A rare May snowstorm whipped through the northeast region on Saturday, with parts of Maine and New Hampshire receiving as much as 10 inches of snow. In upstate New York, a "heavy band of snow" caused near white-out conditions in the Catskills town of Margaretville.
The unseasonably low temperatures and freak snow were the result of a polar vortex that spared NYC this winter and decided instead to sweep down in spring, delivering cold Arctic Ocean air to the region.
"It is very strange because typically the polar vortex may visit a few times during the wintertime. It almost never comes down here in May," CBS News meteorologist Jeff Berardelli said. "As a result, we have dozens and dozens of records being shattered in the eastern part of the country."
Record low temperatures were documented in NYC this weekend, with a low of 36 on Friday night breaking the previous record of 37 set in 1947. On Saturday, the low temperature of 34 broke the record as well.
North of the city, worried farmers scrambled to protect their crops as best they could from the unseasonable cold snap. From the NY Times:
At Bigelow Nurseries in Northborough, Mass., workers stayed hours after closing on Friday, pulling in annuals like begonias and petunias. They then covered the hydrangeas and Japanese maple trees, which had just started growing, with garden cloth to keep the blooms from dying.
“We had to scramble,” said Nick Steiman, a wholesale representative at the nursery. “Nothing got lost. It’s definitely going to slow down new growth but we didn’t have any fatalities.”
In the city, New Yorkers struggling to cope with the ongoing coronavirus crisis took the freak weather occurrence in stride:
Forecasters predict more seasonable weather on Sunday afternoon, with a high of 62 expected, and temperatures will continue to rise into the 70s later in the week, culminating in the inevitable deluge of frogs, murder hornets and locusts on Memorial Day Weekend 2020 BABY!