By Matt Peterson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a wild and windy Wednesday across eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Snow squalls brought nearly whiteout conditions and a quick coating of snow at times before the afternoon was filled with wind gusts that topped 45-50 mph in places, especially close to the New Jersey shoreline.

After the wild weather on Wednesday, we get our first real taste of winter temperatures in quite a while on Thursday. Highs across the region this afternoon are likely to hover in the 30s for the most part with areas like the Poconos not escaping the 20s, even with lovely sun-filled skies.

A huge swing is going to take place starting late Thursday night into Friday morning and it will peak with temperatures that could push to near 70 degrees by Sunday afternoon. First, a warm front will allow clouds to thicken up overnight tonight, but temperatures will still dip into the lower 30s in the nighttime hours, so don’t put away the winter coat just yet.

The temperature roller coaster then starts its upward swing on Friday afternoon, after a warm front works northward across the area. Highs on Friday, even under mostly cloudy skies, will jump back into the lower 50s.

Temperatures then rocket even higher on Saturday on the back of a persistent southwest wind. Warm, moist air from across the southeast will push into the Delaware Valley. Saturday, as a whole, will be generally overcast with limited chance for sun and a few isolated rain showers mixed in as well. High temperatures, though, will be some of the warmest we have seen, even during this warmer than average stretch we have been going through to start the winter season. Highs on Saturday will hit 66. That would tie a record for Saturday that was set in 1975.

Sunday’s temperatures will once again be even hotter but should come in just shy of record territory. High temperatures Sunday will be 68, topping out just four degrees short of the record of 72 all the way back in 1890!

It is also not very often that we see 70s in Philly in January. Since weather records have been kept in Philadelphia beginning in 1873, highs of 70-plus have only happened 13 times. The warmest January day ever was Jan. 26, 1950, when we topped out at 74 and the last time it reached 70 or more in Philly was 2007 when we got to 73 on Jan. 6.