New Year’s Weekend Outlook: December 31, 2020 – January 4, 2021

As we get into the final days of the year and start of a new year, we’ve got a fairly complex weather pattern shaping up across the region.

A warm front will move across the region tonight, but little precipitation will accompany it. What you will notice is that temperatures will bottom out this evening, then rise as we head through the overnight hours. Low pressure will move into the St. Lawrence Valley early on Thursday, dragging a cold front across the region during the morning. Some showers will accompany that front, but they’ll be gone by midday. High pressure then builds in, allowing skies to clear out in the evening. So, if you have any New Year’s Eve plans, weather won’t be an issue, though it will be on the cold side, as you’d expect at the end of December.

Temperatures should be in the middle to upper 20s under clear to partly cloudy skies at midnight Thursday night. Image provided by WeatherBell.

New Year’s Day starts off sunny and chilly, but clouds stream back in during the afternoon ahead of low pressure moving into the Great Lakes. We’ll see precipitation moving in towards midnight, but with cold air in place, things will be tricky. Along the coast, we’re looking at just a chilly rain, but across interior sections, it’ll be a different story. We’ll likely see it start off as snow, with some minor accumulations (an inch or two), especially from the Merrimack Valley and central Massachusetts into southern New Hampshire.

A little snow may accumulate early Saturday morning across the region, Image provided by WeatherBell.

Eventually, a change to sleet and freezing rain is expected across the interior as milder air moves in aloft. Milder air will also move in at the surface, so precipitation should change over to plain rain everywhere by Saturday morning, but before that happens, a period of freezing rain could result in some slippery travel across the interior before daybreak Saturday. The rain ends by midday, then we’ll see some clearing by late afternoon. This will also be short-lived.

The GFS model shows the progression of the Friday night storm. Loop provided by the College of DuPage.

Clouds come back in on Sunday as a storm system starts to move up the East Coast. There is still plenty of uncertainty with the track of this system, but a period snow or rain is looking likely for late Sunday into early Monday, especially across southeastern Massachusetts. We should have more clarity on this system once the Friday night system moves past the region.

There are discrepancies among the models in regards to our Sunday night storm. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Wednesday night: Cloudy and breezy with showers developing after midnight. Low 31-38 during the evening, temperatures rise overnight.

Thursday: Showers ending in the morning, some clearing develops late in the day. High 41-48.

New Year’s Eve: Becoming clear to partly cloudy. Low 19-26.

New Year’s Day: Sunny in the morning, clouds return in the afternoon. High 34-41.

Friday night: Cloudy with rain developing after midnight across the South Coast. Inland, snow will develop, changing to sleet, freezing rain, and eventually plain rain from south to north. Low 28-35 during the evening, temperatures rise overnight.

Saturday: Any remaining wintry mix across the interior changes to plain rain early, ending by midday. Some sunny breaks develop in the afternoon. High 35-42 north and west of I-495, 43-50 elsewhere.

Sunday night: Partly cloudy. Low 25-32.

Sunday: Cloudy with rain or snow possible late in the day. High 36-43.

Sunday night: Cloudy with a chance of rain or snow. Low 27-34.

Monday: Rain or snow ending in the morning, some clearing late in the day. High 35-42.

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