A state of emergency went into effect at 5 a.m. on Wednesday for all 21 counties, ahead of the latest winter storm expected to hit New Jersey.

Although the snow totals are only expected to be 2-4 inches across the state, New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow  said the issue is the timing of the precipitation.

Snow will develop from south to north by noon with some heavier snow falling in some areas early in the afternoon. It will transition to wintry mix (mostly sleet) by dinnertime. We'll changeover to all rain tonight.

A state of emergency in NJ does not mean drivers have to stay off the roads. According to the state Office of Emergency Management, travel may be restricted to certain areas but a complete travel ban is rarely implemented.

It also does not mean businesses, schools or even state offices are automatically closed.

The declaration authorizes the governor to speed up assistance from state agencies to where it is needed and allows the NJ director of Emergency Management to makes "resources available for rescue, evacuation, shelter and essential commodities activate and coordinate the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm with all county and municipal emergency operations and governmental agencies," according to the state OEM.

Follow New Jersey 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow's weather blog and Twitter and Facebook accounts to stay in the know.

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