A messy day: freezing rain, rain, and snow
A complicated mix of wet and wintry weather is moving across New Jersey today, making travel conditions messy for most of the day.
Weather conditions were sloppy all morning, and that's led to some downright dangerous road conditions across all parts of the Garden State.
Garden State. The radar continues to show a healthy band of rain and wintry mix for much of the morning. And, with temperatures at the surface close to 32 degrees, this setup will continue to present a risk for freezing rain.
The icing caused the rare closure of all the Delaware River bridges--the Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry, Betsy Ross, Tacony Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges for several hours. The Outer Bridge, Bayonne Bridge and Goethals Bridges were also closed due to icy conditions.
There were many minor accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway during the morning. Portions of both roads were also closed for periods of time to clear out more serious crashes. New Jersey State Police in a tweet say there were 428 reported accidents on Sunday morning throughout the state and 186 aids to motorists.
Ice storms and freezing rain events are among the most dangerous kind of winter weather, because of the wide-reaching impacts... major accidents, road and bridge closures, power outages, slips-and-falls, downed trees and branches, and cars/windshields that become just encased in ice.
Freezing rain occurs when the atmosphere is too warm for frozen precipitation (snow or sleet), but the ground is very cold. Freezing rain falls as regular, liquid rain... but then freezes on contact with cold surfaces, such as roads, cars, etc. If it persists for a while, freezing rain can create incredibly slick and dangerous driving conditions. The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory until early afternoon for most of the state.
Warming temperatures have changed the freezing rain to "regular" rain across parts of Monmouth, Ocean, and Burlington counties and points south. Those warmer temperatures will bring moderate to heavy rain across the state through this afternoon.
As this system departs tonight, a brief period of light snow or wintry mix will be possible as temperatures drop.
Overall, it will be a busy, messy weather day. Unfortunately, with all the precipitation falling from the sky, it will be very difficult to enjoy the 50-degree temperatures we're expecting this afternoon!
Stay safe and, as always, stay tuned for further updates.