(CNN) — As we push 2020 aside and welcome 2021 with open arms, a significant winter storm is expected to develop in the central US this week.
But the first area of concern is a storm in the western United States from Sunday through Monday. This system will bring the first significant snowfall of the season to the mountainous regions of Southern California. Rain will be the biggest concern for the valley and coastal towns. While rain is necessary in several of these drought-stricken areas, some of the rains will be quite heavy at times, even with a few possible thunderstorms. This could lead to flooding on urban roads and possible isolated debris flows from areas affected by recently fires.
This system will move eastward throughout the week bringing much-needed rain to areas of Arizona and New Mexico by Tuesday. This is good news for Tucson, Phoenix and Albuquerque, which are several inches below normal for the year’s rainfall.
Heavy snowfall will be more frequent in the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains. Most areas will likely receive at least 5-10 centimeters of snow, but some locations will likely exceed 15 centimeters through Wednesday.
The most concerning aspect will be freezing rain in parts of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. An ice streak of up to two inches from Kansas to Michigan is possible on Wednesday. Any buildup of ice will likely lead to travel problems, as well as potential power outages if the amount becomes significant.
Rain will be the main focus from the Ohio River Valley to Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday, then spreading into the eastern states as we approach New Year’s Eve.
Historic New Years Eve in New York
Although this year’s New Year’s Eve will be very different due to COVID-19, it is fascinating to dig into the historical records of Times Square.
The first Times Square ball to fall was in 1907 when relatively good weather prevailed. Those who saw the original ball made of wood and iron found a high temperature of 44 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) and a low of 35 degrees Fahrenheit (1.6 degrees Celsius). This is above the average high and low temperatures of 39 (3.8) and 28 (-2) degrees. The hottest ball drop in New York City was 58 (14) degrees in 1965 and 1972, and the coldest was in 1917 when the temperature dropped to 1 degree (-17) at the time of the drop. of the ball, according to the National Weather Service. The last year it rained was 2018 and the last year it snowed was 2009.
Fortunately, the forecast for the Big Apple foresees mild temperatures during the night between 40 (4) and 50 (10) degrees with a probability of rain. So while a public gathering is not scheduled in Times Square, those venturing outside anywhere in New York will find an umbrella necessary.
What about the rest of the country?
Forecast for New Year’s Eve
From Boston to New Orleans, rain is forecast Thursday night, and some of that rains will be heavy at times.
More dangerous conditions are expected in the Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois areas, where snow and ice will be more likely.
Temperatures will be well above average east of the Mississippi River, especially from Maryland to Florida, where low temperatures Thursday night through Friday morning will be between 20 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
“In contrast, temperatures across much of the central United States and the mountainous west will have a hard time breaking above freezing on New Year’s Eve,” says CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.
The surest way to celebrate the new year is to celebrate it at home with the people you live with or virtually with friends and family, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What tradition says
There is a peculiar old farmer’s almanac tradition that surrounds the time on New Years Day.
Supposedly, if it rains a lot during the 12 days after Christmas, it will still be a rainy year.
There is also a prediction that fog in January brings a wet spring.
Or if you want a “more specific forecast,” use the first 12 days of the year to predict the weather for each month of the year.
For example, day 1 will reflect how the rest of January will feel. The second day forecasts how February will feel. The third day of January will predict the weather for the month of March, and so on.
Regardless of what the weather is on New Year’s Eve, I think we can all agree that we are ready to put 2020 behind us.
CNN meteorologist Haley Brink contributed to this story.