Last winter was tough for New Yorkers who like to build snowmen or, inexplicably, do not mind stumbling through snow to the subway or digging out their cars.
This week surely made those people smile: New York City was smothered by 17.2 inches of snow by early Tuesday, more than in all of last winter, when only 4.8 inches fell on the city.
It was also the biggest snowstorm since a record-setting blizzard of 2016, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.
The storm was so fierce that it crippled public transit, forcing the closing of outdoor subway service on Monday and shutting down all three of the region’s major commuter rail lines, as well as a train line that links Manhattan and New Jersey.
Still, it was a far cry from the hammering the city received in 2016, when a storm dumped 27.5 inches of snow on Central Park.
There have also been far more destructive storms, like the blizzard of 1888, which dropped 21 inches of snow on the city and killed an estimated 200 New Yorkers. Of course, back then horses were the main form of transportation, making for a far more perilous commute than a contemporary subway car.
Across the region this week, snowfall totals neared the 2016 Central Park record. The deepest was 26.2 inches in Bloomingdale, in Passaic County, N.J.
The snowfall in this storm was very wet and heavy, “which is good if you like making snowmen and having snowball fights,” said Dominic Ramunni, a Weather Service meteorologist.
But snow like this is also more difficult to clean up, Mr. Ramunni said, noting that “shoveling this stuff is almost like shoveling bricks.”
Mr. Ramunni, who said snow flurries and some rain could continue throughout Tuesday, also mentioned another sobering statistic — six of the 10 deepest snowstorms since officials began recording them in 1869 have occurred since 2000.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo touched on the issue during a radio interview on Tuesday morning.
“We now have a 100-year storm twice a year,” Mr. Cuomo said.
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