Your Battle Plan for Old Man Winter

images of snow in fairfax county

Snow can bring delight or fright.

We’re not in the weather prediction business, so all we can do is be prepared and encourage you to get ready for whatever this season may throw our way. We’ve compiled some of the more frequently accessed winter information below.

And for any newcomers to the area, we offer this friendly reminder about snow removal: Fairfax County does NOT remove snow from most roads. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has that responsibility in nearly every Virginia county.


Guide to Snow

Our guide to snow is your comprehensive place to get key information about:

  • VDOT Snow Removal Information (and Plow Tracker!)
  • Weather Forecast and Expected Snowfall
  • Who Maintains Roads/Sidewalks
  • 8 Places to Consider Shoveling Snow
  • Tips for Creating a Neighborhood Snow Removal Plan
  • The Trick to Properly Shovel Your Driveway When Snow Plows Pass
  • Snow Shoveling Safety
View the Guide to Snow


National Weather Service Commuter Alerts

On Jan. 20, 2016, a small amount of snow fell at just the wrong time for the evening commute, snarling traffic and stranding many people on the roads for hours.

To help our region prepare better and potentially avoid these horrific commutes, the local National Weather Service now offers Potential Winter Commuter Hazard Statements.

“There is a particular set of circumstances that all must come together to make a Jan. 20 type of traffic disaster happen,” says Chris Strong, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling. “Roads that are well below freezing, a small amount of snow, and rush hour traffic. When we see the possibility of these all coming together, with about a day of advance notice, we will now issue a Potential Winter Commuter Hazard Statement. These will be broadcast as a special weather statement over weather radio, posted on our webpage, and broadcast over our social media feeds.”

View Local Weather Service Winter Info


County Government Status Updates

Is the county government delayed or closed?

You can find out county government status updates this winter from a variety of sources:

Also note: The three courts in the county make their own decision, but we will communicate that information through the tools above so you know whether you have jury duty, cases are postponed and if court services are available.


Fairfax County Public Schools Status Updates

Our public school system determines its own operating status, which can be a separate and different decision than county government. Learn more about the school decision-making process.



When it’s especially cold outside, anyone can be affected by hypothermia if you don’t dress in layers and seek shelter when you can. Here are some warning signs of hypothermia:

signs of hypothermia

However, not everyone in our county has a home, and therefore they are vulnerable to hypothermia.

The main thing to remember is to call the county’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711, if you see someone at night who is unsheltered and you think could be at risk of hypothermia.

For more information on how you can help our vulnerable community, read this NewsCenter article.

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