Thursday morning is expected to bring the lowest temperature of the season for the metro-east with a low of 3 degrees.
"Most of the country has been experiencing very cold temperatures for the last week because of an arctic air mass that came down from Canada," National Weather Service meteorologist Julie Phillipson said. "We never had a chance to warm up from that. And now a second cold front is hitting to really give us a chill."
The mercury is expected to rebound to 30 Thursday afternoon under sunny skies with a low Thursday night of 19 degrees.
Winter precipitation could be back in the area Friday when we may get about 2 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. A 50 percent chance of freezing rain is in the forecast after noon. Friday evening there is a 70 percent chance of sleet and freezing rain early. Light snow is expected later.
Phillipson said it's important for people who are going to be outside to dress in layers or they could become overwhelmed by the bone-chilling cold.
"People really need to dress for the weather because it's going to be a lot colder than it has been for the last few days," Phillipson said. "It's easier to take off layers than it is to put them on."
The American Red Cross advises that when temperatures near zero people take precautions to make sure their pipes don't freeze, potentially creating a dangerous situation and necessitating expensive repairs. The tips include:
* Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
* Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
* When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe -- even at a trickle -- helps prevent pipes from freezing.
* Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
* If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55.
While the temperature is unpleasant, it's not a threat to the record for lowest temperature on this date. That happened in 1962 when the mercury dipped to minus 5 degrees.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at email@example.com or call 239-2626.