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The Latest Reported Snowfall on Record in Every New England County

As we begin to dig deeper into spring, snowfall naturally begins to become more elusive. Looking at historic extremes across New England, however, we still have a couple months at least before we can completely write off the snow. Here's the latest snowfalls reported in every county across New England. These amounts come from many official weather stations from across the region. Some are no longer active, but still have data available. Some just came into existence recently.



There's a list of all 67 counties ordered from latest snowfall to the earliest of the latest snowfalls along with the town/city it was recorded in and the amount of snow that fell at the bottom of the article.


LATEST AND EARLIEST


The counties with the latest reported snowfall and the earliest of the latest reports come as no surprise. Coos in New Hampshire is home to Mt. Washington, where snow has been observed in every month of the year. The latest snowfall came on the very last day of the measuring season, June 30, 1988. Snow for any given season is officially measured from July 1-June 30, so observed snowfalls at the summit in July officially go down as the earliest snowfalls for the next season.


Snow covered Mt. Washington on June 8, 2023

The earliest of the latest snowfalls in New England goes to Dukes in Massachusetts, which encompasses all of Martha's Vineyard. Being an island, Dukes has a heavy Atlantic influence, which moderates temperatures and keeps the island generally warmer in the winter. This makes it harder to achieve snow there any time of year, never mind in the middle of spring. An inch of snow did manage to fall in Edgartown on April 17, 1992.



THE TOP 5 LATEST


The entire top five latest snowfalls by county goes as follows: Coos, New Hampshire (June 30); Grafton, New Hampshire (June 15); Lamoille, Vermont (June 13); Aroostook, Maine (June 3) and Orleans, Vermont (May 31). Four of these were observed at mountain tops (Mt. Washington, Cannon Mountain, Mt. Mansfield and Jay Peak). The one that was not measured at a mountain top was at Van Buren in Aroostook, Maine. This Makes June 3, 1914 the latest date that snow has been reported in a populated place in New England.


THE LATEST IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND


The crown for the latest snowfall in southern New England goes to Litchfield, Connecticut, which saw nearly 5" of snow on May 29, 1909. It's a bit of a surprise that this award didn't go to Berkshire, Massachusetts, but this amount in Connecticut was measured in the Litchfield Hills, which is basically the same range as the Berkshire Mountains. Berkshire County in Massachusetts doesn't even have the award for latest in Massachusetts, which belongs to Middlesex County. On May 28, 1946, just over 1" of snow fell on Groton in Middlesex.


LATE SNOWSTORMS


There are a few May snowstorms that have given a handful of counties across New England their latest snowfalls.


MAY 26, 1967 & 2013 SNOWSTORMS


Two storms that occurred on the same day 46 years apart brought a total of nine counties their latest snow on record (when combining the two storms). In 1967, a severe late season cold snap allowed snow to fall across some areas of New England. Counties in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont all saw their latest snowfalls on this date.


Not to be outdone, a similar cold snap on May 26, 2013 brought three more counties in Vermont their record. This snowfall occurred on Killington Resort's closing day, adding some nice ambiance for skiers hitting New England's slopes one last time for the season. Santa's Village Amusement Park in New Hampshire was forced to close as the snow piled up (a bit).


MAY 11, 1945 SNOWSTORM


Five counties in Maine and New Hampshire saw their records on May 11th after a freak snowstorm dropped 10+ inches in some areas. Being so late in the season, this was a heavy, wet snow. Combine this with the high winds experienced during the storm, and power outages and tree damage was immense.


Total damage across Maine was estimated to be at 1 million dollars at the time (which comes out to just over 17 million dollars now). Farmers who were just beginning the planting season were devastated as this was not just an inch or two. This storm also gave some larger cities in New England their latest snows ever including Portland, Concord, Manchester and Worcester.



MAY 9-10, 1977 "MOTHER'S DAY STORM"


Likely the most infamous late-season snowstorm, the Mother's Day storm (which actually struck New England just after Mother's Day) brought nine counties across southern New England their record latest snow. This storm also gave the city of Boston their latest snowfall on record.


This storm came as an intense nor'easter. The late nature of the storm led to a wet, sticky snow that caused massive power outages and tree damage. This was truly a mid-winter type storm that brought over a foot of snow to parts of New England, including Worcester. The storm also brought strong winds and coastal damage. Residents in some communities recalled seeing "vivid lightning" with the snow.


The snowfall was heavily elevation based with totals over a foot in the Berkshires, Litchfield Hills and Worcester Hills with parts of the Connecticut River Valley and eastern Massachusetts seeing only an inch or two. This storm brought Rhode Island their record latest snow. The storm dropped a maximum snow of up to 27 inches in New York's Catskill Mountains. You can see a more detailed article on this storm here.


May 9, 1977 in Weston, Massachusetts


THE TOP 5 EARLIEST


The top five counties with the earliest of the latest dates come as no surprise. These are as follows: Dukes, Massachusetts (April 17); Barnstable, Massachusetts (April 22); Nantucket, Massachusetts (April 24); Newport, Rhode Island (April 26) and Sagadahoc, Maine (April 27). These are all smaller counties with a coastal influence. In all, ten of New England's 67 counties had their latest reported snowfall in April while the other 57 are in May or June.


There is a caveat here with the top five. Sagadahoc in Maine is surrounded by counties that had their latest reports during the May 11, 1945 storm. Sagadahoc is a small county whose only official weather station came into existence in 1993. This means Sagadahoc likely did see snow during the May 11, 1945 storm, but without an official station to record it, there's no record.


BEFORE RECORD KEEPING


In the New England Snowstorm Hall of Fame, two storms that occurred in June are listed. Both these events occurred in the 1800s before official record keeping. The first came on June 6, 1816. This occurred during the infamous "year without a summer" in which a volcanic eruption led to reduced global temperatures. This, in turn, led to a summer of intense climate abnormalities, one of which was several inches of snow falling across the northeast in early June. A freeze was recorded in places all 12 months of the year in 1816.


A farmer in Vermont wrote in his journal:


"It had rained much during the night and this morning the wind blew exceedingly high from NE, raining copiously, chilling and sharp gusts. About 8 A.M. began to snow--continued more or less till past 2 P.M. The heads of all the mountains on every side were crowned with snow. The most gloomy and extraordinary weather ever seen."

The second event occurred just over 26 years later, on June 11, 1842. On this day, snowfall was observed across much of New England and New York. This is the latest snowstorm observed in New England. Widespread snow totals of several inches fell across northern areas, even at the lower elevations. Up to a foot of snow fell across the Green and White Mountains. The New Hampshire Patriot summed up this storm by writing:


"This beats the year 1816 and all others within our memories."



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