Bitter, potentially dangerous cold will be the big weather story for the next week or two.

Welcome back to post-holiday reality, New Jersey! This holiday weekend brought quite the mixed bag of weather conditions: from warm rain on Saturday, to wintry mix on Christmas Eve, to a renewed arctic chill on Christmas Day. The forecast for the next few days is pretty simple — it is going to be cold, with a capital "C". Just reading this weather blog post might send a shiver down your spine.

Early Tuesday morning is beginning with temperatures in the mid 20s for most of New Jersey, fairly typical for the last week of the year. Those temps won't go very far by Tuesday afternoon, only peaking in the lower 30s. All but far North Jersey should reach the freezing mark (barely). As the headline of this post suggests, this may be our final taste of not-freezing temperatures through the end of 2017.

Tuesday will be sunny, with a continuing brisk wind. While calmer than Monday (with a few wind gusts above 50 mph), gusts to 25 mph will still add a big bite to the cold air.

As you'd guess, thermometers will take a further nosedive Tuesday night. We'll end up in the mid teens by Wednesday morning.

Wednesday will be even colder than Tuesday, with high temperatures only in the mid to upper 20s. I expect the entire state to remain below the freezing mark all day. There may be a few clouds over southern and coastal New Jersey in the morning hours, before mostly sunny skies and a stiff breeze resume by the afternoon.

I believe Thursday is going be "the bottom of the barrel," featuring the most frigid temperatures of this particular stretch. Morning lows will be around 10 degrees, with highs only in the lower to mid 20s. Any little breeze could push the wind chill below zero — that's when I start calling it "dangerous" cold given the threat of frostbite and hypothermia. Hey, at least it will be another bright, sunny day.

Although the bitter cold will continue, our forecast gets a bit muddled at the end of the week. At some point, a clipper system will pass across New Jersey, but timing and impacts remain low confidence at this time. While the GFS model paints a quick and uneventful snow shower event on Friday, the Euro shows a later and more-drawn snowfall on Saturday (on the order of "a few inches"). I don't really have a "favorite" scenario at this point — let's see which way the models trend as the week rolls on.

Don't expect any substantial warmup in the foreseeable future, even through the first week of 2018. Bundle up and think warm thoughts, folks.

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

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