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Cold First Night followed by snowy end to workweek

It’s certainly going to be chilly for First Night revelers. Today is starting out mostly cloudy and 15 degrees with a wind chill of about 4 degrees, with a dusting of snow arriving just in time for the evening’s festivities.

“There could be a dusting of snow, upwards of a half an inch [that] could cause some slick spots in downtown Boston,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson. Snow is most likely to occur between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., with temperatures staying in the mid to low 20s.

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If you’re heading outdoors to ring in the New Year, don’t forget to bundle up. Midnight temperatures will drop to 20 degrees, though a slight cloud cover will prevent it from lowering much further.

New Year’s Day is expected to stay mostly dry but cold, with highs in the upper 20s. That temperature will drop to the mid teens in the evening as the storm starts moving its way in from the Berkshires around 3 a.m. Thursday.

“There’s some uncertainty on the amount, but we’ll probably see 6 inches or more from Boston into downtown Providence and the Cape,” said Simpson. Temperatures will remain slightly colder than normal throughout the day, staying in the mid-20s in Boston and mid to low teens throughout Western Massachusetts.

Icy roads on Cape Cod this morning led to five rollovers, one head-on crash, and numerous spinouts on Route 6 in Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, and Barnstable being reported to Massachusetts State Police who confirmed several injuries. “We had a couple people injured but we don’t know much at this point, the troopers have been rushing from one crash to the next,” a State Police official said.

During the storm on Thursday and Friday, midday high tides could generate minor coastal flooding with the potential for some “pockets’’ of moderate flooding, according to the weather service.

Heavy snow will continue throughout most of the state Thursday afternoon and into late Friday morning, with dry weather prevailing in the afternoon.

As the skies clear, temperatures are predicted to plummet. “The coldest will be Friday overnight into Saturday, near zero and down to minus 15 in parts of Western Massachusetts,” said Simpson.

Wind chills could drop as low as 25 below zero on Friday and into early Saturday morning, the weather service said.

But a warming trend by the end of the weekend when termperatures are expected to recover into the 30s, the weather service said.

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