Rain, snow, ice: What to expect for Tuesday PM commute
TRENTON — Rain in South Jersey, a wintry mix in Central Jersey and snow to the north created widely differing driving conditions.
As temperatures continue to creep upward Tuesday evening, Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said the area south of the Route 78 corridor will finally see a flip to all rain. North of I-78 is still running cold, so there will be continued wintry mix and icing concerns until later Tuesday night.
An interstate highway ban by State Police on motorcycle, commercial tractor trailers, empty trucks, and passenger vehicles pulling trailers and RVs continues for the afternoon commute. The Parkway, Turnpike and AC Expressway are exempt from the ban.
"It has been a long, icy day for New Jersey," New Jersey 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. "While temperatures about a mile above the surface warmed on schedule Tuesday afternoon, the bottom-most layer of the atmosphere stayed below freezing all day across northern and central New Jersey."
Zarrow said the result was sleet and freezing rain, leading to significant icing.
Bus riders could experience delays on Tuesday afternoon as buses navigate roads covered in snow and sleet.
Power outages across the state, however, were negligible, as of 3 p.m. according to a check of the JCP&L, PSE&G,Orange & Rockland Electric and Atlantic City Electric.
NJ Transit rail riders experienced delays in and out of New York Penn Station during the day as Amtrak ice patrols worked to clear ice from the overhead wires so they did not fall onto the tracks or moving trains.
Traffic was lighter than normal but slushy roads and highway conditions that changed within a matter of minutes led to numerous spinouts and crashes involving tractor trailers.
State Police Lt. Ted Schafer said early Tuesday afternoon that troopers were so busy he could not offer a number of how many motorists they assisted.
"Please drive safely if you must," Schafer said.
Many school districts canceled classes Tuesday in anticipation of poor road conditions. Some school districts may delay the start of classes on Wednesday.
Rain will come to and end just before daybreak Wednesday morning. As skies clear, a gusty wind up to 40 mph is expected.