Record snowfall in Northeast sees first May snow in Central Park since 1977

Central Park saw its first snowfall during May in decades as a cold snap hit the Northeast Friday night into the weekend.

A polar vortex that moved in from the north drove down temperatures across the Northeast while the West Coast was experiencing mid-summer-level heatwaves. From New Hampshire to California, there was, at one point, a 100-degree difference between highs and lows.

The unexpected cold snap has led to snowfall in some areas for the first time in years.

Central Park saw a light dusting around 1 a.m. Saturday that lasted for one hour. The snow didn’t accumulate, but it was the first snowfall in May that Central Park had seen since 1977.

The snowfall tied the record for the latest in spring in New York City.

According to, no measurable snow -- meaning at least 0.1 inches -- has ever been documented in May in Central Park, dating back to records from 1869.

While New York City got away with mostly a chill, other parts of the Northeast saw more substantial snowfall.

Parts of Vermont saw anywhere from 1 inch in Worcester to 8.8 inches accumulated in West Arlington.

Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire also recorded measurable snow. In each state, cities notched new dates for the latest snowfall in spring, with some records dating back to 1945.


Snow was expected to continue to fall across New Hampshire and parts of Maine throughout Saturday. Freeze warnings were in effect across the Northeast, the Midwest and parts of Maryland and Virginia.