A snow storm followed by a bitter blast of cold air is headed for New Jersey, starting Thursday.


Snow on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River (Dianne DeOliveria, Townsquare Media NJ)

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect starting Thursday night at 1 p.m. for Sussex, Morris, Warren, Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties which will get the most snow and the worst of the snow. Blowing and drifting of the fluffy snow is expected to be the hardest on Thursday night into Friday morning as the winds increase.  Temperatures will also fall into the single digits in the Warning area.

For most of the state a Winter Storm Watch will be in effect Thursday night into Friday morning including Hunterdonm Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland and Atlantic counties. The precipitation will begin as a wintry mix on Thursday afternoon.

Preparing for the Storm

In anticipation of the storm, NJ Transit will have system-wide cross-honoring of tickets in effect on Thursday for all rail, light rail and bus including private bus carriers. Crews and equipment will be ready to deal with downed trees and power outages during the storm. Locomotives will be placed at strategic locations across the rail system to rapidly respond in the event of a disabled train.

The Port Authority will also be ready with extra personnel on duty to monitor conditions on PATH trains as well as on the bridges and tunnels.More than 200 pieces of snow equipment will be available at the airports including melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph.

PSE&G is making sure all its available personnel are ready to respond to heavy snow, icing and strong winds. They are arranging for contractors and tree crews to be on standby. The utility says they have extra poles, transformers and other pole-top equipment available.


The heaviest snowfall is expected between sunset Thursday and sunrise Friday where snow could fall at the rate of an inch-an-hour at the height of the storm on Thursday night. Wind gusts of over 30 mph will create near-blizzard conditions.

  • 8-10 inches in Sussex county
  • 6-8 inches in Mercer and Monmouth counties and north of Interstate 78.
  • 4-6 inches in inland Ocean and Burlington counties, Gloucester, Camden and Salem counties
  • 2-4 inches in coastal Ocean and Burlington counties, Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties.


  • The snow starts as a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain on Thursday afternoon and turn to all snow on Thursday night as temperatures drop rapidly into the single digits with strong northwest winds making for subzero wind chill. The snow ends on Friday morning as temperatures struggle to reach 20.Near record low temperatures are possible on Saturday morning. Friday's morning commute will likely be a difficult one.


  • Bitter cold air will move in to New Jersey on Thursday night as the snow falls, plunging temperatures into the single numbers with a wind chill below zero. “We’re talking about dangerous cold,” David Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University told the Star-Ledger. “It’s going to be the type of cold where people have to be prepared. Keep a blanket in the car. It’s not like a normal cold day where you just put on a sweater and go to the store.”

Cold temperatures could affect how effective roadway chemicals are and lead to burst water pipes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wrapping exterior pipes to decrease the chance of bursting. The CDC says you should travel with at least half-a-tank of gas to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.


  • Moderate coastal flooding is possible with the Friday morning high tide along the New Jersey coastline with the highest risk coming off Monmouth & Ocean counties. Very cold temperature will cause icing problems due to blowing spray along all coastal sections. Roadways that flood due to the coastal flooding will ice over.


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Expected snow accumulation from Thursday's storm (NWS)