By Kate Bilo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a glimpse into spring this weekend with temperatures in the 50’s and plenty of sunshine – finally enough warmth to melt some of the snow across the region! But snow piles remain and anything you see on the ground now will be with us for some time, as much colder air plunges into the region from the arctic.

Much has been made this winter about the term “polar vortex.” The polar vortex exists every winter – it’s basically the name for a cold upper-level low pressure system that plants itself in the polar regions every year and keeps the cold locked in place via a cyclonic circulation. Every once in a while, the circulation is thrown off and a piece of arctic cold gets shunted southward, resulting in a blast of cold air for areas lying south of the poles. We deal with these arctic blasts every winter, but this year the term polar vortex gained traction in describing the brutal cold that swept the nation in January.

This week, another push of arctic cold will swing southward, originating once again from the polar vortex. This latest cold blast will really impact the Northern Plains and Midwest, where record low temperatures are possible, and will also impact us here in the Northeast. Temperatures will not be as cold in our area as they were in January, but you have to also factor in the time of year and the average high. In January, we had two days that were more than twenty degrees below average, but the departures by the end of this week will be in the 15-20 degree range. So it’s certainly cold, even if we’re talking 20’s instead of teens.

This week started out with a lot of storm potential but it’s quickly fading. While we could pick up flurries tomorrow and some light snow Wednesday, it doesn’t look like anything more than a nuisance. An inch or so of snow could fall Wednesday morning, which could lead to slick spots on the roads but otherwise won’t have much of an impact on the area.

It also looks like the weekend will be more snow showers or flurries than a major storm. We are keeping an eye on early next week for another potential for snow or rain, and we’ll keep you posted on that!

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