Arctic air will be here for the ball drop!

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Forecasters with the National Weather Service said a cold weather trough coming down into Kentucky from Canada is the culprit behind the bone chilling cold streak engulfing Eastern Kentucky and much of the United States. No significant accumulation is expected and the snow is expected to move through quickly.

Earlier this week a record 58 inches of snow fell on Erie, Pennsylvania, in two days. Plan for brutally cold weather Sunday evening. That's why this is not a very cold and snowy forecast.

So yes, without resorting to hyperbole or dramatics, I think it's fair to say this will be one of the coldest stretches of weather New Jersey has experienced in decades! Winds should subside before the coldest part of the morning, however. Additional wind chill advisories may be issued later in the week, between Thursday and Monday.

Record low temperatures were set in several Arkansas cities Thursday morning, including North Little Rock, where the low was 14 degrees.

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Regardless, there is no doubt the cold weather will remain in place throughout the weekend.

On New Year's Day, the sun will return but it will still be cold, and may not get above freezing.

Tuesday will start out cold with lows ranging from -5 to +10. Temperatures only manage to climb to the middle 20s.

By Wednesday, temperatures will likely reach the upper 20s and lower 30s under a partly sunny sky. Plenty of chilly sunshine expected Thursday. The longest deep freeze on record lasted 19 days and that was in December 1989! That's nearly 20 degrees below normal for early January! The arctic air centered over the Northeast and New England states is pushing temperatures way below average, while another arctic front will enter the Northern Plains Friday and spread south and east over the weekend.

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