New Year’s thaw to break cold spell

While temperatures have dipped well below freezing in recent days, measuring the coldest temperatures so far this season, New Year’s Eve promises to push the mercury back above zero for a slight break to the frigid weather, predicted meteorological services Monday.

As Monday saw occasionally clearing skies and sunshine breaking through cloud cover, a slow north-northeasterly wind pushed air temperatures down to between -2 and -7 degrees Celsius, -10 in some eastern regions of the land.

Overnight to Tuesday is likely to be December’s coldest night this year, as the mercury drops to between -11 and -16 degrees in the central areas of the country, slightly warmer on the western Kurzeme province coasts, but down to between -17 and -21 degrees in inland Vidzeme and Latgale provinces.

Winds of varying direction will remain slow, however are expected to turn from the southwest Tuesday morning, bringing with them warmer air and some more moisture, pushing temperatures in coastal Kurzeme already to thawing levels above zero.  

As the day progresses, Kurzeme and central regions of the country should see wet snow under occasional blizzard conditions, while the eastern parts will remain sunny without any precipitation.

Southwest winds will pick up in intensity, reaching gusts in Kurzeme and Zemgale provinces between 10 and 15 meters per second.

High temperatures Tuesday will have already risen above zero in Kurzeme (from zero to +3 degrees), however still between -1 and -6 degrees in central areas and between -7 and -11 degrees in the east.

Overnight to Wednesday, New Year’s eve, the entire territory should experience a stable rise in temperatures, reaching between zero and +5 degrees everywhere except for the deep eastern inland districts of Vidzeme and Latgale, where a freeze between -1 and -5 degrees will hold fast.

Snow is expected to fall, occasionally under blizzard conditions, which will then change over into wet snow and rain.

Driving on the nation’s roads will be as treacherous as the Christmas holiday week was, with freezing surfaces of black ice complicating traffic conditions across the country.

Wednesday should see the thaw reach across the entire national territory as temperatures reach between +1 and +6 degrees under mostly cloudy skies and a chance of light rain.

New Year’s day should see the thawing weather conditions stay about the same, possibly reaching a high of +7 degrees.

However by the 2nd of January southwest winds will again increase in strength to gusts between 10-15 meters per second, even between 19-24 meters per second on the coasts, bringing rain and wet snow, with temperatures between +1 and +6 degrees. On January 3rd forecasts predict another slight drop in temperatures back toward the threshold of freezing.

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