Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency for a winter storm that could close schools and create problems for thousands of commuters on Tuesday. The declaration will take effect at midnight and a partial travel ban was declared.
A winter storm warning also was declared for six New Jersey counties.
The state of emergency was declared for a system that could bring snow and ice and cause power outages and messy roads on Monday evening and Tuesday morning (see snow estimates below).
“It’s going to be a mess pretty much everywhere,” Murphy said.
The declaration means that the state will deploy extra resources to make sure that the roads are clear and safe on Tuesday. Murphy did encourage people to stay off the highways and a travel ban was declared for commercial vehicles on state roadways.
A winter storm warning was issued for Sussex, Passaic, Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties while a winter weather advisory was declared for the rest of the state, except for Cape May County. The National Weather Service is now predicting that the Monday-through-Tuesday weather could be worse than originally expected.
Schools could delay openings or close entirely on Tuesday. Read more: New Jersey School Closings/Delays List For Monday And Tuesday.
Some towns got as many 3 inches of snow already. Patch has been updating the snow totals as they come in. Read more: New Jersey Snow Totals, Town-By-Town, For Monday Through Tuesday
Gov. Phil Murphy provided updates on the storm:
Here are the alerted areas:
NJDOT is prepared and coordinating the state’s response with its regional transportation partners to ensure the safety of all travelers. The department has 2,500 plows and spreaders that are ready to be activated statewide wherever they are needed.
Ice and winds could bring trees and branches down on roadways. NJDOT crews have tree-clearing equipment available to remove debris from state highways to ensure plows, emergency personnel and utility companies can get through. In addition, the department and transportation partners are prepared for possible flooding in South Jersey from heavy rain.
The department is reminding motorists:
- AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL during the storm
- Consider Telecommuting tomorrow, if possible
- If you must drive and road conditions deteriorate, GET OFF THE ROAD somewhere safe and wait it out
- Always STAY CLEAR of plows and spreading trucks. If they are behind you, let them pass
- DO NOT PASS between trucks that are in a plow formation
- Be patient and use caution
Commercial Vehicle Travel Restriction
The restriction applies to the entire length of all Interstate Highways in New Jersey including:
The restriction DOES NOT apply to:
- New Jersey Turnpike
- Garden State Parkway
- Atlantic City Expressway
The commercial vehicle travel restriction in New Jersey applies to the following vehicles:
- All tractor-trailers
- Empty straight CDL-weighted trucks
- Passenger vehicles pulling trailers
- Recreational vehicles
NJDOT will deploy assets on I-280 and I-78 at Jugtown mountain (between Exits 7 and 11), which includes pre-positioning towing assets, NJDOT Safety Service Patrol (SSP) trucks, and coordination with New Jersey State Police.
NJDOT will be using “Variable Message Signs” throughout the storm to provide updates. Once conditions improve, NJDOT will lift the “Winter Weather Congestion Alert.”
Here is what is expected:
- Some snow could start falling after 10 p.m., but the bulk of the new precipitation is expected to arrive after midnight.
- Mixed precipitation expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches – mainly during the overnight hours – and ice accumulations of a light glaze are expected through most of the state, mainly Tuesday morning.
- The Sussex County area could get 5 to 7 unches, while South Jersey will likely get 1 to 3 inches.
- Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.
- Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the Tuesday morning and Tuesday evening commutes.
Here are the predicted snow totals:
Here are the high-end predictions:
The storm will start as freezing rain across a swath of the Ohio Valley and snow in the mid-Atlantic around Philadelphia and State College, Pennsylvania, accordng to AccuWeather.
On Monday night, snow will overspread much of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey while icy conditions plague a swath stretching from central Michigan to the Delmarva, including Detroit, Harrisburg, Baltimore and Philadelphia, according to AccuWeather.
During this time, travel will become increasingly difficult and dangerous as roads become coated in slick snow and ice. Widespread instances of spin-outs and accidents can occur, as well as mounting airline delays, according to AccuWeather.
Snow will continue over much of New York and New England on Tuesday while freezing rain and sleet fall across southern New York, eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Any snow that hasn’t been cleared away will become heavier and harder to remove with the added ice, according to AccuWeather.
Here is the forecast:
- Monday night: Snow or rain. Low around 29. East wind 5 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
- Tuesday: Snow, freezing rain, and sleet before 1pm, then rain. High near 41. East wind 14 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no ice accumulation expected. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
- Tuesday night: Rain, mainly before 5am. Low around 35. East wind 6 to 16 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
- Wednesday: A chance of rain before 7am, then a slight chance of showers between 7am and 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 43. Breezy, with a west wind 14 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Tom Davis photo
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