A Look Back at Norfolk’s 2022 Weather
By Russell Russ
With an average yearly mean temperature of 46.9 degrees, 1.9 degrees above normal, 2022 ended up being Norfolk’s eleventh warmest year over the last 91 years. Ten of twelve months came in as warmer than normal. Three months (May, July and November) were ranked in the top ten for warmth. Four other months were high ranking. August was the warmest August and fifth warmest month of any month over the last 91 years. There were ten days during the year that set new record daily high temperatures. There were no days that set daily low records. There were ten days during the year with a low temperature of zero or below zero, eight of which were in January. In 2021, Norfolk’s eighth warmest year on record, there was only one day below zero. The coldest day of 2022 was on January 22 with a low temperature of minus 9 degrees. The warmest day of the year was on August 4 with a high of 91 degrees. Norfolk hit 90 degrees or above three times during the year. This is about average for Norfolk. Norfolk’s warmest year was in 2012 with 48.5 degrees and the coolest was in 1940 with 41.9 degrees.
The yearly total precipitation amount of 48.78 inches was 3.75 inches below normal. Below normal, but not high ranking for dry. What was dry was the May through August summer period, which had a deficit of 7.60 inches just during that four month span. Norfolk saw nice summer weather, but the price paid was lack of rainfall and a growing drought. Peak deficit was after August when Norfolk was 6.82 inches below normal. The moisture picked up during the last quarter of the year reduced the year deficit to minor levels. There were no months this year with extreme dry or wet totals. Out of the higher ranking months, four ranked high for wettest and two ranked high for driest. August was the fifth driest August on record. In comparison, 2021 with a total of 60.00 inches, was Norfolk’s sixteenth wettest year on record. Norfolk’s wettest year was in 2011 with 77.28 inches and the driest was in 1965 with 33.89 inches.
Snowfall for the year was once again quite a bit below normal. With a total snowfall amount of 52.1 inches, 37 inches below normal, it was Norfolk’s sixth least snowy year over the last 91 years. All eight of 2022’s “snow season months” were below normal for snowfall. The year of 2021 was Norfolk’s tenth least snowy year. Actually, snow lovers have not been happy over the last four years, all of which were fairly high ranking for least snowfall. Norfolk’s snowiest year was in 1956 with 175.1 inches and the least snowy was in 1998 with just 33.0 inches. The October 2021 – May 2022 winter season snowfall total was just 43.4 inches, ranking it as the third least for winter season snowfall. The 2022-2023 winter season is not doing that well either. Through December, Norfolk is already ten inches below normal.
Weather observations and record keeping are performed by Russell Russ for the National Weather Service and Great Mountain Forest at Norfolk’s National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Observer Station, Norfolk 2SW.