‘Two thumbs up’: New Year celebration weather for NYC, much of US

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A lack of major storms and frigid air across the lower 48 states will help with New Year’s Eve and Day celebrations as well as the tail-end of holiday travel in most locations. However, there will be a few trouble spots.

“The conditions for much of the nation are about as good as can be expected for the end of December and early January,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty said, adding, “It really is going to be two thumbs up — great for most places considering how nasty it could be this time of the year.”

How is New Year’s Eve shaping up for the traditional hot spots?

More than 1 million people will gather at Times Square in Manhattan on New Year’s Eve, according to ABC News. And, while it won’t be a balmy 70 degrees, it won’t be bitterly cold or pouring down rain.

The highest-ever ball drop temperature was in 1965-66 and 1972-73, with a reading of 58 F. The lowest temperature for the event was 1 F in 1917-18, with an estimated AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature near 20 degrees below zero. For the ball drop at the cusp of 2023-24, the actual temperature will be within a couple of degrees of the 40-degree Fahrenheit mark, several degrees above the historical average of 34 degrees. Along with dry weather conditions, a light breeze from the west and northwest will contribute to a RealFeel® Temperature in the mid-30s on Sunday night.

New Year’s Eve weather at some of the other top destinations to celebrate, including Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, San Antonio and Las Vegas, looks to be rain-free.

However, conditions may be a bit chillier than most may be accustomed to in central Florida for late December and early January, with temperatures falling through the 50s at the theme parks around Orlando.

The weather may be a little drippy at other New Year’s Eve destinations, such as San Francisco, with showers likely to be nearby. The latest data suggests rain could hold off Monday afternoon around New Orleans. Temperatures around the Big Easy and the City by the Bay will be mainly in the 50s during Sunday evening.

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Snow showers could make for tricky and slippery travels around the Great Lakes, but widespread heavy snowfall is not likely into the start of 2024.

In Southern California, much of the night should be rain-free but an offshore storm may attempt to throw clouds toward the immediate coast later Sunday night.

Will the benign weather hold for New Year’s Day?

The same storm may continue to hover nearby for the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl college football matchup in Pasadena, California, on New Year’s Day with temperatures mainly in the 60s. At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists expect rain to stay away.

While most people will choose to travel before New Year’s Day, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the few who do travel on Monday should generally have good travel conditions across the nation with a few exceptions, similar to Sunday.

Snow showers will tend to linger and may cause slippery conditions and low visibility around the eastern Great Lakes on New Year’s Day and over the high ground in the central Appalachians.

As more than 10,000 people take to the streets of Philadelphia on New Year’s Day for the 120-year-plus Mummers Parade tradition, temperatures will be close to or slightly above the historical average of 43 F. There could be sprinkles or passing snowflakes, but drenching rain or accumulating snow are not anticipated.

Meanwhile, an area of rain is likely to slowly expand from Louisiana to the east over the Southern states and could produce pockets of slick travel and ponding on some roads.

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