Live Jersey Shore snowstorm updates: What we know about the blizzard so far

·5 min read

As a major winter storm bears down on New Jersey this weekend, the Shore is under its first blizzard warning from the National Weather Service in more than four years.

As much as 18 inches of snowfall is expected in the nor’easter along the coast, with some private professional meteorologists — such as Steven DiMartino, who operates the website nynjpaweather.com — warning that as much as two feet of snow should be expected in New Jersey’s counties along the Atlantic Ocean.

There are also concerns about significant wind damage, coastal flooding and beach erosion. Power outages are also possible.

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency Friday. The order includes a ban on commercial travel. Murphy is urging the public to stay off the roads for their own safety. The weather service has warned that driving may be impossible at times.

More: How much snow did the weekend blizzard drop on Monmouth, Ocean County?

The storm is expected to end late Saturday afternoon or evening.

A look at at the forecast for the weekend from the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
A look at at the forecast for the weekend from the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

These are the latest updates from the Asbury Park Press and app.com:

4:00 p.m.: NJ Transit suspends bus services, Access Link:

NJ Transit suspends bus services, River LINE and Access Link rides for the rest of Saturday and plans on resuming services starting Sunday.

The River LINE connects Camden and Trenton.

All other rail lines, Newark Light Rail and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail are expected to continue running on Saturday, according to NJ Transit, but there may be delays and cancellations due to weather.

NJ Transit said detours, delays and cancellations may continue into Sunday.

2 p.m.: State police say traffic on roads is light:

New Jersey State police reported light traffic Saturday on the roads it patrols, including the Garden State Parkway.

"We do have less traffic on the roads,'' said Trooper Charles Marchan. "It is Saturday, which is helping, along with people heeding the warning to stay home in such a big storm. It's allowing the road crews to get out there and do their job.''

Between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, there were 198 accidents on roads patrolled by the state police, but none of the crashes was deemed serious, Marchan said. State police also assisted 479 other motorists during that time frame, he said.

12 p.m.: National Weather Service confirms blizzard along the coast:

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey confirmed that blizzard criteria were met last night and this morning along the coast of New Jersey and Delaware, including Monmouth coastal areas, Long Beach Island, Atlantic City and Cape May. A blizzard is defined as three or more hours of visibility reductions to a quarter mile or less due to falling or blowing snow, and sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater.

Wind gusts were highest in Atlantic City, at 45 mph. They reached 35.8 mph in Mantoloking, 34.4 mph in Ocean Township and 30.1 mph in Ship Bottom in Ocean County and 32 mph in Sea Bright in Monmouth County.

So far, in Ocean County, 16 inches of snow has fallen in Tuckerton, Stafford and Lacey Township, while 14 or more inches has fallen in Brick and Toms River. A foot or more has fallen in Asbury Park and neighboring communities in coastal Monmouth County.

11 a.m.: More power outages reported

The number of Jersey Central Power and Light customers without electricity increased to 956 of the utility's 1.1 million customers. Most of the outages - 952 - are in Monmouth and Ocean counties. However, power has been restored to many of the affected customers in Monmouth County, while more customers in Ocean County have lost power. Earlier today, there were 401 customers without power in Monmouth County, but that number is now reduced to 98. Ocean County now has 854 customers without electricity, up from 133 earlier today.

9:30 a.m.: Blizzard warning remains in effect

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly reports that while snow continues in much of the area, it is gradually losing intensity. The weather service advises to limit travel to emergencies, and if travel is necessary, to use caution due to continued blowing and drifting snow. A blizzard warning remains in effect until 4 p.m., with additional accumulations of 2 to 4 inches by then.

9 a.m.: NJ Transit bus temporarily suspended

NJ Transit bus, River LINE and Access Link services are temporarily suspended. Service is anticipated to resume later in the day, when it is safe to do so.

Rail service, Newark Light Rail and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail will remain on regular weekend schedules for as long as conditions allow, although Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is subject to delays up to 20 minutes due to weather-related issues. Tickets will be cross-honored for rail, light rail, NJ Transit bus and private carriers.

8 a.m.: Seastreak cancels ferry service

Seastreak has cancelled all ferry service today, Overnight parking in its lots is prohibited.

NY Waterway is operating its normal Saturday ferry service. However, NY Waterway normally does not operate out of its Belford terminal on weekends. Look for updates throughout the day at nywaterway.com, facebook.com/nywaterway and twitter.com/ridetheferry.

7:30 a.m.: Power outages affect customers

Jersey Central Power & Light Co. reported 535 of its 1.1 million customers are without power — all but one of those affected accounts in Monmouth and Ocean counties. In Monmouth County, 401 customers lost power, while 133 customers in Ocean County are without electricity.

5 a.m.: NWS reports up to 12" of snow

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly reports the following snow totals:

  • Asbury Park: 8 inches

  • Lacey: 12.5 inches

  • Manchester: 9 inches

  • Tuckerton: 8 inches

See more snow totals here.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Live NJ snowstorm updates: What we know about the blizzard