By Brian Lada – AccuWeather
As the year comes to a close and people prepare to celebrate the start of 2015, many will be bundling up as cold weather stretches from coast to coast.
This is especially true for those planning to ring in the new year at an outdoor venue, such as Times Square in New York City.
“Back-to-back waves of arctic air will descend across the western and central United States during the first half of this week, even plunging down to the Mexican border,” said AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
“Colder, more seasonable air will progress into the Northeast into New Year’s Eve,” Pydynowski continued.
Unlike Thanksgiving and Christmas, no major storm looms on the day leading up to 2015. This is good news for those planning to travel across the regions in the days prior to the new year as there should be very few weather-related delays.
People heading out to celebrate on New Year’s Eve across the Northeast and Midwest will still want to bundle up to prepare for the weather as temperatures are forecast to dip into the 20s and teens over much of the region at night.
Wind gusts from the west will make it feel even colder with AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures in the single digits.
Dry conditions are expected to accompany the chilly weather with the exception of some snow showers downwind of the Great Lakes; although no significant accumulations are expected.
The Southeast should escape the worst of the cold with most cities staying above freezing on Wednesday night.
South Florida looks to be the warmest spot in the entire country to celebrate New Year’s Eve with lows in the 60s, a few degrees above normal for the end of December.
The coldest air in weeks is set to plunge across the Plains, Rockies and Northwest to close out 2014 and will continue into the first few days of 2015.
Low temperatures on New Year’s Eve will bottom out in the single digits across much of these regions with the exception being along the coast of the Northwest.
Anyone heading outside on New Year’s Eve should wear hats, gloves and layers of clothing to stay protected from the harsh cold.
Spending long periods of time in the outdoors without the proper protection from the cold can bring the risk of contracting frost bite or even hypothermia.
Residents and visitors in the Southwest will not escape the cold weather for New Year’s Eve as cold air is forecast to make it it all the way to the coast of Southern California.
“Next Tuesday or Wednesday could be the coldest so far this winter season in the Desert Southwest, such as in Las Vegas, Nevada, or El Paso, Texas,” said Pydynowski.
Snow will blanket the mountains and passes from Southern California to the Four Corners. Snow may even be on the ground in Las Vegas to ring in the new year.
In addition to the below-normal temperatures, a low pressure system will spread showers, and even some snow, over part of the region.
Areas near the coast of Southern California are expected to have just showers from this storm as it passes through, but the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto Mountains could receive some accumulating snow. Las Vegas may even receive accumulating snow from this system before the start of 2015.
If Las Vegas receives more than a trace of snow on New Year’s Eve, it will be the most snow that the city has ever received on New Year’s Eve since the records began.
Despite the system affecting the region, it should turn out dry for New Year’s Eve celebrations in cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego.
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