TRENTON — With predictions of the first major blizzard of 2017 dumping heavy snow on most of New Jersey, most every public and private school canceled classes on Tuesday.

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Many colleges and universities have also declared a snow day for Tuesday as well, including all Rutgers University campuses, Monmouth University, Rider, TCNJ, Brookdale and Ocean County College.

A number of businesses have delayed the start of their work day as well.

The timing of the storm was likely key to the decision-making process, as snow hadn't started in most of New Jersey late Monday evening, but was expected to drop at a rate of as much as three or four inches an hour during the Tuesday morning commute, according to Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow. That would make it hard for road crews to keep up with the snow.

"I'm still very concerned about how rain/sleet/mix will impact snow totals south of I-195. It's still going to be an absolutely nasty day tomorrow, regardless of what falls. But if I had to pinpoint one area where snowfall is most likely to underperform, that would be it," he said.

If Zarrow's forecast of over a foot of snow in North and Central Jersey holds, there could be a second day of cancellations and delayed openings on Wednesday for many districts.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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