Near record low temperatures as polar vortex arrives

A look at temperature anomalies Saturday morning as simulated by the European weather model

A look at temperature anomalies Saturday morning as simulated by the European weather model

On occasion, the vortex can become distorted and dip farther south, allowing cold air to spill southward.

Over in the Berkshire Mountains in western MA, as much as two inches of snow could fall on Friday into Saturday, while there will be an inch or so on grassy areas of central MA, southern New Hampshire and western CT, and rain with a few flakes possible in the Boston area, said forecasters.

A late-season polar vortex is headed for the Northeastern United States, bringing with it snow and perhaps record low temperatures for the Mother's Day weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

MA hasn't had measurable snow in May since 2002, when 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 centimeters) fell in the Berkshires.

At least 20 states are under a frost or freeze watch, warning or advisory on Saturday morning.

We are heading into Mother's Day weekend, where temperatures usually would be approaching 70 degrees.

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Some higher elevation areas in northern NY and New England reported snowfall accumulations of up to 10 inches, while traces of snow were seen along the coast from ME to Boston to as far south as Manhattan.

The weather service bureau in ME reported snow was already falling in some areas Friday morning but, with temperatures just above freezing, there was no accumulation. The chance of hitting the record low of 36 degrees (1966) will be lower in this case.

"Temperatures will go back to seasonal averages", he said, which for southwestern Ontario would mean 18 C for the daytime high and nothing less than 7 C overnight. "But this is just a snapshot in time".

Parts of MS and Alabama will also see the cold front. Forecasters predict a slight chance of snow overnight into Saturday.

The NWS says snow will begin to fall over parts of the Great Lakes Friday, moving into the Ohio Valley by evening.

"Up in this part of the state it's happened frequently enough that we never put up our shade cloth until getting close to Memorial Day", she said, laughing.

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