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December 31, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Ringing in the New Year with All Types of Weather

Will the weather affect your New Years Eve plans? Well let’s hope not, but we do have a variety of weather conditions occurring across the lower 48 from snow to severe storms and heavy rain.

Surface map for Friday, December 31st. Image: ImpactWeather

A strong storm system will bring additional snow today across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Snow accumulations of up to 4 inches will be possible with higher amounts of 6-12 inches from northern Nebraska through South Dakota and western Minnesota. Moderate to strong winds across parts of the region will lead to areas of blowing snow with near blizzard conditions possible over the Dakotas and northern Nebraska. Cold air will continue to spread across the Rockies and Great Plains back behind this strong frontal system. Temperatures will be 20 to 25F degrees below normal, with temperatures as much as 30-32 degrees below average for portions of the central High Plains and Montana. In advance of this front, showers and thunderstorms will continue to develop across the Arklatex region and Ozarks spreading eastward later today into the Lower and Mid-Mississippi Valley and central Gulf Coast states. By this evening, heavy showers and storms will be moving across southeastern LA and southern MS northward through southern Illinois. There will be the slight risk of severe storms with damaging wind gust the main concern. Strong wind shear could also lead to the development of isolated tornadoes. The greatest risk for severe storms will be from the Louisiana Delta through Mississippi and western Tennessee late this afternoon through tonight. Heavy rain can be expected across the Lower Mississippi River Valley with plenty of moisture in place allowing widespread showers and embedded thunderstorms to develop late Friday into early Saturday. Much of this region will see 1-2 inches of rain with locally up to 3-4 inches possible, mainly over southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. This could result in flash flooding, especially over low lying and poor drainage areas.

New Years Eve: The red indicates the threat for severe storms and the green represents the threat for heavy rain. There’s a cold air mass (blue) in place across the Rockies and Plains with temperatures well below average. Heavy snow’s (white) still expected from the Dakotas to Minnesota. Image: ImpactWeather

The weather will be pretty active today across the mid section of the country with quiet conditions along the East Coast. With high pressure in place across the eastern U.S., the Northeast will hopefully be able to recover this weekend from all the snow they saw Christmas weekend. Nearly two feet of snow fell in Manhattan and cleanup crews have been hard at work all week trying to get business back to normal, especially before their biggest party of year (which is tonight, New Years Eve). Nearly a million people are expected in Times Square for the annual New Years Eve ball drop. City workers have been plowing massive piles of snow from the streets from 55th street to Times Square in Midtown in order to get it ready for tonight’s festivities.

At least half a dozen front loaders were used to plow the streets of Midtown. The snow was piled in mounds over 6 feet high. Photo: DNAinfo

Dump trucks were brought in to clear the snow from the streets. Photo: DNAinfo

I hope everyone has a Happy New Years! If you would like to learn more about the history behind New Years Eve in Times Square click here.

New Years Eve in Times Square. Photo: Countdown Entertainment, LLC

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