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That’s Cold: Snow Challenges Records in Some Cities

Image: A view down 5th Avenue in the snow as New Yorkers get hit with a winter storm

A view down 5th Avenue in the snow as New Yorkers get hit with a winter storm in the Northeast on Jan. 21, 2014. AFP - Getty Images file

The winter of our discontent isn't over. The Northeast will enjoy a brief warm-up this week, but meteorologists are warning residents across a wide swath of the country to brace for at least another month of bone-chilling temperatures, ice and snow.

Is this the worst winter ever? Well ... the ugliness is in the eye of the beholder. Icy cold. Killer wind chills. Never-ending snow storms. Power outages, canceled flights, traffic jams — hey, you make the call.

There's no question that the seemingly endless winter has already pushed its way into the history books of some major American cities.

Here's a snapshot of where recorded snowfall totals are climbing the charts:

Philadelphia

Image: Philadelphia snow
A pedestrian crosses South Broad Street in view of City Hall as mixed winter precipitation falls Thursday, Feb. 13, in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke / AP

Philadelphia is in the midst of its third snowiest winter ever on record. Another round of snow Tuesday brought the snowfall total for this season to a staggering 58.4 inches — running just behind 65.5 inches in 1995-96 and 78.7 inches in 2009-10, according to The Weather Channel.

And this month alone ranks as the seventh snowiest February in Philly history with 21.3 inches. It follows the third snowiest January on record with 25.9 inches, according to AccuWeather.com.

New York

Image: Snow in New York
Heavy snow in New York has affected the daily life in the city. Anadolu Agency / Getty Images Contributor

New York City is grappling with the seventh snowiest winter on record with 57.1 inches of the white stuff, according to NBC New York. On average, the city only has about 17 inches of snow at this point of the winter.

Some 28.8 inches of snow has dropped on the Big Apple since the start of February — making it the fifth snowiest month on record and the second snowiest February on record.

The city's record for snowfall was set amid the 1995-96 season with a towering 75 inches, the station reported.

Chicago

Image: A worker clears snow near Chicago's Cloud Gate sculpture on Jan. 2.
A park crew clears the snow around Annish Kapoor's stainless steel Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, as snow continues to accumulate in downtown Chicago. Kiichiro Sato / AP file

Chicago is digging out of the fifth snowiest winter on record with a total of 66.8 inches, according to the Chicago Tribune — trumping the full season total for 1951-52 of 66.4 inches.

Since the city began keeping records in the winter of 1884-85, snowfall in the Windy City has surpassed 70 inches only three times, the newspaper reported.

Detroit

Detroit has been walloped by the third snowiest winter on record with 76.4 inches, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The snowfall total in the Motor City breaks the record set in 1981-82, the newspaper reported.

Washington

Image: Snowman near the Capitol in Washington
A snowman stands in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb, 13. KEVIN LAMARQUE / Reuters

Washington, D.C., has seen the most snow in more than three years, according to NBC Washington.

Although snowfall totals in the nation's capital this year don't approach the record-breaking winter of 2009-10, the snowfall total of 15.2 inches at Reagan National Airport is roughly the equivalent of three previous winters put together, the station reported.

During the winter of 2009-10, BWI Marshall Internatinal Airport saw 77 inches, Dulles received 73 inches, and Reagan got slammed by 56.1 inches, according to the station.

Great Lakes

Image:St. Marys River linking Lakes Superior and Huron.
U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw maintains a shipping lane on the St. Marys River linking Lakes Superior and Huron on Dec. 26, 2013. U. S. Coast Guard via AP file

And by Thursday, Lake Superior was 90 percent covered in ice, AccuWeather.com reported.

"By the long shot, this is the most ice we've had on Lake Superior in 20 years," Jay Austin, Associate Professor at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minn., told AccuWeather.com.

The last time ice total came close to this winter's percentage was the 1993-94 season.

Indianapolis

Image: A man clears snow from his car in Indianapolis, Ind.
A man clears snow from his car in Indianapolis, Ind., on Jan. 6, 2014. Nate Chute / Reuters file

Indianapolis has been blasted by the snowiest winter season on record with 51.9 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

During the 1981-82 winter season, the city saw 51 inches.