D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says the District is aiming to announce Tuesday night whether schools and city government offices will be closed on Wednesday because of the major winter storm that is poised to begin its lengthy strike against the region late Tuesday.

"We try to make these decisions on schools the night before because it's tough on parents to have to wait," Gray said at the John A. Wilson Building. "If we can reasonably make a responsible decision tonight, we will do that."

Gray also said the city is prepared for the powerful weather system that could dump more than a foot of snow on some communities in the region.

"We've prepared for so many storms already this winter," Gray said. "We have a protocol that we follow. They'll start to mobilize later this evening... Everyone will be involved."

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather watch for the city, but that's expected to be upgraded to a warning later Tuesday. Meteorologists are forecasting that the District will receive at least six inches on snow by the time precipitation ends Wednesday afternoon.