They say South Jersey is different. This week will offer a chance to see just how different.

Monday’s winter storm that blanketed Philadelphia, its suburbs and North Jersey fizzled out closer to the shore, leaving little more than a dusting in western Atlantic and Cumberland County.

The National Weather Service said the rain that fell on the region was expected to freeze overnight as temperatures drop into the 20s.

Monday’s weather was the first in a conveyor belt of winter storms that are expected to beat on the East Coast later this week, leaving plenty of ice and snow. But so far, predictions suggest the worst of it will pass north of here, leaving the region to deal with only rain.

The next storm is expected to start up late tonight, but that, too, will leave the region mostly unscathed. The weather service is predicting as much as 8 inches of snow across a belt extending from Philadelphia’s western suburbs to North Jersey.

In South Jersey, western Atlantic and Cumberland counties are expected to get less than an inch of snow, and none closer to the shore. The weather service said there is little risk of coastal flooding.

Another storm is forecast for the weekend, with a 30 percent chance for snow Saturday and a 60 percent chance Sunday. But with highs expected in the upper 30s and lower 40s, it remains to be seen how severe the storm will be.

Heavy snow elsewhere in the state had officials taking precautions Monday.

Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon, authorizing a staggered early closing schedule. He also authorized officials to prepare for the coming weather and encouraged state residents to drive carefully, staying off the roads if possible.

State Motor Vehicle Commission offices closed early Monday.

Local utilities also are preparing. Atlantic City Electric said it is in contact with local emergency management officials and crews will work around the clock to restore any outages.

The company asked that customers stay away from downed lines and report outages at 800-833-7476, or through the company’s mobile app: atlanticcity

Contact Derek Harper:

609-272-7046

@dnharper on Twitter

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.