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New York City's Record-Breaking Blizzards: A Look Back

By Katie Honan | January 23, 2016 4:00pm | Updated on January 23, 2016 5:00pm
 This is 39th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan after the 1996 blizzard.
This is 39th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan after the 1996 blizzard.
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Flickr/Raymond Castro

A projected 24 to 28 inches of snow could fall throughout the city during the first blizzard of 2016 — a number that could potentially break records, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday. 

The possibility of more than 25 inches would take the city into "uncharted territory," de Blasio said, and would land this storm in the top five in terms of snowfall in the city.

Here's a look at some of the other record-breaking storms that buried the five boroughs under snow.

► Feb. 13, 2006: 26.9 Inches 

The "Blizzard of '06" broke records across the city, dumping nearly 27 inches in Central Park. The snowstorm, though, was not technically a blizzard in the city despite the nearly 3-feet of snow piles. Winds were not at least 35 mph for three hours, and visibility was high. 

► Dec. 26, 1947: 26.4 Inches

It took 15,000 city employees working 11-hour shifts — with only 20 minutes for lunch — to clear the city's main roads after a quiet storm dumped 26 inches of snow on New York City, according to reports at the time. It was compared to the "Great Blizzard of 1888," which crippled the city but didn't bring as many flakes. 

 PHOTOS - See New York City Blanketed in Snow for #Blizzard2016 
♦ All Roads Closed and Aboveground Subways Shut Down as Snow Worsens

► March 12, 1888: 21 Inches 

The "Great Blizzard of 1888" was the benchmark for snow storms in the city for years. The late-winter storm lasted more than a day, halting rail service and closing the roads for a long time.

► Feb. 25, 2010: 20.9 Inches

This storm brought nearly 21 inches to Central Park that turned to a slushy, "wintry mix" once temperatures jumped after the snow fell. One man was killed after a tree branch fell on him in Central Park. The snow forced the closure of city schools. 

► Jan. 7-8, 1996: 20.2 Inches

This "extreme" snow storm dumped a recorded 20.2 inches in Central Park while other parts of the city saw 30 inches. Schools closed for the first time in nearly 20 years, buses were halted and some subway service was disrupted.