TRENTON — With snowfall over in New Jersey, the afternoon commute will be a much smoother one than this morning.

"All the state highways are down to blacktop. Our crews did a great job through the night and through the day to get those roads clear and safe for motorists," Department of Transportation Steve Schapiro said, adding that crews are still working to push back snow off the shoulders and ramps.

The snow stopped by around noon on Thursday and the combination of clearing skies, snow cover, and cold air will allow temperatures to tumble into the teens, according to New Jersey 101.5 meteorologist Dan Zarrow. Schapiro said the sun and wind also allowed the roads to dry out during the afternoon.

Speeds on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike were back to normal for the afternoon commute.

Some districts, however, are delaying the start of class on Friday.

NJ Transit runs a regular weekday schedule on Thursday afternoon with cross honoring of tickets continuing across trains, light rail and buses. Ridership was down on Thursday morning because of the snow.

Schapiro said a lot of planning went into Thursday's storm and people staying home gave crews clear and less crowded highways for 2,300 pieces of equipment to remove the snow.

"It was a challenging storm ... It was hard to keep up," Schapiro said.

Flight activity is expected to pick up at the region's major airports.

A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says more than 2,300 flights had been canceled at the region's three major airports — Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International.

The Federal Aviation Administration held planes headed for Kennedy for more than three hours Thursday because of weather-related issues. The order has since been lifted.

The DOT this season has spent $24.7 million on snow removal and used approximately 102,000 tons of salt, according to Schapiro.

DOT crews this afternoon will switch to "monitoring and patrolling," according to Schapiro, "to make sure we don't have any re-freezing."

The wind, however, will blow snow back onto some roads, creating slick spots.

"Motorists still want to use caution. Even though the roads may look clear and dry, sometimes there are pockets of black ice that are hard to see," Schapiro said.

NJ Transit train during the storm
NJ Transit train during the storm (NJ Transit)

"Road conditions can change quickly with the windy weather blowing snow back onto roadways, so plan a little extra time"  for your drive on Thursday night, said Shapiro. If you come upon a road crew "please stay back. Let them do their job. It's a benefit to have that truck in front of you getting the roads in better shape. Don't try to speed around them."

Thursday's storm was the 27th event of the winter and there are plenty of supplies left for whatever else the winter may bring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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