A strengthening winter storm off the New Jersey coast triggered a moderate snowfall over Berkshire County on Tuesday following an early-morning deep freeze that sent temperatures well below zero in most of the area.

Bands of snow were moving into the county following a mid-morning coating of an inch or two, according to the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. for the region, which could see up to 6 inches of snow by Tuesday night.

The heaviest snowfall is expected during the evening commute between 4 and 7 p.m., with up to an inch expected to fall per hour. Scattered snow showers are likely after the steadier precipitation ends by mid-evening, forecasters stated.

Because of extremely cold temperatures, the dry, fluffy snowfall turned to icy patches on area roadways, making for slick and, in spots, hazardous travel.

The high temperature of the day, in the teens, won't come until early evening. But by this weekend, a warming trend is due with readings into the 40s on Saturday and Sunday, along with rain showers.

Pittsfield Municipal Airport recorded a low of minus 4 at 7 a.m., while Harriman & West Airport in North Adams hit minus 9, the National Weather Service reported. The coldest reading, minus 12, was reported by a weather observer in South Williamstown.

The record low for this date at Pittsfield's airport, minus 9, was set in 1951.

Total snowfall for the season so far is 11 inches, as of midday at the airport.