Arctic air returns to the Garden State with a vengeance this weekend, and it will be here to stay for a while.

Arctic Chill Returns 20180113

44... 40... 51... 61...

What are the past four days' high temperatures at Newark Airport, Alex? All at or above seasonal normals for early-mid January.

You had to know the January thaw wasn't going to last. Especially if you've been reading my weather blog all week!

We've made it to the weekend, but the weather forecast is about to turn more frightful than delightful. As the effects of an arctic cold front are felt across New Jersey on Saturday, here are a few quick bullet point reminders of what to expect:

--Temperature Tumble: Saturday's high temperatures will occur in the early morning hours, pre-cold-front. Colder air will move in, from northwest to southeast, between about 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday. You'll know it immediately — the wind direction will shift from southerly to northwesterly, wind gusts will increase to about 30 mph, and thermometers will drop very sharply. Within a span of just a few hours, we'll probably get 20 to 30 degrees cooler. You'll likely need to break out the heavy winter coat by Saturday afternoon, as temperatures tumble to the 30s and 20s and wind chills sink into the teens.

--Wintry Mix: There is still a narrow window around sunrise Saturday, as precipitation ends and the atmosphere cools, during which some sleet and freezing rain will be possible. Best chance for icing and travel difficulties remains in far North Jersey, where a Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for western Passaic, Sussex, and Warren counties.

--Flash Freeze: Temperatures will drop so fast Saturday morning that the puddles from Friday's rain will not have time to evaporate or drain. Therefore, we could see a sudden, unexpected icing situation known as a "flash freeze". This condition can be quite hazardous, often the culprit for those massive pile-ups on interstates during winter weather. So extra caution is a very good idea, even after any precipitation ends on Saturday.

--Frozen Jersey: By Sunday morning, temps will likely bottom out in the teens, with wind chills only in the single digits. And once again, there is no end in sight to this extreme cold snap. While temperatures may pop above freezing briefly midweek, this arctic blast looks to stick around through at least the start of next weekend.

--Next Snow Threat: We're still watching a winter storm potential for Tuesday-Wednesday, although models have been wishy-washy on snow totals. The main driver for snowfall is a clipper system, moving in from the west. This clipper may become enhanced by a coastal low pressure system. If the timing and position is just right, this setup can lead to a lot of snow. At this point, it's still just worth watching.

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

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM