The coldest air of the season is filtering into Maine this afternoon, associated with a cold front that is expected to drive temperatures into the single numbers in Portland on Tuesday night, and send wind chills below zero.

The arctic blast will be a sharp contrast to the mild temperatures of the past two days.

“It will be pretty cold tomorrow, although it’s not anything abnormal,” said Chris Kimble, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray.

Kimble said he didn’t see a similar warming trend on the horizon. The cold snap and seasonable temperatures may finally allow ice to form on area lakes and ponds, many of which remain largely open, but Kimble said it would take several days of very cold weather to firm them up.

Gusty west winds will usher in the cold front tonight. Temperatures will fall into the teens and single digits. By tomorrow night, readings in the negative teens are likely in the north, with minus 20-degree wind chills. Zero readings are likely away from the southern coast.

Temperatures will moderate later in the week, the weather service says. Despite the cold, no major snow storms are in sight. Snow showers, however, are expected to bring some moderate snow accumulation to the mountains.

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