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After a brief respite from the bitter cold of the last few days, temperatures in New Jersey will plunge even lower, approaching zero in the northern part of the state Friday night, according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

A storm could hit New Jersey late Sunday, but right now it’s looking like rain if it does. It might miss us entirely if it swings out to sea, but the probability of that is dropping.

It will get so cold in the northern part of the state that the weather service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for Sussex and Hunterdon counties. The reason for that, said Meteorologist Amanda Lee, is the potential for dangerous wind chill.

The weather service is warning people that hypothermia and frostbite are possible.

New Jersey will see mostly and partly sunny skies through Saturday with temperatures rising to within seasonal norms, about the mid-30s.

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Later into Friday, temperatures are expected to plunge again, approaching zero in the northwest, Lee said.

The forecast right now is calling for temperatures to fall to 1 degree in Sussex County and as low as 5 degrees in Hunterdon County.

They could reach 8 degrees in Bergen County,

Temperatures in Monmouth and Ocean counties could fall to as low as 10 degrees Friday night.

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In South Jersey it will stay in the teens, Lee said.

Temperatures Tuesday into Wednesday fell to as low as 9 degrees in northern New Jersey, Lee said.

The cold this week is still far from the coldest temperature on record in New Jersey — 29 below zero in Sussex County in 1994, Lee said.

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Three years ago a polar vortex swept through New Jersey bringing air temperatures down to 15 below zero up north, without wind chill factored in, Lee said.

But the cold weather this week is from a more common weather pattern, as the jet stream moves further south, bringing colder air into the northeast.

"We've had a shot of Arctic air come down from the Northwest, from Canada behind the front that went through earlier this week," Lee said, adding that it occurs each winter in New Jersey.

Sunday into Monday, a potential storm is expected to move through the region. It's too early to say whether it's going to bring snow or rain to New Jersey, although it's been trending toward rain, Lee said.

There's been an increasing chance of precipitation, hovering at 50% right now, looking more li having it than not, Lee said.

That storm will be forming around Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas, moving through the Southeast before coming up the Eastern Seaboard. The storm could move out over the ocean, missing New Jersey. But right now it looks like it will move through Virginia and Maryland and into Pennsylvania, bringing rain to New Jersey and snow further west and north of the state.

The temperatures will moderate Sunday during the day ahead of the storm, Lee said.

Ken Serrano covers crime, breaking news, investigations and local issues. Reach him at kserrano@gannettnj.com.

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