Now it’s southern New Jersey’s turn.

The region, which skirted major snowstorms that plagued Philadelphia-area and northern New Jersey counties earlier this winter, is expected to see eight to 10 inches of snow today, said Mitchell Gaines, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

“This one is a bit of a role reversal,” Gaines said of the expected areas to be affected.

Rain and sleet are forecast to precede the snowfall in the area, with moderate to heavy snow in the morning hours that will continue throughout the day and taper off into the evening, he said.

The morning commute will be “particularly difficult,” he said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency about 9 p.m. Sunday, the same time a winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service also went into effect, to continue until 4 p.m. today.

This is a concern for electric utilities because a heavy ice-and-snow combination can topple trees onto wires, a major cause of winter power outages.

An Atlantic City Electric spokesman said the utility is prepared with manpower, equipment-stocked trucks, supplies, poles and wires in the event of outages.

“Ice and sleet and freezing rain are usually more troublesome than just snow because it coats the wires and the equipment and the trees,” said Matt Likovich, spokesman for Atlantic City Electric. “We’ve had instances (in the past) with a really heavy freezing rain that can cause the wires to sag and cause contact with the trees.”

Art Treon, deputy coordinator for Cape May County’s Office of Emergency Management, said crews have enough road salt to last for three more storms.

County crews have been using salt this winter, but supplies have not been as needed as in other parts of New Jersey more hammered by storms, Treon said.

“We haven’t gotten those storms like North Jersey has. We’ve been quite lucky,” he said.

Gaines said drivers could find their morning commutes troublesome given the expected amount of snow, coupled with temperatures dipping into the teens.

Following the storm, near-record cold is possible late tonight, as tempertures are expected to drop to between 5 and 10 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Staff Writer Elisa Lala contributed to this report.

Contact Brian Ianieri:

609-272-7253

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.