State Offices Closed Monday, Christie Declares Emergency
Gov. Christie has declared a state of emergency and ordered all state offices closed Monday, in anticipation of hazardous road conditions from the developing snowstorm. A growing number of schools are also planning to remain closed.
“This winter storm is expected to arrive tonight and last through Monday, bringing heavy snow and creating hazardous travel conditions throughout the state,” the governor said. “I’ve authorized state officials to take all necessary actions, and my Administration will monitor conditions throughout the remainder of the storm.
"I encourage all New Jerseyans to drive carefully and remain off the roads if possible so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations.”
Tonight’s storm is expected to continue through Monday, bringing heavy snow, freezing temperatures and mixed precipitation, as well as dangerous and icy conditions that will affect travel throughout the state for several days. A potential mixture of fallen trees, power outages and flooding is anticipated.
A number of schools have canceled or delayed school for Monday.
Precipitation will turn to all snow by late in the evening. It will still be a snowy commute but strong arctic air from a part of the Polar Vortex continues to push the heaviest snow further and further south. "Cold air is heavy and dense and acts to supress the storm," explains ABC meteorologist Justin Ryan. "And storms helps pull in cold on the back side so the two act in tandem. Also with an arctic air mass it is so cold and dry there is a sharp cut off to the snow making the forecast difficult."
The area of the Winter Storm Warning has been reduced to the area south of Interstate 195 as the storm develops a sharp cut off in precipitation. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Monmouth and Mercer counties.
Snow will fall at a moderate to heavy rate during the morning especially in south Jersey and come to an end by early Monday afternoon. There is also a chance at "thundersnow" with lightning in some areas.
South Jersey will get the most snow from the storm which NBC 40 meteorologist Dan Skeldon describes as a "South Jersey Special," a rarity in March.
The latest accumulation map calls for:
- 8-10 inches for Cape May County
- 6-8 inches for Atlantic, southern Ocean, eastern Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties and Cumberland counties
- 4-6 inches northern Ocean & western Burnlington, Camden and Gloucester counties and
- 2-4 inches in Monmouth, Mercer and Middlesex counties
- 1-2 inches north of Interstate 78
Wind gusts up to 40 MPH are possible late Sunday through Monday which could case minor tidal flooding according to Saturday's briefing on the storm from the NWS.
Following the storm "near record cold" is possible late on Monday with temperatures bottoming out in between 5 and 15 degrees above zero. The normal high temperature in New Jersey in early March falls between 45 and 50 degrees.
Text WEATHER to 89000 for updates on the storm; text NEWS to 89000 to know when the school cancellations and delays start being reported.
Is this New Jersey's last snowstorm of the season? Ryan doubts it. "I think the northeast can always get an accumulating snow until tax day and we've had accumulating snow in late April and early May."
NJ Transit will cross honor tickets on Monday morning system wide on all rail lines and buses including private carriers according to their website. Amtrak in a press release says the Northeast Corridor and Acela service will run on a modified snow schedule.
Utilities are preparing for the storm as there is concern about sleet and freezing rain bringing down power lines. PSE&G in a press release is making sure adequate personnel is available to handle outages and is lining up contractors and tree crews to respond. Atlantic City Electric is taking similar steps.
- Southern NJ to get worst of coming snowstorm / Star-Ledger
- Up to 10 inches of snow expected in Mercer County / Times of Trenton
- Winter storm warning for South Jersey tonight: possibly 12 inches of snow / Press of Atlantic City
- Winter-weary North Jersey braces for another icy onslaught / The Record
- Thousands to march in Lake Como/Belmar St. Patrick's Day Parade / Asbury Park Press