Great weather on tap for New Year's Eve partying, parade and pigskin

Great weather will be in store for the 180,000 people expected downtown Saturday for the Chick-fil-A Bowl parade and football game and for the New Year’s Eve peach drop at Underground Atlanta.

Channel 2 Action News meteorologist David Chandley said Saturday will be mostly sunny and warmer than normal, with highs in the low to mid-60s and lows in the low 40s.

New Years Day will be partly cloudy and breezy with temperatures closer to normal for the first day of the year, but then the coldest temperatures so far this season will arrive during the first week of 2012.

Chandley is forecasting highs in the upper 50s on Sunday, upper 40s on Monday and mid-40s on Tuesday. Overnight temperatures will also gradually fall through the period, with lows getting down into the mid-20s by Tuesday.

Saturday’s parade, which will close several downtown streets, steps off at 12:30 p.m. and travels down Peachtree Street from Ralph McGill Boulevard to International Boulevard, then down International and across Centennial Olympic Park Drive.

Police will also be restricting traffic around Underground Atlanta beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, and heavy traffic can be expected Saturday around the Georgia Dome, where Auburn takes on Virginia in the 7:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Other downtown events expected to clog streets this weekend include Saturday night’s Zac Brown Band concert at Philips Arena and the Falcons-Buccaneers game at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

While no road construction is planned this weekend on metro Atlanta interstates, the Georgia Department of Transportation is warning that motorists traveling through middle Georgia on I-75 can expect significant delays in Houston and Dooly counties because of a road project that has a lane shut down in both directions between mile markers 105 and 127.

The Florida Department of Transportation, meanwhile, sent out a reminder Friday that Georgia Bulldogs fans heading to and from Monday's Outback Bowl can check traffic conditions by calling 511, visiting or downloading a new 511 app on iTunes. FDOT's 511 Traveler Information System updates travelers on crashes, congestion and construction on all of Florida's interstates, toll roads and major metropolitan roadways.