Take this recent span of dry, gorgeous weather, New Yorkers, and embrace it. It certainly towels the fact that this year has been one of the wettest - and most extreme - years in weather history for the city.

Coming off both the fourth wettest spring and summer ever, New York City could actually see its second wettest year in history if this year's strange weather trends continue. Between January and August, officials measured 46.55 inches of precipitation in Central Park, according to the National Weather Service.

If averages count for anything, then the 23 inches averaged during each of the first two-thirds of the year would mean we could finish with upwards of 70 inches, well past the 67.03 inches measured in 1972 - the second highest total ever.

The record for highest precipitation total ever in New York City is a sopping 80.56 inches measured in 1983.

CBS 2 meteorologist John Bolaris credits the recent high totals to a year of what he calls "weather extremes," the high tide in a meteorological ebb and flow that occurs over a period of years. In comparison, the low tide of the extremes may have come during the 1950s and 1960s when the city saw some of it driest years ever.

"We're in a pattern of extreme cycles, weather extreme cycles that could continue for the next couple of decades," he tells wcbstv.com. "We've been in extremes as far as record precipitation. For example, the last couple of years we've seen some of the wettest springs and summers of all time. Severe storm threats have been unusually high, with rare occurrences happening more frequently, such as the tornado in Brooklyn and the flooding in Queens."

Those strange events, not to mention the unusually warm winter - in which temperatures hit 70 degrees in early January - have led many to wonder how global warming has fit into the equation.

"If you're thinking about global warming keep this in mind: during the past year it's the first time ever that just about every single state was averaging above normal temperatures. All this could be tied into - directly or indirectly - a piece of the puzzle of global warming," he says.

Of course, winter's cold touch has also seen its fair share of extremes too. This past February was one of the coldest ever, with an average temperature of 28.2 degrees. In February of 2006, a record snowfall measuring 26.9 inches fell in Central Park, falling within just 24 hours, and breaking the previous record set back in December of 1947.

This coming winter could be even colder, with the possibility of El Niño's colder and snowier twin sister, La Niña, crashing the party.

"This upcoming winter season we're leaning towards La Niña, which in essence would mean very cold conditions for the northeast with above normal snowfall. We could look at some record cold this coming winter season," Bolaris says. "So as you can see we're into weather extremes and that will continue to be the case for some time to come."

Global warming or not, Bolaris adds that the extremes aren't happening just in New York City.

"We've been in extremes as far as the hurricane cycle with super hurricanes becoming more common. This past hurricane season we've already seen two category five hurricanes - some of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall ever. Dean and Felix were some of the most powerful hurricanes to strike land, not to mention happening within two weeks of each other. I've never seen anything like that ever," he says.

In the meantime, enjoy what should be a brilliant end to the summer. Just be ready for the next batch of extreme weather. Only time will tell what Mother Nature has in store for the rest of 2007.