By Kate Bilo

By Kate Bilo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you need a reminder that it is, indeed, winter, all you have to do is head outside this evening. Or tomorrow. Or Wednesday, or Thursday. The return of winter weather has arrived and while some cold and snow lovers are thrilled, others will be wishing for the soggy, mild weather we enjoyed on Christmas Eve!

The cold kicked off this afternoon with a howling wind from the west that helped drop temperatures into the 30’s and keep them there all day. Tomorrow, another side of winter as a quick-hitting clipper brings snow into the area, leading to a messy morning commute. The snow isn’t heavy – this system is very fast-moving and moisture-starved, but it’s got a lot of cold air to work with. This leads to what we call high-ratio snow, meaning the dry, fluffy, powdery stuff. Instead of falling and melting/compacting like the heavy wet snows we’ve seen so far this winter, this will pile up a bit more quickly. For that reason, we can expect this clipper to bring a general 1-2″ of snow to the area, mainly during the first half of tomorrow.

The snow should be gone by tomorrow evening’s commute, and then focus shifts to the brutal cold. Reminiscent of last year’s cold snap in early January, the worst of it will be for two days, Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday is very windy, meaning our high of 28 will feel more like the teens or even single digits. But the coldest day is Thursday – a morning low around 9 degrees will give way to an afternoon high of just 22, almost twenty degrees below average for the time of year.

Temperatures moderate slightly into the weekend, but for the next three days, make sure you’ve got the winter gear ready to go and keep a close eye on kids, pets, or anyone you know that may need some assistance keeping warm.

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