The Nor’easter of April 15-17, 2007

By Russell Russ

A strong spring nor’easter came up the Atlantic Coast hitting the Norfolk area in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 15.

It started with a mix of rain and snow that turned to all wet snow by around 8 am Sunday. By 2 pm there was about 3 inches of heavy, slushy snow on the ground. Rain mixed in with the snow and by late Sunday afternoon it was all a steady rain that lasted all night into Monday morning. Overnight the rain and warmer temperatures cleared all the snow away.

The heaviest precipitation fell between about 9 am Sunday and 12 noon on Monday. In this 27 hour period Norfolk 2SW recorded approximately 4.5 inches of precipitation, part of which came in the form of wet snow. From the start of the storm through Tuesday, April 17 at 4 pm (when this article was written) the station recorded 4.83 inches of precipitation. It was still raining Tuesday afternoon with weather forecasts calling for more rain showers through Wednesday, April 18.

Many of Norfolk’s gravel roads sustained damage from the heavy rains. Many residents with gravel driveways also ran into trouble with wash-outs. It was a good test for the many flood control dams in the northwest corner of the state. With opening day of fishing season just 4 days away this storm must have created a major nightmare for the state’s DEP trout stocking program. The prospects for opening day look very bleak.

A quick glance at record April precipitation amounts reveals that this year is currently Norfolk’s seventh wettest April in the last 75 years. This year’s total precipitation through the afternoon of April 17 was 6.58 inches which was 2.14 inches above normal with the second half of the month still to come. We may make it into the top five wettest, but we’ll need to get over 8.2 inches to break into the top three. The wettest April recorded since 1932 was in 1983 when 10.79 inches were recorded.