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Seasonably chilly weather forecast to start new year

Baltimore will ring in the new year "with an extended stretch of fairly seasonal weather," National Weather Service forecasters said Wednesday.

First, warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected to round out 2015. Highs are forecast in the lower 50s Thursday, dropping to the lower 40s or upper 30s by midnight New Year's Eve.

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Starting New Year's Day and into the weekend, highs are expected to drop to the lower to mid 40s and lows to the upper 20s. That is only a few degrees above normal.

Still, it is significantly cooler than the region saw in December, when temperatures were so mild they were closer to normal for April. Weather Service meteorologists said they expect monitoring sites around the region to post record warmth for December by a margin of "more than an impressive two and a half degrees."

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Climate forecasters predict January temperatures will average close to normal, with a chance of being slightly warmer than normal.

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