TRENTON, N.J. — Wind-whipped snow is slowing the morning commute across New Jersey and forcing many schools to close.

A blizzard warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. Thursday along the New Jersey shore and for portions of central and southern New Jersey.

Forecasters say 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of snow are possible with northerly winds gusting as high as 45 to 55 mph (72 to 80 kph) along the immediate coast causing whiteout conditions.

The strong winds could down trees and power lines.

Road crews are out, but the snow continues to cover the paths that the plows have cleared.

New Jersey has authorized a two-hour delayed opening from normal start times for all non-essential state employees.

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