Frigid Cold Grips the Region

Bitter cold temperatures - lower than the area has had in years - are lingering behind the first storm of 2014. 

"We have an arctic blast that’s going to be coming Friday into Saturday morning that may be the coldest that we’ve seen in many years. It will be dangerous cold, potentially life-threatening cold," NBC10 First Alert chief meteorologist Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz says.

New record lows were set in Allentown and Mount Pocono late Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures in Allentown dropped to 3 degrees below zero at 11:45 p.m., breaking the previously recorded low of 6 degrees set in 1945.

At Mount Pocono, temperatures broke the 110-year-old record of 7 below with a low of 9 below zero recorded at 11:34 p.m.

Temperatures started to fall around mid-day Friday after hitting highs in the teens. The dangerously cold weather- temps hovering around zero in the suburbs - and continued to paralyze the region until late Saturday morning.

Strong winds, reaching gusts above 30 miles per hour in some parts, diminished slightly throughout the evening Friday. Wind chills are around 3 degrees in the city and fall several degrees below zero in the northern suburbs and parts of New Jersey.

Temperatures were in the single digits for the early part of Saturday while some areas north and west of the city posted subzero temperatures.

Temperatures rose a bit throughout he day with highs around 30 degrees and light winds.

For fans filling the Linc for the Eagles game Saturday night, kickoff temperatures were in the low-20s. Winds were light but even the slightest gust is making temperatures feel as though they are in the teens.

More Precipitation

Temperatures will rise into the low 40's on Sunday but a weaker system will move in, bringing freezing rain into the region between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

About 1/10 inch of ice is expected before the freezing rain turns to steadier rain in the afternoon.

Untreated roads will be hazardous. While temperatures will start in the low teens and low 20's Sunday morning, they will rise above freezing in the afternoon.

The system will move out of the area by late Monday morning.

But the worst of the winter weather is not over yet as the region will be hit with the coldest temperatures in 20 years on Tuesday. By Tuesday morning, temperatures will be at -1 degrees in Philly, the coldest it's been since 1994.

Things won't get much better during the day with a high of only 12 degrees and wind chills of -15 degrees. The morning will start with temperatures just below zero - a low we haven't seen since 1994.

Wednesday will be another chiller though a bit more tolerable. with a low of 5 degrees and a high of 25. By Thursday, temperatures will rise into the low 40's.

The frigid cold follows the year's first snowstorm, which dropped as much as 10 inches in some parts.

Snow Creates Havoc

The heaviest snow pushed off to the east Friday morning after leaving more than 10 inches of snow on parts of the area and at least 5 inches in many neighborhoods.

Heavy snow fell overnight into Friday morning as the first winter storm of 2014 moved through the region -- prompting widespread school closings, a state of emergency and many travel delays.

It also caused fender benders, stuck cars and two jackknifed tractor-trailers on major roads including I-95 in Pennsylvania and the New Jersey Turnpike.

Two storm systems, one from the north and west and another from the southeast collided to envelop the area in snow, ice and strong winds as temperatures tumbled to frigid levels. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the entire Philadelphia region from the Poconos to the I-95 Corridor to South Jersey to Delaware.

The winter storm prompted hundreds of schools and school districts to close on Friday -- including the School District of Philadelphia and all city Archdiocesan schools. Many local and county governments also issued snow emergencies. Concerned with public safety in the Garden State, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared a statewide snow emergency on Thursday afternoon.

"The impending weather conditions over the next several days will produce a variety of dangerous travel conditions throughout the state," Christie said. "I encourage all New Jerseyans to stay off the roads if possible so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations."

Speed limits were lowered to 45 mph on most major Pennsylvania roads including the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76), the Northeast Extension (I-476), US-202, US-422, the Roosevelt Boulevard (US-1) and the Vine Street Expressway (I-676) and to 25 mph on area bridges as conditions deteriorated.

Amtrak changed its Friday schedule, reducing the frequency of trips along the Northeast Corridor, anticipating weather-related problems. SEPTA suspended some bus lines and had a number of delays on its bus and rail lines as the storm intensified. Officials recommend checking the transit authority's system status website for the latest information.

At Philadelphia International Airport, 160 flights were canceled on Thursday. Airport officials tell NBC10 they expect more trouble on Friday thanks to the high winds that will be sticking around after the snow stops falling. Travelers can check the latest flight status by calling 800-PHL-GATE or by visiting

The snow, which began falling in most of the area early Thursday evening, turned heavy as the night progressed -- peaking late Thursday night.

Hurricane and the NBC10 First Alert Weather Team are continuing to track the extreme cold. Check back often for the latest information

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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