Hats, gloves, scarves and lots of layers are in order for revelers heading outside tonight to ring in the New Year in New York City's Times Square. The 1 million people expected to gather for the celebration will face frigid winter weather, braving temperatures that, factoring in wind chill, will feel like 6 degrees.
A fast-moving storm that was in the Midwest Tuesday is making its way across the Northeast today. It's bringing with it snow, cold temperatures and gusty winds that are projected to contribute to one of New York City's coldest New Year's Eves on record.
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The Northeast is expected to clear up New Year's Day but will be left with up to a half-foot of snow in some regions. Snow is already falling today in Buffalo and Rochester, as well as in Boston, Hartford and Fairfield County, Conn.
New York City temperatures are projected to be about 19 degrees tonight, excluding the windchill factor. Temperatures in Boston will be about 16. Low temperatures around the country are predicted to be in the 20s and teens.
By midday Wednesday, New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport was starting to see delays. Information from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that weather and low visibility meant planes arriving at JFK were being delayed by an average of about two hours.
Strong winds in the Washington, D.C. region also delayed air traffic coming into Dulles International Airport, with arriving flights delayed by an average of 54 minutes. Elsewhere around the country, the FAA was reporting delays in San Francisco, with arriving flights behind schedule by an average of a little more than an hour.
Los Angeles is expected to be a pleasant 58 degrees at the end of 2008 and the Southwest will likewise be mild. Seattle temperatures are hovering around 38 degrees, with some rain.
A slew of storms, wind, rain in the valley and snow in the mountains are also in the Northwestern states of Washington and Oregon, following record snowfalls earlier this week in places like Spokane, Wash., and Bismarck, N.D. Another storm is on tap for later this week in the Pacific Northwest.
In other areas of the United States, weather is dry but cold in the Midwest. The South is also welcoming relatively dry weather, barring some rain showers in southern Texas to Louisiana.
Rising rivers and flooding were apparent Tuesday in the Midwest, particularly in Michigan's rivers and streams. In Buffalo, N.Y., previous significant snowfalls translated into significant amounts of snow melt.