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Take heart, there's hope over 40 (degrees)

For the first time since Jan. 18, the thermometer in Buffalo passed "the big 4-0."

That mark was achieved just before noon, according to National Weather Service data which listed the official mid-day temperature at 43 degrees.

That ended a 51-day streak of days below 40 degrees, during which the temperature in Buffalo dipped into the single digits or below zero 29 times and as low as minus 10 degrees twice in February. February was the coldest month on record in Buffalo.

Today's forecast high - 44 degrees - would match that high temperature from Jan. 18.

And, high temperatures for the remainder of the week will hover right around the 40 degree mark:

Wednesday: 39°

Thursday: 38°

Friday: 40°

Saturday: 41°

In a related winter statistic, this week's warmup dropped the depth of the snowpack at Buffalo to 18 inches as of 7 a.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.

That left 2015's snowpack of 20 or more inches at 33 days - one day short of the all-time record set in 1977.

National Weather Service records do show, however, that for a snowpack of at least 18 inches, the span this year, 35 days, is now the longest in Buffalo's recorded history dating back to 1893.

RANK Run Length Ending Date
1 35 days 3/10/2015*
2 34 2/12/1977
3 29 2/20/1945
4 24 2/8/1918
5 20 2/21/1979
6 19 1/20/1945
7 16 1/9/2002
8 15 3/2/1920
9 15 2/2/1920
10 12 1/31/1985
* still active

Source: National Weather Service 

Meanwhile, nationally, the amount of snow cover over the first 10 days of March has diminished considerably, as you can see here:

Sunday, March 1 (National Weather Service)

Sunday, March 1 (National Weather Service)

Tuesday, March 10

Tuesday, March 10 (National Weather Service)

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