Well, folks, it was nice knowing you. After a light dusting of about an inch of snow froze numerous roads that reportedly had not been treated last night, causing massive delays along major thoroughfares, D.C.-area residents are still somewhat shell-shocked. More than that, many of them face significant gridlock on their way to work this morning. So what’s going to happen tomorrow?
What Does the Forecast Say?
As of late last night, Capital Weather Gang reported that its models showed “solid support for a massive storm,” starting as early as 11 a.m. Friday and lasting into Saturday night. Furthermore, they predicted anywhere between a foot and 20 inches of snow in the immediate metro area, with wind gusts of up to 40 mph—this is going to be a blizzard after all, according to the National Weather Service. Frightful adjectives abound today: AccuWeather characterizes the expected snowfall as “immobilizing,” while FOX calls it “potentially paralyzing,” and the Weather Channel opts for “dangerous.” The Post‘s meteorologists put the future in perhaps more common-sensical phrasing: “Wherever you are late Friday, plan to be there through Sunday or Monday, at least.“
What Is Twitter Saying?
People (residents and journalists alike) continue to bemoan Wednesday night, as anxiety for this weekend mounts and mounts:
How can DC be laid low by a half-inch of snow? And why doesn’t city do more to combat its image as snow sissies? https://t.co/FvmMhOLHJt
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) January 21, 2016
Washington DC area paralyzed by a single inch of snow…but trust us, we know how to run the country! https://t.co/8s6f6k2HSy
— Gregg Easterbrook (@EasterbrookG) January 21, 2016
— Daniel Drezner (@dandrezner) January 21, 2016
Mocking DC’s total inability to function in a snow dust is fair, it’s necessary and we should continue to do it.
— jennifer steinhauer (@jestei) January 21, 2016
Tonight’s ‘snowstorm’ has me more convinced than ever that Washington DC wouldn’t survive 10 minutes in a zombie attack.
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) January 21, 2016
This is one inch of snow. We get 20 more in two days. We are going to die.
— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) January 21, 2016
If anyone’s wondering how long DC will be paralyzed by snow, this morning’s good evidence that’s it’ll be a long time. @capitalweather
— Alison Omens (@AlisonOmens) January 21, 2016
— AndyH (@AndyGHardman) January 21, 2016
What Should I Do?
If you haven’t already stocked up on provisions to get you through the weekend, you should probably do that sooner rather than later. (Though don’t expect to be able to get everything on your usual grocery list: City Desk could not find a single sweet potato at the Columbia Heights Giant Wednesday evening.) This might include batteries and candles in the event of a power outage in your neighborhood, and bottled water for if pipes freeze. Also, focus on your breathing. If you feel inevitable doom, call a friend.
Today’s Snow Panic Index: 5/5
Illustration by Lauren Heneghan