A major Arctic air outbreak is expected to affect the area over the New Year’s holiday. An Arctic cold front will push south across the area on Saturday. There could be quite the temperature gradient from north to south as the front traverses the region. As the cold air filters into the region, what moisture is available in the atmosphere (not much) will be squeezed out as cold air cannot hold moisture. This will likely materialize in pockets of very light rain or drizzle from Saturday into Sunday. As temperatures drop below freezing Saturday night and Sunday morning, the drizzle will begin freezing to surfaces, possibly becoming mixed with sleet and/or snow grains as the cold air deepens. This is not expected to be a significant ice event for the area, but Sunday could have some travel spots on roads, especially bridges and overpasses. People with plans on New Year’s Eve should stay alert to the changing forecast conditions.

The cold air will deepen dramatically on Sunday with drier air filtering in from north to south effectively ending all precipitation. Strong and gusty winds will help sublimate any ice accretion rather rapidly. The cold will become the main story for much of next week. Once we drop below freezing on Sunday, we are not expected to get above freezing until Wednesday. Residents need to prepare now for 48+ hours of potential subfreezing weather. Lows New Year’s morning will be in the teens with wind chills in the single digits. People with plans New Year’s night will want to dress for the cold conditions. Highs will be in the 20s New Year’s Day and low 30s on Tuesday (still below freezing). The cold is expected to keep temperatures well below normal into Friday of next week.