How much snow has to fall for DC's Metro to shut down?

A winter storm impacted the Northeast Tuesday, as a mix of rain and snow worked its way into the D.C. area. 

Plenty of places across the DMV saw flurries and flakes Tuesday morning but it didn’t stick around for long. 

According to FOX 5 DC meteorologists, it has been a bit of an odd winter when it comes to snowfall in the region.

So far, D.C. has had three notable measurable snow events; one in December and two in January. All of these were events that generally overperformed in the area, providing more snow than expected. 

Snow blankets the Washington, DC region on January 19, 2024. (Credit: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

But, an excessive amount of snow can cause issues for travelers and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

How much snow has to fall for DC’s Metro to shut down?

According to the MTA, the Metrorail can operate very close to a normal schedule in snowfall of four to six inches. 

RELATED: Snow in Maryland, Virginia makes for slippery commute in DC area

Still, they said travelers may experience crowded conditions as commuters who normally drive choose Metro for their commute.

In addition, sometimes snow and ice-clearing equipment must operate between regularly scheduled passenger trains, which can cause longer waits between trains as snow is cleared.

Snowfall above eight inches becomes issue

For safety reasons, to preserve the railcars, and to allow for faster recovery after a storm, the agency said they may suspend aboveground rail service in a major snowstorm above eight inches and serve only underground stations. 

In some cases when snowfall is not equal throughout the region, rail service may operate in some above ground areas, but not in others.

The Metrorail services more than 600,000 customers a day throughout the D.C. area. The system is the second busiest in the United States, serving 98 stations in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

How much snow is the D.C. area expecting?

The D.C. area is expected to stay sunny, though chilly, through Valentine's Day. 

More winter weather may approach the region closer to the weekend. 

As a system passes south of D.C. on Saturday, there is the threat of light snow overnight into Saturday morning.  

However, there’s no threat of a blizzard, and conditions will be drier by Saturday afternoon, but at its highest, some parts of the area could see several inches. 

The chances of it sticking are low, however, with highs likely to be in the lower 40s. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles. FOX 5 DC contributed.