A light round of Saturday snow will leave nuisance amounts behind, primarily through midday – about a coating to 2 inches of fluffy, easy to remove snow will fall for most (locally up to 3? far northwest of Philadelphia). However, this minor disturbance serves the main purpose of reinforcing the harsh cold.
A meager 23 degrees is the best we’ll get on New Year’s Eve, and by the time we’re singing “Auld Lang Syne”, temperatures will be bottoming out into the teens. But Day 1 of 2018 looks the harshest.
The current call for the New Year’s Day high: a bleak 19 degrees, coming within chilly reach of the record coldest 16 degree high, set in 1918. (Back on New Year’s Day 1899, we matched this Monday’s predicted high of 19 and even had a few inches of snow.)
Right now, the worst of the bitter blast will extend through about the first week of January, meaning we’ll have spent more than 250 continuous hours below freezing.