Many people might have been wondering why government offices and some schools delayed their opening on Friday morning but that's because it was two worlds of weather in New Jersey.

One world had temperatures that dropped from the 50s to the 30s in the course of an hour and rain that turned to freezing rain and sleet. Schools were closed and roads very slippery.

The other had temperatures that stayed in the 50s, heavy rain and schools open as usual.

New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow called it a day of transition.

"As the temperatures drop close enough to the freezing mark later on, the risk increases for icy mix - freezing rain and then sleet. North Jersey will clearly be the iciest part of the state here, but even South Jersey and the Jersey Shore could see some slippery spots by Friday night," Zarrow said.

Storm warning sign on Route 195
Storm warning sign on Route 195 in Wall (Bud McCormick)
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Zarrow used the state's east-west highways as dividing lines for the precipitation. North of Route 80 would be icy all day with an icy mix developing north of Route 78 in the midday hours in the late afternoon along Route 195.

Mount Olive Superintendent Rob Zywicki, one of many northern New Jersey school districts closed for the day,  told New Jersey 101.5 that it was the black ice resulting from the drop in temperature that led him to cancel classes for the day.

"We had over an inch of rain on Thursday and the roads are extremely wet. The buildup of snow from two storms is running off into the roads and there was a 10-15 degree difference in the temperature from what it was at 6 a.m. to what it will be at noon," Zywicki said. "A delayed opening doesn't help you in that situation and an early dismissal is sending the kid onto the buses out into icy conditions."

The Mount Olive Marauder slips on the ice
The Mount Olive Marauder slips on the ice (Mount Olive School District)
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Delayed openings for state offices, commercial vehicle bans

State offices, including MVC offices, delayed their opening until 10 a.m. on Friday.

“State office delays and closures are made in consultation with our Office of Emergency Management professionals, as well as the New Jersey State Police and Department of Transportation,” governor's office spokeswoman Alexandra Altman told New Jersey 101.5.

NJ Transit operated on a regular schedule.

A commercial vehicle restriction is in effect for all tractor trailers, empty CDL weighted trucks, passenger vehicles pulling trailers, RVs and motorcycles on the entire length of Routes 78, 80, 195, 280, 287 and 440.  The restriction is in place on Route 295 from the Scudder Falls Bridge to Route 195.

There were no major power outages for JCP&L, PSE&G or Orange & Rockland customers as of 10 a.m.

177 flights departing Newark were canceled on Friday, according to FlightAware.com.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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