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Messy Wintry Mix Could Wreak Havoc On Monday Morning Commute

Sleet, Freezing Rain Follow Snow Throughout Tri-State Area

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Blowing snow blasted into the Tri-State Area late Sunday afternoon, followed by mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain that could make for a messy Monday morning commute.

While accumulations were modest for most Tri-State Area residents, some parts of New Jersey saw nearly a foot of snow on the ground.

VIEWER PHOTOS: Snow Socks Tri-State Area

A winter weather advisory was in effect Sunday night for the entire Tri-State Area. The advisory was to be in effect until 5 a.m. Monday for the five boroughs of New York City, until 9 a.m. for southern Connecticut and much of New Jersey, and until noon for Orange, Putnam, Rockland and northern Westchester counties.

For Central and southern New Jersey, a winter storm warning was in effect Sunday night, although it had been dropped by 11 p.m.

The National Weather Service warns that visibility might drop to half a mile due to heavy snow, and subsequent sleet and freezing rain could result in dangerous driving conditions.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, flurries had begun to fall in Manhattan. The snow had picked up in intensity an hour later, only to taper to light, freezing precipitation by the nighttime hours.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Elise Finch reported light snowfall between a dusting and 2 inches of snow were expected for New York City proper. The snow began to mix with sleet and ice around in the late-night hours as warmer air began to filter in, but frozen precipitation was to persist north and west of the city.

It was raining in the city by the 11 p.m. hour.

But it was far worse for some areas of central and southern New Jersey, which saw 5 to 12 inches of snow.

Totals topped out at 11 inches in Salem County, 9 inches in Burlington County, 8.5 inches in Camden County, 8 inches in Cherry Hill and Toms River, WCBS 880 reported.

The precipitation is expected to transition into freezing rain around midnight, which could leave roadways slick heading into the morning, CBS 2 reported.

Up to 0.1 inches of ice may accumulate in some areas, the NWS said.

Earlier, the snow and ice were prompted delays Sunday evening at all major Tri-State Area airports. But flight times were back to normal by 9 p.m.

On the roads, the Long Beach Bridge between Long Island and the Long Beach Barrier Island was closed for about two hours due to ice Sunday evening, CBS 2 reported. The bridge reopened shortly after 8:30 p.m.

As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported late Sunday, the New York City Department of Sanitation issued a snow alert earlier in the day. The city’s 365 city plows and salt and sand spreaders rolled out ahead of time.

LINK: Forecast | Radar | Traffic | School Closings

The Morris County, N.J. Office of Emergency Management also announced Sunday afternoon that it will monitor the weather throughout the evening and into the overnight hours. Road crews will remain activated throughout the snow and freezing rain event, the office said.

NJ TRANSIT announced that it is cross-honoring tickets from 6 p.m. Sunday to the end of the day Monday due the messy weather. The agency says it is trying to minimize delays and ensure full service as the storm continued.

And with rain and freezing conditions expected to join the equation overnight, many residents across the Tri-State area were not very happy to see winter weather during what are technically the last few days of fall.

“I just came up from Florida Friday afternoon,” said Eddie Wetmore of Colonia, N.J. “It was 82 down there then down in Sebastian.”

“I hate snow,” said Bonnie Paone of Old Bridge, N.J. She said she was not ready for the snow, but had to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, adding, “I was going to bake cookies all day, but I guess not.”

People in Freehold, N.J. headed out into the elements to buy snow brushes to sweep away the flakes that had fallen. Jack Huber did not spend much time indoors Sunday as he tried to keep up with the snow accumulating in Toms River.

He estimated 6 to 8 inches had fallen in his neighborhood, which made for a pretty sight. But Huber and other locals weren’t expecting this thick white blanket in so little time.

“It seemed like it was flurrying a little bit,” he said. “And all of a sudden we had a bunch of snow on the ground.

Chris Matyas finished his 8-hour shift at a grocery store to find another job piling up on his car.

“It’s going to be a while before I get out of here,” said Matyas, of Toms River.

In Bergen County, salt spreaders hit suburban streets lightly dusted with snow and the major highways, working feverishly to prevent the ugly mess that slick frozen roads could bring overnight.

And conditions were far more severe in southern New Jersey. As Elizabeth Hur of KYW-TV, CBS 3 Philadelphia reported Sunday night, drivers lost patience, semi-trailer trucks got nowhere, and the roads were a miserable place in South Jersey and across the bridge in Philadelphia.

Patrick from Cornwall, N.Y., in Orange County, told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck that he wasn’t looking forward to his commute home Sunday night from his construction job in the city.

“I like a little bit of snow at Christmas time for the kids. It’s good. Then they can keep it,” he said.

“I’ve got the four-wheel drive, so sometimes it doesn’t bother me, but it’s the rest of the drivers out there that don’t know how to drive when it gets bad weather.”

Tom said the ice bothers him more than snow.

New York City's sanitation trucks were preparing for snow on Dec. 8, 2013. (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010WINS)

New York City’s sanitation trucks were preparing for snow on Dec. 8, 2013. (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010WINS)

“Ice is horrible,” he said. “I don’t like to drive in inclement weather, especially if it’s icy.

“Definitely not going out today. At my house, it’s called ‘football Sunday.’ Don’t bother me. I’m watching football games.”

Meanwhile, Theresa from Suffern, N.Y., said she dreads winter.

“Cold, dangerous driving — just don’t like it anymore,” she said.

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