SOMERVILLE, NJ  - With less than two weeks left before the official start of spring, Mother Nature is sending central New Jersey a chilling reminder that it’s still winter, with  an inch or two of snow expected to sweep through the region beginning late Thursday night into the Friday morning commute.

The crocuses and daffodils that have been popping up in gardens in Somerville and across New Jersey will be layered in snow just hours after basking in the sun Thursday.

Rain is expected to begin Thursday between 8-11 p.m., changing over to snow before ending late Friday morning or early afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

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The snow is expected to end by lunchtime; there may be scattered snow showers throughout Friday afternoon.

Heavier snow is expected in northern New Jersey, with forecasters predicting 3-6 inches. Lesser amounts are predicted in southern New Jersey.

Temperatures will plummet overnight, dropping to the low 30s after hitting the 60-degree mark Thursday afternoon.

The Somerville Office of Emergency Management issued the following advisory to residents:

“When it snows, it’s important to plow & salt/sand the streets quickly & completely to make them passable for traffic and easier for police, EMS and the fire department to respond to emergencies. Specific areas that are particularly important are one-way streets, hills, and roads with narrow passage.

“The Borough’s Snow Emergency Parking Policy states that it is Illegal for any vehicle to be parked on any Borough road, street or highway when the ground is snow covered.  “Snow covered” means any precipitation that accumulates on the streets, roads, or highways, including snow, sleet, hail, ice or freezing rain.

“ If any vehicle remains on the street, road or highway in such a circumstance, the Somerville Police may ticket it or have it removed. This policy remains in effect until the roads are sufficiently cleared as determined by the Public Works Manager or his designee.”

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for 11 counties Thursday effective at 8 p.m. through noon Friday, including Somerset. Others are: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union and Warren.

Cold temperatures are expected to prevail through the weekend. 

The Somerville Office of Emergency Management provided the following directive concerning residents’ and property owners’ responsibilities during a snow storm:

 Move your car into your driveway so it is not on the road;

 If you do not have a driveway, move your car to one of the Borough parking lots. Parking is free of charge during a snow storm in all Borough operated parking lots;

 If for any reason you cannot move your vehicle, contact Somerville Police at 908-725-0331;

Be sure to clear sidewalks;  all property owners, including commercial & professional are reminded they have 12 daylight hours to clear snow from sidewalks once the precipitation has ended.