More than 50 million people started their Tuesday under some type of cold weather alert, from the upper Midwest to the Great Lakes, Appalachians and interior Northeast. By sunrise, dozens of new daily record lows were already set, including for the Quad Cities, Green Bay and Charlotte. By the end of Tuesday, more than 30 record lows will have been tied or set for the date.
Temperatures on Tuesday will be 10-30 degrees below average, making it feel more like March than May. In fact, the entire month so far has felt like March, with these first 12 days registering as a top 10 coldest start to May on record for dozens of cities east of the Mississippi River.
Wednesday morning will feature one more record-cold morning across the East, where record lows could be set for cities like Boston, Buffalo, New York City and Providence, Rhode Island.
Should records fall Wednesday in Boston and New York City, they will break old-standing records from the late 1800s. Boston's record-low temperature to beat Wednesday is 38 degrees, which was set in 1882, and New York City's is 39 degrees, set in 1895.
There's finally light at the end of this cold, wintry tunnel with just 24 more hours of this May chill before temperatures warm rapidly into the weekend.
After starting the week with highs in the upper 50s, New York City could soar to nearly 80 degrees by Friday. Chicago, which also started the week in the low 50s could warm to the mid-70s. And can Washington, D.C. touch 85 degrees Friday? It's looking likely.
Warm weather can't come soon enough, as this early week cold snap came on the heels of a record-shattering cold Mother's Day weekend where more than 100 record lows were set. Since May began, Washington, D.C. has felt more like Cleveland, and Boston more like Milwaukee when comparing average temperatures. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has only had one day with above-average temperatures this month.
Rare May Snow
This rare cold was responsible for prolific amounts of snow which also made history. On Saturday morning, the day before Mother's Day, the snow that fell in New York City was the first May snow since 1977. That also meant that May saw the exact same amount of snow as it did in February. The trace of snow in Islip, New York, officially made May snowier than February.
Detroit has also had quite the flashback to winter in the past week. Last Friday they tied a cold record with a trace of snow, tied another cold record on Saturday with 0.5 inches of snow, and set another cold record Tuesday morning with more snow.