When I lived in Northern Virginia, I chuckled at being told that they closed the schools there when they had an inch of snow. Growing up in Chicago and living in Iowa both tend to inure one to the powdery stuff. As I observed drivers on the Beltway slowing to a crawl because of a trace of white on the grass along the way, I couldn't help but reflect on the 27 inches which were dropped on Chicago when I was a junior in high school, and the 32 inches which accumulated the year Mike Bilandic lost the mayoral primary to Jane Byrne because the city handled it so badly.
But it appears that the folks in NoVa and environs are actually facing a genuine snow emergency of similar dimensions. As much as 20 inches may be about to fall on the Washington area, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has already declared a state of emergency.
That's a major storm no matter where you live. And it'll be doubly tough on the folks back there because they're so ill-equipped to deal with it.
This is the second such storm they've had this winter. We used to joke about how Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland were protected from such things by the permanent dome of hot air over the Capitol. Just like the politicians to let us down even when we count on them for hot air.