Only time will tell if this storm turns into the “potentially historic” event that the National Weather Service mentioned in the blizzard warning posted yesterday.

Interestingly, I’ve been in the city for three of the five largest snowfalls ever recorded in Central Park. Number 5 on the list was by far the most crippling to the city as blizzards go of those that I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. Wandering down the middle of 3rd Ave with no traffic and parking my little 4WD Tercel atop a 5 ft snowbank are among the memories. Number 1 was really just a heavy snowstorm, and thanks to a warm up to follow, was really just a blip in a busy week.

1. 26.9 in; Feb 11-12, 2006
2. 25.8 in; Dec 26-27, 1947
3. 21.0 in; Mar 12-14, 1888
4. 20.9 in; Feb 25-16, 2010
5. 20.2 in; Jan 7-8, 1996

Will this year’s storm crack the top 5? Despite the city’s Emergency Management System warnings of 20-30 inches, I suspect not. Their job is of course to scare people into staying home and not to provide accurate forecasts. Most local forecasts are calling for 18-24 inches and my guess is for the low side of that range. But with wind and blizzard conditions, that could still be fun!

See my post during the February 2006 storm.