Slush Removal Alert: The Coming Cold

You'd be wise to remove any lingering white or watery slop from driveways and walkways by day's end tomorrow, because it looks like an icy lockdown will settle across the region starting late tomorrow night.

The temperatures aren't going much of anywhere tonight, and it will not get below freezing. During the early-evening hours, they actually bumped up a degree or two.

The high tomorrow should pass 40, with sunshine. Although that water-soaked muck may be reluctant to melt, but at least it should be movable.

But late Wednesday night, temperatures are due fall below 32 and they might have a hard time getting past freezing until early next week. In short, any leftover slush turns to rock.

Meanwhile, a coastal storm is expected to follow a cold front sweeping through Thursday, and could result in accumulating snow Thursday night into Friday morning.

Behind the front and the storm, the Friday-Sunday period looks to be the coldest three-day stretch since the end of last January.

So far, the chilliest three days of the winter of 2010-11 occurred last Wednesday through Friday. It got down to 12 on Friday, a seasonal low, and for those three days the official temperature in Philadelphia averaged 24.

The official forecast calls for a plunge to 6 on Sunday morning, with a three-day average of about 20.

Through yesterday, January temperatures had been 2.6 below normal -- almost 4 below since Dec. 1 -- and the daily averages haven't gone above normal since Jan. 2.

As for the prospects of a thaw, the latest long-range outlook from the Climate Prediction Center has Philadelphia and much of the East below normal through the month.