WASHINGTON - The amount of snow expected to fall in the D.C. region was downgraded early Thursday afternoon with forecasters saying snow may still fall, but not as much as expected.
Winter storm advisories in most of the WTOP listening area were canceled before they were scheduled to go into effect at 3 p.m., with meteorologists saying the area could see traces of snow to a possible inch of accumulation.
In Maryland, a snow warning was reduced to a snow advisory in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties. In all other Maryland suburbs, weather advisories were dropped.
In Virginia, snow advisories remain in King George, Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.
However, the region is still expected to get rain that could turn into a light snow in some parts of the area and roads could be slick for the evening commute. Drivers are still cautioned to mind the conditions and drive carefully.
Temperatures are expected to drop into the mid-30s Thursday night.
"Even just an inch of snow on the ground can cause problems on the Beltway, so everyone should be careful about that," says ABC7 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts.
The storm, moving up from the South, might bring more accumulation to D.C.'s southern suburbs, but it's not expected to reach four inches as perviously thought.
Thursday: - Light rain and drizzle to afternoon snow (up to 1 inch inside the Beltway, more to the south). Highs of 43 to 35. Winds out of the northwest at 5 mph to 10 mph.
Overnight: Winter weather tapers early. Lows of 25 to 30. Northwest winds of 10 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny, breezy and cold. Highs of 38 to 42 with winds out of the northwest at 10 mph to 15 mph.
Saturday: Sunny, warmer, upper 40s.
Sunday: Cloudy, mid 40s.
As closings or delays come in, WTOP will posted on the WTOP Closings page.
Road crews in Maryland and Virginia are preparing for the snow
"Each of us needs to assume the worst and have a plan," says Melinda B. Peters, Maryland State Highway administrator.
"Storms during afternoon rush hours pose certain challenges because SHA snow plows are driving in rush hour traffic, making snow clearing more difficult," she says.
Remember to leave early, to allow enough time on the roads or telecommute if that is an option, Peters says.
Crews for the Virginia Department of Transportation have geared up snowplows and have checked sand and salt supplies.
"As we prepare for this snow event, we encourage motorists to check road conditions prior to travel and, if possible, avoid unnecessary travel until conditions improve," VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley says.
Any time there is a storm you can listen live to WTOP from any phone at 202-380- 9977. Text "POWER" to 91035 for a full list of power company phone numbers.
WTOP has a page for you to print out with the numbers to area electric companies and cable providers.
- Tips for driving in snow and what to have in your emergency kit
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