Since the beginning of the winter season on Dec. 22, New Jerseyans have not seen much in the way of truly cold temperatures. Suddenly this week, the Garden State is caught in the grip of genuine winter weather.

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Townsquare Media Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said New Jersey's average high temperatures for early January are usually in the upper 30s, "so forecast highs in the 20s, like we are seeing this week, will be well below normal."

He said till now, the really cold Arctic air has been bottled up in Canada, but an air flow shift is currently pushing it southward.

Zarrow said things could get even worse, calling this a large, deep pool of Arctic air.

"The cold temperatures will insure that any storm system that heads our way, no matter the strength or track or size, could bring accumulating snow to New Jersey," Zarrow said.

What we are experiencing in Jersey right now is just part of a much larger system, Zarrow said. The Arctic chill will affect most of the continental United States this week, and in fact on Monday, some spots in Minnesota and North Dakota stayed below zero degrees all day long.

"Unfortunately for those who are sick of winter already, it's going to last for quite a while, through this weekend at least," Zarrow said. "No big warmup, but also no big storm systems on the horizon for us here. The light snow that is expected (Tuesday) will be very dry and powdery, easy to clean off cars and roads."