BERNARDS TWP., NJ - [Update] Spring weather leapfrogged back to the chill of winter on Thursday - with Thursday night's temperatures in Basking Ridge due to drop to about 14 degrees overnight, with a chilly high of 29 degrees predicted for Friday by the National Weather Service.
A chance of snow was predicted for Friday night, but with little or no accumulation.
Temperatures in the Somerset Hills area and through much of the state hit the 60s on Wednesday, but Mother Nature wasn't letting spring take permanent hold.
Bernards Township Schools were already closed, and township salt trucks and road crews were assigned to hit the roads in the pre-dawn hours before Thursday in anticipation of the biggest snowstorm. The Bernards Township Deer Management Advisory Committee was canceled for Thursday night.
On Thursday morning, the Bernards Township Library also announced it would be closed due to snow. Storytime was canceled, and appointments for free tax assistance under the VITA program would need to be rescheduled, according to the library.
The National Weather Service was predicting a 100 percent chance of a snow and rain mix for Thursday. No parking regulations for Bernards Township roads when snow covered, as well as for roads in The Hills, are in effect for snow-covered roads.
Township Director of Public Works Pat Monaco said salt trucks were preparing to go out at about 2 a.m. on Thursday, along with DPW crews. "That will enable us to get a round of salt applied before the anticipated 5 a.m. heavier snow prediction," he said in an email late on Wednesday afternoon.
Additional outside contractors were set up for a standby start of 5 a.m. as well, said Monaco, who is also assistant township administrator.
Weather.com was predicteding a 100 percent chance of snow between about 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Thursday, right in time for the morning commute.
Earlier this fall, the township opened a new Somerset County salt dome based at the township engineering building off South Maple Ave. Monaco said the salt dome "allows for snow operations to proceed with out the shortfalls we had the last several years, he said, adding, "Much safer for all."
Snow emergency regulations in effect
Last fall, the Township Committee also gave approval to some "snow emergency" regulations, including the prohibition of parking on public streets in the township whenever snow has fallen enough to cover road markings. The prohibition will remain in effect for 12 hours afterwards.
The regulations now allow police to order that an unoccupied vehicle blocking snow removal efforts be removed and stored elsewhere, at the vehicle owner's expense.
The restrictions enacted last year also prohibit the placement or depositing of ice or snow on a public road or sidewalk by anyone who is clearing snow off their own property.
Township schools closed
The Bernards Township School website already had a post on Wednesday night that schools were closed for Thursday, Feb. 9.