New Jersey Faces Ice, Snow Threat
New Jersey's current winter storm is causing problems from both ice and snow.
Snow began to fall late last night, and was heavy at times. That snow is mixing with sleet and then turning to freezing rain for several hours in central and north Jersey before becoming all rain during Wednesday morning and tapering off in the afternoon.
"Respect the snow, fear the ice," writes National Weather Service meteorologist Gary Szatkowski in a brief about the storm. He recommends focusing on the threat of ice instead of snow amounts. The ice will accumulate around one-quarter inch which could bring down trees and power lines, some of which already have several inches of snow on them.
Governor Chris Christie (R) has declared a state of emergency for Tuesday night and Wednesday. “Tonight’s winter weather is expected to produce snow and ice, creating hazardous travel conditions and affecting areas throughout the state that are already recovering from yesterday’s storm,” said Christie in a statement. “I’ve authorized state officials to continue all necessary actions to assist, and my Administration will continue monitoring conditions throughout the remainder of the storm."
He also asked drivers to stay off the roads if possible "so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations.”
All state offices and agencies will be closed on Wednesday for all non-essential employees because of the storm.
JCP&L in a press release says they have activated their storm response plans in anticipation of the storm by adding additional dispatchers and bringing in extra line, substation and forestry personnel. PSE&G says they are prepared as well with contractors to help clear trees and co-ordinating with county and municipal emergency management personnel. "
Snow will accumulate 1-2 inches before the changeover in Middlesex, Mercer, Essex, Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, for Burlington, Gloucester, Camden and Salem counties where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect at 11 p.m. Tuesday until 9 a.m. on Wednesday. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Monmouth, Ocean and Atlantic counties for less snow and ice. Snow could accumulate 4-6 inches in the northwest corner of the state.
There could be some river flooding from rain and snow melt brought on by milder temperatures.
State climatologist David Robinson describes the current weather pattern as a "parade of storms this week" to the Star-Ledger. "We haven’t been able to tap this kind of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and other environments in quite a few weeks. January was the 8th snowiest on record in New Jersey but it wasn’t abundantly moist. We had a lot of cold, dry snow, fluffy snow, not the thumping snow that we have today," he tells the newspaper.
Rutgers University is on a two-hour delayed opening for Wednesday with classes starting at 10 a.m. on all campus'. A number of other schools will likely cancel or delay classes for Wednesday.
NJ Transit is extending the use of their SuperPass through Tuesday at 11:59PM. The rail line will also be cross-honoring tickets systemwide on Wednesday.
Nearly 400 flights in or out of Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, JFK and Philadelphia have been canceled for tomorrow according to FlightAware.com.
The third storm will come on Sunday, which has the potential to bring several inches of snow to New Jersey but forecasters so far are not elaborating on storm specifics.
Text WEATHER to 89000 for watches, warnings and forecast updates to Monday's storm.