The fifth "cold snap" since December 6 is on the way by New Year's Eve, with temperatures and "feels like" temperatures plunging into the range we felt on December 8th, when it snowed. It won't snow this time around (though there is some possibility for very light freezing precipitation in the ranches) but it will feel plenty nasty come New Year's Day. The tricky part of the forecast is during the NYE festivities Sunday night. While our current forecast is a bit milder (though chilling down), the North American Mesoscale model - or NAM - which has done a superb job in handling the strength and timing of the cold masses once it "sees" them (the past two days are great examples), offers a prepare-for (reasonable worse case) scenario that is more significantly colder and a bit breezier/windier in time for the midnight celebrations. The potential exists for midnight "feels like" temperatures to range from the upper 20s (ranches) to upper 30s (mid Valley) and mid 40s (coast) at midnight, with a biting north wind and light rain/drizzle developing. Toward daybreak and into mid morning January 1, the potential for widespread wind chill "feels like" temperatures in the 20s is real - and there is a low probability for very light icing or ice pellets across the ranchlands as surface temperatures fall to or possibly just below 32 degrees. Unlike December 8, however, we're not seeing any deep moisture for more significant freezing precipitation accumulation - but it doesn't take much ice to cause an issue on trees, powerlines, and elevated bridges and overpasses. Drier atmospheric air filters in beginning Monday night and continuing through early Wednesday, increasing the possibility of a freeze - temperature wise - favoring the ranchlands of Zapata, Jim Hogg, Brooks, and Kenedy County but with a potential for several hours of 32 or lower temperatures stretching to Starr, northern Hidalgo, and Willacy County. We'll have a much better idea of freeze (temperature, no precipitation) potential by Monday morning. The cooler/colder than average pattern continues through most of next week. What to Watch For/Impacts Cold/Freeze NYE could see midnight temperatures as low as the upper 30s to lower 50s, with "feels like" temperatures in the 30s and 40s. Folks venturing outdoors should prepare with multiple layers including a water proof raincoat and hat on top. New Year's Day is likely to feel like the 20s and 30s Valley-wide, with nuisance light rain/drizzle adding to the misery. Gloves and a hat are in order for most locals heading outside. Temperatures will edge toward or below 32 degrees late Monday night in the ranchlands, and could approach in rural Valley locations. Regardless, residents with tropical vegetation should have tarps, coverings, etc. ready in case freeze warnings are issues. The better chance of more coverage freeze is Wednesday morning. Wind Gusty north winds to 30-40 mph at the beach, perhaps arriving by midnight, could compromise outdoor activities on SPI. Boaters are strongly suggested to remain in port rather than venture into increasingly dangerous waters, even on Laguna Madre and nearshore Gulf, for NYE. Folks with outdoor setups (tents, temporary structures) should tighten them down Sunday afternoon. Boating/Beach Gale force gusts arriving within a few hours of midnight will make conditions very difficult to impossible for small craft to navigate. Seas will quickly build to 6 to 10 feet, then 9 to 13 feet toward or just after daybreak New Year's Day. Surf will become rough, high, and confused, with 8+ foot breakers New Year's Day. Fog We don't want to forget about Dec. 31st *morning*. Areas to widespread dense fog is becoming more likely, which could reduce visibility below 1/4 mile in many locations, extending through the church going hours and for those getting an early start on NYE activities. Drivers should remain keenly alert to fog and take appropriate safety measures like slowing down and leaving plenty of space between vehicles. Keep tires inflated to correct pressure, check brakes, etc before heading out.