Anticipation is growing for New Year's Eve celebrations not just in the United States, but across the world. Here is a look at how the weather will greet 2012 in select cities.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch will be one of the first across the world to ring in 2012, and many residents will be happy that 2011, a year defined by earthquakes, is finally over.
While rain wets the neighboring North Island of New Zealand, no umbrellas will be needed for New Year's celebrations in Christchurch. Skies instead will be partly cloudy with a temperature of 51 degrees F (11 degrees C) at midnight.
Sydney will kick off 2012 with a spectacular fireworks display that features the city's iconic Harbour Bridge. No rain threatens this year's show with skies set to be mainly clear along with a temperature of 63 degrees F (17 degrees C) as the clock strikes midnight.
Dry weather will prevail in Tokyo for New Year's Eve festivities as the city joins the nation in saying goodbye to a year marked by March's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Temperatures will be near 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) as residents ring in 2012.
A chilly, but dry start to 2012 is shaping up for Beijing. Residents will definitely want to bundle up before heading outside to celebrations with temperature falling to 22 degrees F (6 degrees below zero C) by midnight. Clear skies will prevail throughout the night.
For the U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, 2011 will give way to 2012 on a quiet note. Midnight temperatures will range from the mid-20s F (around 4 degrees below zero C) at the Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, to the mid-30s F (around 2 degrees C) throughout southern Afghanistan.
A blanket of clouds will prevent Moscow from being in a deep freeze as 2012 gets under way, though a couple of snow showers may still make an appearance.
High temperatures on the first day of January typically fail to climb above 19 degrees F (7 degrees below zero C), but temperatures Saturday night will drop only to 28 degrees F (2 below zero C) by midnight.
A bit of rain will threaten to put a damper on New Year's Eve festivities in Istanbul. In addition to an umbrella, residents will also want to keep a jacket handy with a temperature of 45 degrees F (7 degrees C) expected at midnight.
Anyone hoping to kiss their significant other at the stroke of midnight with the Eiffel Tower in the background will have to do so while also hanging on to an umbrella that is getting blown around by winds.
A couple of showers will pass through Paris Saturday night, while a breeze from the southwest blows at 10-18 mph (15-30 kph). The good news is that the winds will also be ushering in mild air, leading to a comfortable temperature of 52 degrees F (11 degrees C) at midnight.
Similar to Paris, a mild breeze will also be blowing through London during New Year's celebrations. Temperatures will hold nearly steady around 52 degrees F (11 degrees C) throughout the night.
Residents should also keep an umbrella handy since a stray shower cannot be ruled out.
Cape Town, South Africa
No umbrellas or heavy jackets will be present in Cape Town as residents ring in 2012. Under clear skies, midnight temperatures will be a comfortable 65 degrees F (18 degrees C).
A stray shower will return to Cape Town as the Cape Minstrel Carnival keeps the city in a festive mode Sunday into Monday.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Residents in Rio de Janeiro will have to celebrate the start of 2012 on a rainy note. However, the rain will not be described as chilly with temperatures only dropping to 74 degrees F (23 degrees C) by midnight.
Mexico City, Mexico
New Year's Eve festivities in Mexico City will start with a couple of thunderstorms rumbling through the afternoon and early evening hours, forcing outdoor celebrations briefly indoors. The thunderstorms will diminish by midnight, when temperatures will fall to around 50 degrees F (10 degrees C).
As the ball is being dropped in New York City's Times Square, residents in Montreal will ring in 2012 on a dry note with some clouds overhead. The temperature will not be as frigid as it could be this time of year with 28 degrees F (2 degrees below zero C) expected at midnight.
Rounds of drenching thunderstorms could bring drought relief to parts of the southern United States into July.
Following a rain-free weekend for many in the Northeast, residents may be wondering if this is a sign of things to come for July.
The uptick in spotty, drenching thunderstorms, associated with the southwestern United States monsoon, will continue in the coming days and weeks.
A persistent storm track will keep summer warmth out of the United Kingdom through much of July.
The most intense heat wave in more than a decade for some parts of Germany has been replaced with cooler air and no return of heat is in sight.
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Loraine & Sandusky, OH (1924)
A tornado swept through, 85 dead; $12 million damage.
Berks Co., PA (1979)
The second severe thunderstorm in less than a week. Hail was widespread; some stones were as large as hen's eggs, up to 4" accumulation ruined crops in the Shartlesville/Strausstown area; the storm also produced flash flooding, high winds and touched off numerous fires by its lightning.
Record Highs: Location: New Record(F): Old Record(F)/Year: Providence, RI 96 95/1943 New York, NY 96 tied 96/1969 Boston, MA 97 tied 97/1901 Portland, ME 98 97/1941,1988