The cold weather that wrapped itself around the area Sunday was expected to dive even lower overnight, dipping into record territory.

The National Weather Service called for "dangerous cold followed by the potential for significant accumulating snow Monday night and Tuesday." In all, two to four inches was expected over the next several days.

By early Monday morning, the mercury was expected to dip to zero - with wind-chill values as low as minus 20. If the temperature sinks to 1 degree, it would break a record for the date set in 1888.

On Monday, as the nation celebrates Presidents' Day, the high is expected to be around 19, with wind-chill values at minus 20. Luckily, most city halls, government services, mail delivery, and public and private schools were already scheduled to be closed because of the holiday. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia late Sunday decided to close all of its schools because of the impending cold. Snow was likely after midnight.

The high on Tuesday was expected to be around 26, cold enough to keep any fresh snow from melting.

On Sunday afternoon, flags flapped furiously atop their poles, and papers and bags flew around city corners and suburban yards as strong winds and dangerously cold temperatures greeted folks who ventured outside.

Despite the brilliant sunshine - which drove the afternoon high to a balmy 17 degrees - driving conditions were dangerous as blowing snow reduced visibility on some roads, and gusts caught vehicles as they moved in and out of sheltered areas.

A few accidents were reported on local roads, but the main highways were generally clear and passable. There were only a few reports of downed wires.

Jasmine Bechter 41, and Christian Pross, 45, from Munich, Germany, were in Philadelphia on Sunday for the wedding of a niece.

"It is also very cold" in Munich, Bechter said. "And it's equal to here. But the wind [in Philadelphia] makes it very cold."

In perhaps the understatement of the day, Pross added, "It's very chilly."

Lester Robinson, 53, of Philadelphia, said he was surprised by the ferocity of the wind. As for the cold, no surprise there. "It ain't supposed to be warm," he said.

Michelle Watkins, 34, stayed toasty Sunday afternoon at the Progressive Democratic Club in Camden, where she works as a bartender.

"Layers on top of layers" is her strategy for beating the cold, said Watkins, who lives in Pine Hill.

Power outages in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey were few. As of Sunday evening, Peco had reported fewer than 220 outages. Extra crews were on standby should the wind create problems.

In South Jersey, PSE&G and Atlantic City Electric reported fewer than 130 outages combined.

Ice is still an issue, though, and SEPTA warned commuters to use caution when traveling due to slippery conditions on roads, sidewalks, and parking lots.