The widespread record cold that is possible for Tuesday and Wednesday comes as arctic air pushes south and east, causing early wintry conditions for much of the eastern two-thirds of the United States, according to the National Weather Service.
In the Boston area, that means a strong cold front with light rain Tuesday that likely will turn to snow for a short time as temperatures fall and winds pick up, forecasters said.
On Tuesday night, temperatures are expected to fall to about 19 degrees in Boston; the western part of the state could see temperatures around 8 degrees.
Northwest wind gusts of 25 to 40 mph will usher in the record cold Tuesday night and Wednesday, forecasters said.
The combination of the two means that with the wind chill, it will feel like it’s 4 degrees in Boston Tuesday night into Wednesday morning — and as cold as 5 or 6 degrees below zero in the western part of Massachusetts.
On Wednesday afternoon highs are forecast to be below freezing, with Boston slated to get a high of 30 degrees, and Western Massachusetts expected to see temperatures around 23 to 29 degrees.
Meanwhile, in terms of snow, much of Central and Eastern Massachusetts is expected to only see a coating to an inch Tuesday night into Wednesday, while the far western parts of the state could see 1 to 2 inches.
However, the same can’t be said for our New England neighbors to the north: Parts of Maine and New Hampshire could see 6 inches or more of snow Monday into Tuesday, according to the weather service.
“Light rain and snow will develop today. A light wintry mix will fall overnight and into tomorrow, with mostly snow across the northern mountains,” forecasters tweeted Monday morning. “Far southern areas should be mostly rain with a little snow at the tail end. It all pushes offshore tomorrow shortly after sunset.”
In Coos County, where 5 to 9 inches is expected, a winter storm warning is in effect from 1 p.m. Monday until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Elsewhere in New Hampshire, Berlin and Whitefield are predicted to get between 4 and 6 inches of accumulation, forecasters said.
In Maine, areas around Rangeley and Eustis could receive 6 to 8 inches of snow, and Jackman could get 8 to 12 inches.
In Massachusetts, Thursday into Friday is expected to see temperatures that are a bit warmer, but still below normal. Then another surge of cold air is coming in for Saturday, followed by another slow warmup Sunday into Monday, forecasters said.
It’s expected to be dry Friday night into Sunday, but there could be some light precipitation Sunday afternoon into Monday.
“This timing is not yet certain, and could even be slower,” forecasters said. “It is also possible that high pressure holds on across northern New England a bit longer, and steers this low pressure out to sea.”
Emily Sweeney of the Globe staff contributed to this report.