE OF ICE IS ALSO POSSIBLE ON ELEVATED SURFACES.

* WHERE…IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN VIRGINIA, ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA.

* WHEN…FROM 10 AM WEDNESDAY TO 1 AM EST THURSDAY. SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA BETWEEN 9 AND 11 AM, AND CHANGE TO SLEET AND RAIN DURING THE EARLY AFTERNOON. SOME RAIN MAY FREEZE ON ELEVATED SURFACES.

* IMPACTS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS  CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE EVENING COMMUTE.

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.

Anticipating the storm, the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services released a quick guide for preparations.

In a meeting last week, city staff said locals should expect a milder winter season and some improvements to the city’s brine delivery systems.

Image via National Weather Service

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Morning Notes

Virginia Tech Initials Officially Added to Potomac Yard — “The Metro board on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to add Virginia Tech’s initials to the future Potomac Yard station and remove the University of Virginia’s initials from the West Falls Church station.” [Washington Business Journal]

City Advises Preparation for Wednesday Winter Storm — “While Wednesday’s winter storm forecast evolves, we encourage you to make time now to ensure you & your family are prepared.” [Twitter]

Mitigation Mandates Go Into Effect — “Effective today, new statewide mitigation mandates include a stay-home order between midnight and 5 a.m., with some exceptions.” [Virginia.gov]

Washington Post Profiles Zero-Waste Old Town Store — “Enter Mason & Greens, the Washington region’s first zero-waste store. The couple flung open the shop’s French doors in Old Town Alexandria in March, just as the coronavirus was exploding across the country.” [Washington Post]

ACPS Superintendent Fields Questions About Reopening — “ACPS has decided to use “concurrent teaching” when in-person learning starts in late January. Watch this video to learn more.” [Twitter]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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A leading Alexandria nonprofit that has given away more than 1 million pounds of food since the pandemic began is ready for the winter.

ALIVE! Executive Director Jennifer Ayers says that her organization is now giving out upward of 180,000 pounds of food every month. Before COVID-19, ALIVE! was giving out about 30,000 pounds of food every month.

“I feel like we’ve reached a level of new reality and we’ve scaled our operation to meet that, but we still feel we haven’t reached the peak of this process, although we’re better prepared to respond to it,” Ayers told ALXnow.

On Saturday, City Council will consider extending a licensing agreement with ALIVE! to keep using the city’s Archives and Records Center at 801 South Payne Street until Nov. 30, 2025. The five-year agreement was initially signed in 2015 and expired this past summer. ALIVE! also uses the old DASH Bus Barn at 116 S. Quaker Lane for food distribution packing and distribution.

ALIVE! also recently launched an eviction prevention program to connect impacted residents.

“We’re seeing more and more people in need of all types of assistance, who are worried that they are going to being evicted,” Ayers said.

ALIVE! is currently conducting a children’t toy drive and recently announced an emergency food popup distribution this Friday, from 3-4:30 p.m. at 200 S. Whiting Street.

Photo via Alive!/Facebook

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A winter preparation update headed to the City Council tonight (item 27) outlines plans for what looks to be a mild winter — a small mercy for city services at the end of a somewhat literally plagued year.

While day-to-day weather can be unpredictable, the staff presentation notes that information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that the city is not anticipated to have higher than normal precipitation and is within a belt of areas likely to see temperatures above the city’s winter average of 39.3 degrees. The trend is in keeping with steadily increasing average temperatures in the D.C. area over the last twenty years.

In the average year, snow and ice control teams are dispatched around eight times with an average total cost of $862,000.

New improvements are planned for the pre-treatment program, including a new dedicated large brine truck and a less corrosive brine system for concrete services — hopefully leaving less of a mess for the city to handle in the spring.

In the meantime, the city is working through contingency plans for COVID impacts on staff and contractor personnel. Anticipating more regulations from the Department of Environmental Quality, the city is also participating in a regional task force examining salt usage and best practices.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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