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Frigid Festivities

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Probabilities of Freezing or Colder Temperatures on New Year’s Eve.

2017 is almost to an end and as you plan your New Year’s Eve celebrations, you may be wondering how cold it will be. Looking back at the last 50 years (1967-2016), what are the chances of freezing temperatures? Caribou, ME has the highest probability with 90%. Dulles Airport, VA and Washington, DC have the lowest probabilities with less than 10%.

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Coldest New Year’s Eve Maximum Temperatures.

How cold has it ever been on New Year’s Eve? Pretty frigid. Burlington, VT wins the award for coldest, plummeting to -8 degrees F back in 1917 when a severe cold wave hit during the last three days of the month. Most of the stations listed had their coldest New Year’s Eve in 1917 or 1962.

1917 NYE Temperatures

Maximum Temperatures on New Year’s Eve in 1917.

1962 NYE Temperatures

Maximum Temperatures on New Year’s Eve in 1962.

On December 29-31, 1962 a storm was spawned by a very complex barometric pressure system. There were blizzard conditions in Maine and bitterly cold conditions in most of the region. Peak gusts of hurricane strength were recorded, such as at Block Island, RI that reached 95 mph. The winds combined with the record breaking cold to create extremely dangerous wind-chill conditions. Frozen pipes, failed heating systems, power outages, downed trees, did not make for a festive New Year’s Eve.

What about this year? NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for December 28 through January 3 favors below-normal temperatures for the entire region. Probabilities of 80-90% are forecast for parts of New York and New England! However you celebrate, stay warm!

temp outlook

Temperature outlook for December 28 through January 3.