Monday's storm came and went faster than predicted and brought less snow than was expected.

Which is good.

But, fitting for this never-ending winter - which even before Monday had become the eighth snowiest on record - more could be on the way.

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And even that seems like too much for a weather-weary South Jersey.

"Everybody has had it," said Vineland business owner Steve Shelton Monday morning as he opened up his sewing repair shop.

Monday's snowfall, which ranged in accumulation from 2 to 7 inches, was below the anticipated foot of snow forecasters had predicted this weekend. The snow will likely stick around as temperatures drop over the next day or so before another round may arrive.

Temperatures overnight Monday were expected to dip into the single digits, and stay near or below freezing today, according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

"It should be warming up by Wednesday, with highs near 40," meteorologist Sarah Johnson said. "Then, the next system is coming in probably very late Wednesday night."

Wednesday's weather will begin as mostly rain through Thursday, before switching to a mix of rain and snow, and then all snow Thursday night, she said. It's too early to predict accumulation.

A mass of cold air to the north Monday had proven stronger than meteorologists anticipated, pushing the storm southward and lowering accumulation forecasts across the board for South Jersey.

"It's one of the more disruptive winters of the last several decades," New Jersey state climatologist David Robinson said. "But by no means is it the epic winter in terms of the amount of the snow that has fallen or the magnitude of the cold weather or the overall impact it has had on the state."

The Atlantic City International Airport recorded 5.3 inches of snow Monday, bringing the area's total up to 33.5 inches for the season, which ties this winter with the winter of 1957-58 as the 13th snowiest season since 1885.

While this has been an impressive year, "roughly twice the normal average," it's not a record year, Robinson said.

Before Monday, New Jersey observation stations had recorded 48.4 inches of snow this winter, enough for eighth highest of all-time. But while the cold has been a present factor, Robinson said, the 30.7 degree average temperature through February was only the 34th coldest.

Monday's storm, while less than expected, wreaked havoc on the morning and mid-day commute.

The threat of it, in fact, led Gov. Chris Christie's to declare yet another state of emergency, causing schools and businesses to close and government offices to shut down.

A ban was not in effect, but motorists were urged not to travel. The light vehicle traffic made for few accidents this morning, State Police said.

By late-afternoon Monday, the snow had tapered off across southern Jersey with temperatures dropping into the low teens on the coast and into single digits inland. Emergency management officials said they were preparing for icier conditions on area roads as the temperature continued to fall.

Near the coast in Atlantic County, snowfall had stopped about 2 p.m. Monday, leaving about 7 inches accumulated, the highest in southern New Jersey but still less than anticipated.

In Cumberland County, normally busy stretches of Route 47, also known as Delsea Drive, through commercial sections of Vineland and Millville were lightly traveled Monday. Traffic on a stretch of Route 49 through Millville, where it is also known as Main Street, and where a series of traffic signals normally cause backups, was traffic free, with many businesses remaining closed for the day.

In Ocean County, a winter storm warning for the county had expired at 1 p.m.

Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster said his 20 work crews struggled to keep up with the snowfall earlier in the day, but were more or less able to match it as it slowed down in the early afternoon.

Staff writers Donna Weaver, Lynda Cohen, Anjalee Khemlani, Thomas Barlas, Braden Campbell and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Elisa Lala:


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