Our first taste of true arctic air will arrive in the Garden State early this week, as thermometers fall to the coldest levels since last winter.

The coldest air of the season (by far) will arrive Monday and Tuesday, with highs in the lower 30s and lows only in the teens. (Map: College of DuPage Meteorology)

Here are your weather headlines for Monday, January 4, 2016...

Cold + Wind = Yikes!

The bottom line of this forecast... New Jersey is about to see two days and two nights of the coldest temperatures since early March 2015. Dig out those winter coats, and be prepared to do some serious bundling up!

A front is pushing through New Jersey this morning, delivering a very cold and very dry air mass. Additionally, as this arctic air arrives, wind gusts will pick up over 20 mph today. The end result will be a sunny, cold, and blustery day. The northern half of the state will probably stay below freezing all day long - statewide highs range from 27 to 35 degrees. Furthermore, the wind chill (or "feels like temperature") will probably hover in the teens for part of the day. A few flurries will be possible too.

Thermometers will take a nosedive tonight, as clear skies and cold air fuel radiative cooling. Overnight lows will be mostly in the lower to mid teens, although I expect a few single digit temperature readings for tomorrow morning in North Jersey. But that doesn't tell the entire story! The brisk wind will continue, at about 15 mph. That will push the wind chill for most New Jersey locales to about zero degrees Fahrenheit by daybreak Tuesday.

As you might guess, Tuesday will remain quite chilly all day. However, lighter winds and sunny skies will make for a slightly more comfortable day overall. Highs will reach the lower to mid 30s.

Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning will be cold once again, with forecast low temperatures between about 9 and 18 degrees. Winds will stay light, so the wind chill should no longer be a problem.

Warming Up...

I'm happy to say our little trip to the arctic will be short-lived. A wind shift on Wednesday will begin to warm up New Jersey a bit. Highs will bump into the lower 40s on Wednesday, with sunny skies and light winds.

By Thursday, high temperatures will climb into the mid 40s, as clouds increase slightly. We'll call Thursday partly sunny.

Next Storm System

The next weather-maker is on the horizon, and could impact New Jersey as early as Friday evening. There is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding this system... But for now, it looks to be mostly a rain-maker for New Jersey, as high temperatures stay in the 40s for Friday and Saturday. However... The GFS model in particular is a bit colder, especially in North Jersey, and actually shows a few inches of snow accumulating north of I-80 by Saturday morning. This forecast could get tricky, as the rain/snow line may end up somewhere right on top of New Jersey.

So for now, this system is worth watching... but that's all we can say for now. Over the next couple of days, confidence will increase and we'll be able to share a much clearer view of the forecast.

Dan Zarrow is the Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.