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NOAA image of New York’s Central Park taken during a frigid day on Nov. 27, 2002.March 9, 2005 ó As rain switched to snow Tuesday in New York's Central Park, another 1.5 inches were tacked on to this season's snowfall total and brought the city to the verge of recording its third consecutive snow season with 40 inches or more. According to the NOAA National Weather Service, such a stretch, if reached, would be the first in the city's 136-year weather history. (Click NOAA image for larger view of New York’s Central Park taken during a frigid day on Nov. 27, 2002. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

With 38.5 inches of snow in Central Park this season—through March 8—New York is 1.5 inches away from reaching that 40-inch mark. That may be accomplished later this week as colder-than-average temperatures are forecast through the upcoming weekend with snow possible on Friday and Saturday.

"Despite the tease of April-like warmth on Monday, Tuesday's temperature drop dealt a chilling reminder that winter is in control," said Mike Wyllie, meteorologist-in-charge of the NOAA National Weather Service forecast office in Upton, N.Y.

Since October 2002, Central Park has recorded 130.4 inches of snow—that's the third snowiest three-season period on record. Rounding the top three: 135.9 inches in 1915-1918 and the snowiest: 145.1 inches in 1872-1875. New York receives 22.4 inches during an average season, bringing the average three-season total to 67.2 inches.

Boosting the accumulations of the past three winters were several noteworthy storms, including the Blizzard of 2005 from January 22-23, 2005, (13.8 inches) and the President's Day Snowstorm of February 16-17, 2003, (19.8 inches).

Although average temperatures begin a slow climb this time of year, snow remains a possibility.

"Winter doesn't always acknowledge the calendar as it flips to spring in March. Spring snow can happen," added Wyllie. An average of 3.2 inches of snow falls in Central Park in March and has been as snowy as 30.5 inches in 1896. Just a half-inch of snow falls, on average, in April, but as much as 13.5 inches (in 1875) has fallen. Measurable snow (at least 0.10 inch) has fallen as late as April 25 with a trace of snow observed as late as May 9.

Historical weather information for the New York area is available on the climate page of the NOAA National Weather Service office in Upton, N.Y.

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Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Weather Service Forecast Office in Upton, N.Y.

NOAA Weather Service Upton, N.Y., Climatological Data

NOAA National Weather Service

Media Contact:
Chris Vaccaro, NOAA Weather Service, (301) 713-0622 ext. 134, or Marcie Katcher, NOAA Weather Service Eastern Region, (631) 244-0149