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Fox News Weather Center

US New Year's Eve forecast: Storms to take a break as cold air takes hold

Storms will take a little break across the nation as colder air expands southward and eastward for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

"The vast majority of the nation will be free of precipitation as 2015 comes to a close and the first hours of 2016 unfold," AccuWeather Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

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Exceptions to the dry weather will be spotty snow and flurries downwind of the Great Lakes. Cities that may experience some snow include Sault Saint Marie and Kalamazoo, Michigan; South Bend, Indiana; Cleveland; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Buffalo and Watertown, New York.

In terms of rainfall, areas from northern and central Florida to the Georgia and Carolina coasts can expect some rain showers. Spotty showers will also affect part of South Texas.

Even though no precipitation is in the offing across much of the Midwest and Plains, there may still be travel trouble in the wake of the major storm that recently hit the area.

Major rivers will be on the rise and in flood stages over portions of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas and Oklahoma. People will still be reeling from the aftermath of severe storms and tornadoes from the southern Plains to the Tennessee Valley.

Melting and refreezing in areas where there is extensive snowcover can lead to icy spots on secondary roads and sidewalks from New Mexico and western Texas to Minnesota and northern New England.

Meanwhile, chilly air will continue to hold on over much of the West.

Around midnight New Year's Eve, temperatures will be within a few degrees of 50 F in Los Angeles and falling through the 30s in Las Vegas. The temperature will be close to the freezing mark in Seattle.

Temperatures in much of the central United States will be lower than they have been during many calendar days in November and December.

Gusty winds will add to the chill around the Great Lakes and northern Plains.

In Chicago, temperatures will be in the teens around midnight on New Year's Eve, which is several degrees below average. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be in the single digits.

Temperatures in New Orleans will be typical for the middle of the night in early January, with readings in the middle 50s likely.

The temperature will still be higher than average for Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 along much of the Atlantic Seaboard. The average daytime high in New York City for New Year's Eve is 39.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek, "At midnight in Times Square, New York City, the temperature will be hovering in the lower 40s."

Temperatures will be within a few degrees of 70 in Orlando.

Colder air will continue to flow into the South and East during the first few days of 2016.