By Katie Fehlinger

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some New Year’s Day climatology: the coldest max temperature in Philadelphia on Jan. 1 was a frigid 16 degrees in 1918. Back in 2005, we peaked at a balmy 64 – a record high that still stands. Even last year was pretty tame with a 51 degree high.


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This year will be different. The mercury may not exceed 20 degrees on Jan. 1, meaning we’d come within close reach of a new record for the coldest start to the new year. Even harsher, subzero wind chills are likely at the stroke of midnight.

The brutal cold remains a consistent theme in our forecast through nearly the first full week of 2018, after which we should finally rise above the freezing mark. Once it’s all said and done, we’ll have spent more than 250 continuous hours below freezing. So, you’ll need to take extra care in how you layer up to go outside. The coldest days beyond Thursday are New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Daytime highs will have a hard time climbing out of the 20s up until about Jan. 6.


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Meanwhile, some fresh snow will fall region-wide Saturday.

A new, somewhat minor disturbance will cross the Delaware Valley through midday and leave a modest coating- 2 inches.

Beyond Saturday, no strong snowstorm signals appear through the worst of this cold snap. However, there’s a hint that a coastal storm *could* loom next Wednesday to Thursday. Should something materialize, we’ll be ahead of it to get you ready!

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