Well, here we are on the final day of 2019 poised to usher in a new year and a new decade. The weather certainly has been adventurous the past 24 hours, but will calm down in time to usher in 2020.
Yesterday, a storm system that brought a mixed bag of weather — including some severe thunderstorms with hail — has now pushed into the Gulf of Maine. I can’t ever recall seeing sleet and hail at the same time — it was pretty wild. Shower activity will wind down in the morning, leaving us with mostly cloudy skies in the afternoon.
If you’re going to be celebrating the arrival of 2020 tonight, I don’t expect any real weather issues. That said, I can’t rule out a quick shower. The computer models show a brief shower possible this evening between 6 and 10 p.m. If it occurs at all, it will be very brief. There will be clouds hiding the moon early in the evening before it sets prior to 10 p.m.
Temperatures are going to be mild tonight and tomorrow, although not quite as mild as last year when readings on Jan. 1 reached close to 60 degrees. There was some rain last year, but let’s not forget the year before, when several events had to be moved inside because of wind chills near zero and actual temperatures in the single digits and teens. It was a cold start to 2018 for sure.
This year, the first couple days of January promise to bring dry weather without any arctic air. The last time we saw measurable snow on New Year’s Day was back in 2006, but we really haven’t had any really big snowstorms on the first day of any year. In 1938, there was 8 inches of snow, the most amount ever to start any year on record.
It can be mild this time of year. I was surprised to find that it hit 70 degrees in 1876 for a spring-like start to that year. The first several days of 2020 will feature more above-average temperatures with readings in the 50s on Saturday with a shower and some breaks of sunshine.
We are quickly approaching the average coldest time of the year. Jan. 18 is the bottom of the temperature curve, but our coldest weather actually often occurs after this day or even in February. Happy New Year!