The last day of 2011 has dawned under cloudy skies and scattered showers, but the National Weather Service predicts skies will brighten by this afternoon, giving New Year's Eve revelers a clear night to welcome 2012.

Rain across southwestern Connecticut is expected to stop falling by about 10 a.m. today, followed by a gradually clearing trend that will bring sunny skies this afternoon and a daytime high temperature in the low-50s.

New Year's Eve itself is expected to be mostly clear, with the temperature falling to a low around 35 degrees. There will be a northwest wind between 5 and 8 mph, the NWS says.

The first day of 2012 promises to be mostly sunny, with a high near 49 degrees. By nighttime, the NWS says, there is a chance of showers, mainly between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.. Skies will be cloudy, with a low temperature around 34.

Monday, a holiday for many people, will be partly sunny, with a high near 43 degrees. As a cold front moves into the region overnight, there is a chance of snow flurries as the temperature tumbles to a low in the mid-20s.

Tuesday will be very cold, the weather service predicts, with a daytime high only in the high-20s. There remains a chance of flurries and blustery winds, the NWS says.