By Mariel S. Clark and Jason Tucker
MANHATTAN — Snowicane. Killer snowstorm. Mother Nature's sucker punch.
Last week's massive snowstorm earned several dramatic monikers as it pounded New York with record-breaking snow, essentially putting the city that never sleeps into a virtual coma.
The storm dropped 20.9 inches of snow during its two-day lifespan, contributing to most of February's record-setting total. The storm made the month the snowiest on record after 36.9 inches of snow fell in Central Park, where the National Weather Service measures snow totals.
The massive amount of snow broke the previous record of 30.5 inches set in March of 1896.
"[The snowstorm] thus plastered the sides of houses facing the storm, made spires and domes like triumphs of the art of the confectioner, covered vehicles with blankets, and incumbered trees to the point of overweighing and limb breaking. New York was made a white city," said the New York Times in an article published on March 3, 1896.
Last week's storm, the fourth largest in the city's history, was less poetic as it wreaked havoc — canceling schools, shutting down airports and even killing a man when a snow-covered tree branch fell on his head in Central Park.
This winter has brought an average of 17.1 inches a month down upon the city, making it the snowiest in recent history, according to NWS data. The blizzard of 2006, which was the biggest recorded snow storm ever with nearly 27 inches falling in two days, only brought that winter's monthly average to a paltry 12.9 inches.
"After two months of humbug winter, the region awoke to a milk-white morning and an awesome storm that exceeded all forecasts, with snowfalls that transformed straw-drab landscapes into February postcards and brought out skiers, sledders and other wonderlanders," the Times wrote of the February 2006 storm.
This year's storm was often described in less appreciative terms as the snow knocked out power, rerouted traffic and caused trees to crush buses.
"The snow was really, really ridiculous," Melissa Dominguez, of Queens, said outside the Plaza Hotel in Midtown.
"It was disgusting. I'm so sick of the snow and I'm waiting for the sunshine to come to New York. Enough is enough, Mother Nature."