New Year's Eve 2017: Times Square event to go ahead in -12C despite Arctic conditions

Freezing temperatures will usher in a cold start to the new year in parts of the US, as record lows hit the Midwest and put a damper on celebrations. 

In ‘s , temperatures are expected to hover around -12C, but the event will go ahead as planned with giant ball dropping to ring in . The wind chill factor will make it feel like -18C, according to the National Service, with revellers being advised to wrap up warm. 

Elsewhere, Arctic temperatures are causing celebrations to falter. 

In Omaha, Nebraska, temperatures are expected to dip to minus 22 degrees on New Year’s Eve, with organisers postponing their planned fireworks display.  

David Eastlack, a meteorologist with the weather service, said parts of Nebraska could be faced with 130-year lows next week, as temperatures plummet to -30C. 

“The bitter cold is going to be dangerous,” he said, warning residents of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa to avoid venturing outside or heading out on the roads.

He said wind chills will be near -37C, a level that can cause frostbite to set in within 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, residents in California are enjoying unseasonably high temperatures.

In the last week, multiple towns in southern California broke previous temperature records. The city of Sandberg recorded new highs for six consecutive days, culminating in 21C. Temperatures in Woodland Hills, a section of Los Angeles, soared to 31C.

Weather maps showed the eastern part of the US coated in a gelid blue while the West Coast was painted a sunny orange. Helping to quantify the vast temperature gulf, the National Weather Service reported that the peak national temperature was 31C in Lake Elsinore, California; the nadir was -39C in upstate New York near the Canadian border.

Additional reporting by agencies

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