New York gets biggest snowfall of unusually mild winter
New Yorkers woke Tuesday to something they have barely seen this winter: snow.
The National Weather Service (NWS) measured 1.8 inches (4.6 centimeters) of snowfall in Central Park, the first time more than an inch had been recorded there all season.
New York usually gets blanketed white at least a couple of times each winter. But unusually mild temperatures have led to a largely snow-free season this year.
The flakes, which began Monday evening, brought the seasonal total in Manhattan's famous green lung to just 2.2 inches.
It didn't hang around long, however. By mid-morning most of the snow had already turned to slush as rain took over.
Several school districts closed Tuesday as the city geared up for its first substantial snowfall of the season.
The New York City government's emergency management office also issued a travel advisory from 6:00 pm (2300 GMT) Monday to 1:00 pm Tuesday.
New York tends to get its first serious dusting of snow around mid-December. Last season it arrived on Christmas Eve.
This year it arrived only on February 1, when nearly half an inch was recorded in Central Park. It was the latest first snowfall since records began in 1869.
Meteorologists define snowfall in NYC as snow that measures at least 0.1 inches in the park.
While heavy precipitation has meant lots of rain in New York City and surrounding Atlantic coastal areas this winter, deadly snowstorms have occurred a few hundred miles north.
At least 39 people were killed when up to 40 inches (one meter) of snow fell in Buffalo, New York state, near the Canadian border, in December.
New York City has never gone a whole cold season without measurable snow.
Scientists say climate change is causing winters to be warmer and shorter.