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NJ’s Brief Warm-up Won’t Last Long

Rain and deep cold produced a slippery start for motorists across New Jersey most of Sunday. A brief respite of warmer temperatures is forecast for early Monday with temperatures expected to take another icy plunge by evening.

Garden State Parkway in Sayreville
Garden State Parkway in Sayreville (NJ DOT)

As a warm front approaches the  area, the National Weather Service has issued a Dense Fog Advisory for much of New Jersey including Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Gloucester, Salem, Burlington, Ocean, Morris and Somerset counties. Visibility will be less than a quarter-mile and drivers should use low beams while leaving plenty of distance ahead of them.

Forecasters say the corld front will bring some of the coldest temperatures in years. ABC meteorologist Justin Ryan described the “Polar Vortex” as “a huge upper level low that sits over Hudson Bay Canada” and “shoots smaller lows down to the eastern seaboard with cold air and snow/storms.”

Winds out of the west at 15-20 MPH gusting to 30 are expected to produce a wind chill of -10  during the day Tuesday, when temperatures are likely to linger in the lower teens. Hazard driving conditions could result, as melting snow and rain freeze again.

A Freezing Rain Advisory remained in effect for North Jersey untiil 1 a.m. Monday morning for potentially slippery conditions on untreated roads and walkways in north Jersey. Major roads were also affected.  Interstate 78 had a number of closures and accidents on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday morning, the Garden State Parkway local lanes were shut down between the Raritan tolls and Exit 116 (PNC Bank Arts Center) so crews could treat the roadway for ice. Route 22 westbound was closed in Hillside for a flipped over car, and Interstate 195 was reported to be icy as well.

Continuing Icy conditions have also caused speed limits to be reduced to 50 miles per hour on the New Jersey Turnpike between Exit 11 (Garden State Parkway) and the George Washington Bridge, according to New Jersey Fast Traffic, while the Outerbridge Crossing has a 25 mile per hour speed limit. The Garden State Parkway also has a reduced speed of 50 miles per hour between the Asbury tolls and Exit 137 in Cranford.

Icy Conditions Cause Plane to Slide into Snow

A plane from Toronto slid into snow as it turned onto a taxiway after landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens on Sunday, leading the airport to temporarily suspend flights from taking off and landing because of icy runways. No injuries were reported after Delta Connection 4100 landed shortly after 8 a.m., Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

The CRJ2 aircraft was turning off the runway onto a taxiway when it slid into the snow, she said. The plane was then towed to a gate with passengers on board, she said. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said 35 people were aboard the plane.

A brief warming trend continued through Sunday afternoon with temperatures reaching the 40s and heavy rain helping to melt snow from Friday’s storm.

Elsewhere in the Nation:

Temperatures on Sunday were expected to plunge to 25 below zero in Fargo, N.D., minus 31 in International Falls, Minn., and 15 below in Indianapolis and Chicago. At those levels, exposed skin can get frostbitten in minutes and hypothermia can quickly set in as wind chills may reach 50, 60 or even 70 below zero. Even wind chills of 25 below zero can do serious damage.

Officials have closed schools Monday for the entire state of Minnesota — the first such closing in 17 years — as well as in the Wisconsin cities of Milwaukee and Madison.

Sunday’s NFL playoff game in Green Bay was expected to be among one of the coldest ever played — a frigid minus 2 degrees when the Packers and San Francisco 49ers kicked off at Lambeau Field. Medical experts are suggesting fans wear at least three layers of clothing and drink warm fluids, not alcohol.


MORE COVERAGE:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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