Gov calls snow emergency

Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency ahead of the winter storm that’s bringing a snowy, icy mix to parts of New Jersey.

A winter weather advisory goes into effect for nearly the entire state at midnight, except for northwestern counties, where a winter storm warning — a designation for treacherous travel conditions — has been declared as forecasters anticipate about 5 to 8 inches of snow will fall.

Half the state woke up to patches of snow on the grass and sidewalks this morning, a preview of “a significant winter weather event” that will impact nearly all of New Jersey on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service warned Monday evening of hazardous travel conditions across the entire state Tuesday morning.

Once again New Jersey will be hit by a storm that won’t be made of pure snow, as warmer air will intermingle with the storm as it really gets underway around lunchtime.

“The snow totals are all going to come down to the timing of the snow-to-ice and ice-to-rain transitions,” said Jonathan O’Brien, a meteorologist at the Mount Holly NWS station. “If you’re off by two or three hours in one of those transitions it can double your snowfall totals or cut them in half.”

A gradual transition from snow to a mix of sleet and freezing rain and then eventually plain rain will occur beginning in the south of the state Tuesday morning and eventually push northward, according to NWS forecasters.

Murphy said the northwest part of the state is bracing for up to 8 inches of snow, while northern and central areas are expected to get an icy mix, while south New Jersey will see sleet turning to rain.

The governor closed Interstates 287 and 78 to commercial vehicles during the emergency.

State offices will be closed because of the weather conditions, so non-essential employees would not report for their normal shift. Essential employees were to report to work on schedule.

Murphy advised residents not to venture out in the bad weather and to report any power failures with their electric utility.

According to the state’s website, when the governor believes an imminent disaster may be severe enough to require aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering he may declare a state of emergency.

This declaration authorizes the state agencies to accelerate assistance to communities in need.

It enables the state to make resources immediately available to rescue, evacuate, shelter, and quell disturbances in affected localities.

It may also position the state to seek federal assistance when the scope of the event exceeds the state’s resources or provide essential commodities such as heating fuel, food, or the like, to those in need.

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