The forecasters got it mostly right: The biggest storm of the winter dumped large amounts of snow and ice on Northern Virginia Wednesday and into Thursday, closing governments, schools and airports while causing hundreds of accidents that have left emergency workers scrambling to keep up.
Reagan National and Dulles International airports were closed Thursday as was a key portion of the George Washington Parkway, from I-495 to the Key Bridge, and Metro bus service was canceled.
In some areas, snow was changing to freezing rain and sleet. The National Weather Service reported nine inches in parts of Fairfax, six in Alexandria and Prince William County and similar totals in Fredericksburg and Ashburn. The weather service had a report in Reston of up to a foot of snow.
From 4 p.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday, Virginia State Police reported, emergency dispatch centers fielded 2,249 calls for service around the state. During that same 12-hour period, state troopers responded to 841 traffic crashes and 515 disabled vehicles across the Commonwealth.
Dominion Virginia Power reported only scattered outages in Northern Virginia but bigger pockets of the Richmond area were without power Thursday morning. The power company warned that the ice and wettish snow could still bring down power lines, and it had workers from outside Virginia prepared to help.
And it's not over yet.
Forecasts call for snow, sleet and ice throughout much of Northern Virginia — with some rain thrown in for good measure — right up until about 11 p.m. Thursday, but with below-freezing temperatures right through rush hour on Friday before warming to near 40 degrees.