Get ready. Winter is about to make a major comeback.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for all of southern Connecticut, from midday Tuesday into early Wednesday morning.

Forecasters expect between 4 and 8 inches of snow, with higher amounts in the southeast section of the state.

And that January thaw? It's over, for now. An arctic cold front passed over the region Monday night, at the same time that a low-pressure system formed off the mid-Atlantic coast, according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast precipitation is expected to be light, puffy snow, because the extreme cold will reduce the amount of moisture it contains, the NWS posted in an update to its Facebook page.

The snow is expected to begin Tuesday afternoon and continue into early Wednesday morning, accompanied by winds up to 18 mph and wind chills as low as minus 5. No significant warmup is expected until the weekend.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch Monday declared a snow emergency to go into effect Tuesday at 6 a.m. City residents must move their cars off posted snow-emergency streets and follow alternate-side-parking rules everywhere else.

"Many of our streets are very narrow in highly populated areas of the city," Finch said. "Cooperation from all of our residents is necessary in order for our (plow) crews to be able to navigate the streets and keep roads clear. Property owners can help by shoveling their sidewalks and driveways, and clearing snow around fire hydrants and curb cuts to help improve neighborhood safety. Please do not shovel snow back into the street, and above all, please obey the snow emergency parking rules."

The city has also pushed back trash and recycling pickup by a day, beginning Wednesday.

During the storm, Bridgeport residents with non-emergency, weather-related questions or concerns should call the city's call center at 203-576-1311 or the Emergency Operations Center at 203-579-3829.

"I can't stress how important it is for residents to obey the emergency parking ban. No one wants to have their car towed, and the last thing we want to do is ticket and tow residents' vehicles," said Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett. "So we need everyone's cooperation. Plows won't be able to clear secondary streets if cars are parked on both sides, and it is essential to keep our snow emergency routes clear."

Staff Writer Brian Lockhart contributed to this report.