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Perpetual snow cover so far in February and possibly more to come

A crossing guard bundles up against the extreme

A crossing guard bundles up against the extreme cold along East Main Street and Maple Avenue in Patchogue Tuesday morning, Feb. 24, 2015. Credit: James Carbone

For those who have noticed a pretty much perpetually white ground cover, it's not your imagination.

In the first 23 days of February there was an inch or more of snow on the ground at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

That's more days than February, at this time, has seen in any other year since 1984 when records for the airport started being kept, said Jessica Spaccio, climatologist at the center, which is based at Cornell University.

Apart from flurries and snow showers late Tuesday afternoon through around 6 p.m., the Island has two more chances for snow through the end of the week, with neither opportunity expected to be significant.

One is for the early hours of Wednesday morning, with 1 to 2 inches forecast for the easternmost part of the East End, less than an inch through central Suffolk and none for the rest of the Island, said John Murray, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton.

There's also a low chance -- 25 percent -- for light snow Thursday and Thursday night, he said.

As of Monday, the airport had seen 13.4 inches of snow -- 7.5 inches above the norm. Still, compare that to last year's 23.9 inches for the same time period, Murray said.

Apart from highs Wednesday around the mid-30s, the cold spell is expected to continue, the weather service said.

Highs in the mid- to high 20s are in store for the rest of the week, the service said. Tuesday's overnight lows are expected to dip to around 17 degrees, with lows of around 12 for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, but down to around 9 for overnight Friday, according to the weather service.

A new daily record low of 3 degrees was set Tuesday at the airport. That means for the month so far, a total of 10 new records for lows and four for the coldest highs, Spaccio said. That in itself is of note, she said, because compared to other Februarys, 23 days in, it's the highest number of lows and coldest highs since record keeping started at the airport.

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