Icy temperatures and stinging northwest winds gusting to 20 mph drove wind chills to single digits Tuesday morning, and given what hasn’t happened recently, it might have felt even colder.

For those of you new to the region, this is what we used to call winter around here.

But it has been on the scarce side in recent years — coinciding with the general rise in the earth’s temperature, particularly in the Arctic freeze factory. On Tuesday, however, it didn’t get past 27 at Philadelphia International Airport. Not since Feb. 1, 2019, which the high was 19, have the daytime readings been this cold.

This cold shot will be “a short one,” said Paul Walker, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc., with temperatures back into the 40s Thursday.

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However meteorologists are saying that the next two weeks could be eventful around here and elsewhere in the East. A winter storm could affect the region late Sunday into Monday, although right now that one involves more balls in the air than NFL playoff scenarios on the last weekend of the regular season.

The government’s Climate Prediction Center has odds favoring below-normal temperatures in the East through Jan. 25. Judah Cohen, polar scientist with Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Massachusetts, on Monday said he saw the potential for the “most active midwinter pattern” in the East in seven years.

The dominant weather feature currently is a potent system in the Gulf of Alaska that has punished British Columbia and Washington state with a procession of storms, with some of that energy spilling eastward, said Walker.

Thus far this winter, however, the atmosphere’s behavior has been even more elusive than usual, he said. Recall that the preseason outlooks favored a brisk start to the season. Philadelphia then basked in the second-warmest December on record.

» READ MORE: Philly winter forecasts call for early snow, a cold December

Through Sunday temperatures in Philadelphia in January were averaging close to 3 degrees above normal, but the region did experience an interlude last week with two quite peculiar snowfalls.

The city ended its snow drought on Jan. 3 with an official inch at Philadelphia International Airport on a day when 13 inches was reported at Atlantic City and some areas west of the city reported 13 flakes.

Snow was more widespread overnight Thursday into Friday, but by no means uniform. For example, six inches was measured in West Chester; less than a few miles away, near the Routes 202-322 junction, the total was under three inches.

That snow not only was quick-hitting, it was quick-disappearing, and whatever was left got flattened and erased Sunday with the onset of milder, moist air and rain. (The latent heat generated when snow and ice turn to liquid accelerates melting.)

Computer models have been all over the place regarding the weekend threat, said Walker, and that is more than likely to continue during the week.

“Some are showing a big storm, some are showing no snow at all,” he said.

And when has that ever happened before?