The first hours of 2010 look likely to be chilly ones with temperatures in Edinburgh dropping several degrees below zero.
The Met Office has issued a warning of widespread icy roads and possible snow falls. Temperatures are expected to drop to around -4C by 9pm, as around 80,0000 Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party revellers take to the capital's streets to bid goodbye to the old year and celebrate the arrival of a new year and a new decade.
The Met Office forecasts temperatures will drop down to -6C by 3am on 1st January.
Visibility is expected to be "moderate" tonight, so hopefully the skies will be clear enough to appreciate the Hogmanay Fireworks when the clocks strike midnight.
Edinburgh's Hogmanay organisers are urging revellers coming to the street party "to dress warmly, to stay safe and to enjoy all that Edinburgh has to offer this Hogmanay."
Dr Charles Swainson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: "We want everyone to have fun at Hogmanay and there are a few basic precautions which can really help. Unfortunately the icy weather can mean people ending up at A&E with injuries caused by slips and trips. One of the best ways to avoid this is by wearing suitable shoes - low heels with a good grip are best."
"And if you are heading for the street party, it's worth remembering that you will probably be outside in the cold for several hours and that alcohol lowers your body temperature, so warm clothes are vital. Something waterproof is also a good idea so you don't end up soaked and miserable."
The forecast is for more mild conditions tomorrow for the brave participants dunking themselves in the Firth of Forth for the annual Loony Dook. By around noon temperatures are expected to rise to a balmy 3C with a gentle 16mph breeze.
Hogmanay 2009-2010 also marks the end of the Scottish government sponsored Year of Homecoming. Tourism Minister Jim Mather, has just announced that Homecoming will meet its target of £44 million worth of extra tourism revenue both from visitors from abroad and Scots taking staycations.
"As people continue to tighten their belts during these difficult economic times, it is clear that many are choosing to consider the benefits of spending leisure time in beautiful, evocative Scotland, rather than travelling abroad. The additional attraction of a white Christmas and New Year has been the icing on the cake for many travellers from abroad, as well as for us at home," said Mather.
Tips for Street Party Goers
- Come early - entry to the street party cannot be guaranteed after 11pm
- There are around 350 police and 650 stewards within the event arena and the surrounding area who can be approached with concerns, or enquiries
- Bags may be searched on entry
- Don’t bring glass into the arena. Bring your drink in plastic bottles
- Revellers are encouraged not to bring under 16s to Street Party
- People under the influence of too much alcohol may be refused entry
- No entry without an Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party ticket
- Go home in a free bus