Brisk New Year's Eve weather to greet revelers in Times Square

Alex Sosnowski

Over the years, revelers attending the celebration at Times Square in New York City have braved all sorts of weather.

Cold air and gusty winds had hundreds of thousands of revelers shivering on Times Square two years ago as the calendar flipped from 2017 to 2018. Temperatures dipped to 9 degrees Fahrenheit, and AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures dipped below zero. It was the second coldest New Year's Eve for New York City on record.

Just a year ago, it was rainy and mild for the hooting and hollering as the hours, minutes and seconds of 2018 ticked away. It felt 50 degrees warmer, when compared to the year before.

Revelers celebrate and embrace on Times Square in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, as rain helped to ring in the new year. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The weather for this year's celebration should take a back seat for a change.

"The weather for the ball drop on Times Square this year is likely to be tame and not a major issue for the crowds," Dave Dombek, AccuWeather Northeast weather expert, said.

"No big storms will be affecting the region, nor will big blasts of frigid air," he added.

Actual temperatures will fall slowly through the 40s, while the RealFeel® Temperature is likely to hover in the upper 20s to lower 30s. Winds from the west are expected to average 7-14 mph, but they will be stronger along the streets and where the avenues intersect the streets due to the funneling effect of the buildings. In this setup, air is forced to rush through the narrow streets.

Wind observations at Central Park are somewhat sheltered and not representative of the streets of Manhattan in this situation.; therefore, RealFeel® Temperature measurements from the Central Park observation site may not be representative of how it feels for revelers as a result. Instead, RealFeel® Temperatures from Newark or LaGuardia Airport may be more representative of Times Square in this case.

Experts recommend that with the stiff breeze forecast, the hundreds of thousands who will be waiting outside for hours should still dress in layers with a hat and gloves to help prevent heat loss. Finding a standing spot away from the intersection of the windy west-to-east orientated streets may help reduce the chill over the hours.

The weather may not be totally free of rain or snow.

"We cannot guarantee that a shower of rain, sleet or wet snow won't wander through Tuesday evening to early Wednesday morning," Dombek said.

"The key is that any rain or snow shower will be brief and not representative of the evening and early morning hours," he added.

The drier and cooler weather follows a storm that brought difficult travel due to drenching rain and windy conditions Sunday into Monday.

Presenting sponsor of Times Square's New Year's Eve celebration for the fifth year in a row, Planet Fitness tests the "air worthiness" of confetti prior to the big event in New York City in partnership with Times Square Alliance on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 in New York. (Ben Hider/AP Images for Planet Fitness)

Instead of the storm opening the gates for a blast of Arctic air that often happens during the winter months, the air behind the storm will bring temperature about 10-15 degrees above average.

Those venturing home right after the celebration may encounter snow showers and spotty hazardous conditions over the central Appalachians and around the eastern Great Lakes. A considerable amount of snow and ice may still be on the ground over parts of northern New England as well from the recent storm.

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