January 2023 Weather

Happy New Year

January 2023 begins the 92nd consecutive year of daily weather observing from the Norfolk 2SW weather station. Stay tuned for upcoming 2023 weather summaries.  -Russell

A Yearly Summary for 2022 Weather

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.

November & December 2022 Weather

Another Slow Starting Winter

By Russell Russ

November and December typically mean the beginning of winter in Norfolk. Similar to recent winters, this winter once again got off to a slow start. The final two months of 2022 were warmer than normal and each were below normal for snowfall. Each had short periods of winter-like weather, but nothing lasting. Both months ranked fairly high for warmth. December ranked fairly high for precipitation. Most local smaller ponds and swamps started icing over in late November and temperatures were just cold enough to keep them frozen through December. Larger water bodies, like Tobey Pond and Wangum Lake, briefly iced over in late December, only to open up again by the end of the month.

November’s average temperature of 41.0 degrees was 3.9 degrees above normal and ranked as Norfolk’s eighth warmest November over the last 91 years. Temperatures ranged from a high of 71 to a low of 14 degrees. A daily high of 67 on November 12 surpassed the 66 degree previous record from 1964. The warmest November was in 2006 with 43.2 degrees, the coldest was in 1933 with 30.7. Total precipitation for the month was 3.26 inches, 1.32 inches below normal. Below normal, but not high ranking. Norfolk’s driest November was in 2012 with just 0.84 inch and the wettest was in 1950 with 10.03 inches. There was just 1.3 inches of snowfall for the month, 5.3 inches below normal. The first snowfall of the season came on November 15 with 1.2 inches measured. Norfolk’s snowiest November was in 1968 with 24.7 inches.

December’s average temperature of 28.9 degrees was 3.1 degrees above normal, ranking it as Norfolk’s fifteenth warmest December. Temperatures in December ranged from a high of 59 to a low of minus 2 degrees. There was one wild temperature swing during the month. It was 52 degrees in the early morning of December 23, then minus 2 during the early morning of December 24. A high of 59 degrees on December 30 surpassed the 1932 record of 55 for that date. Temperatures were all over the place during the month. Norfolk’s warmest December was in 2015 with 39.5 degrees and the coldest was 1989 with 11.5. With a monthly total precipitation amount of 6.02 inches, it was 1.45 inches above normal and was tied with December 1936 as the seventeenth wettest December over the last 91 years. December’s monthly snowfall total of 13.0 inches was 3.8 inches below normal. While some parts of Norfolk may not have had the snow cover, there were two inches of snow on the ground at the weather station on Christmas morning, technically making it a white Christmas this year. Norfolk’s snowiest December was in 1969 with 44.2 inches, the least snowy December was in 1943 with a monthly snowfall total of just 0.6 inch.

October 2022 Weather

A Slowly Decreasing Rainfall Deficit

By Russell Russ

It was a fairly average October in this part of the world. Temperatures were close to normal and precipitation, for the second month in a row, was above normal. After a dry summer that increased the rainfall deficit by 7.60”, the fall months of September and October reduced it by nearly three inches. The yearly deficit was by no means eliminated, but a sizeable bite was taken out leading into the upcoming winter months. Norfolk’s fall foliage season this year was average to perhaps a little below average for colorful beauty. One could say that the early summer spongy moth caterpillar outbreak combined with our dry summer played roles in reducing the quality of the fall foliage this year. Generally speaking, peak colors were in early October, with swamps peaking during the first week of the month and everywhere else peaking during the second week – arguably a little earlier than normal.

The month’s high temperature of 69 degrees was observed on October 26 and the low of 27 was observed on October 29. There were no records for daily highs or lows this month. The monthly mean temperature of 48.5 degrees was just 0.7 degree above normal. Norfolk’s warmest October was in 2001 with 55.3 degrees. The coldest was in 1974 with an average temperature of 42.0 degrees. It didn’t seem like it to many, but there were ten days with frost between September 30 and October 31. Most were light frosts in lower elevation locations. October 9 was the first day with widespread frost. Last year that did not occur until October 24.

The total precipitation for the month was 5.61 inches, 1.25 inches above normal. It was not all that high ranking, but it did rank as Norfolk’s twenty-first wettest October over the last 91 years. Norfolk’s wettest October occurred in 1955 with 17.49 inches (also second wettest of any month). The driest October was in 1963 with just 0.63 inch (also the third driest of any month). There was no snowfall this October, technically making it 0.9 inch below normal. Norfolk’s record for October snowfall continues to be the impressive 23.8 inches recorded in 2011.

Through October, the total precipitation amount for the year was 39.50 inches. This was 3.88 inches below normal through October. This is 15.12 inches less than last year’s total through October. We are currently below normal, but we are in much better shape now than we were at the end of August.

It has been stated that November’s weather can sometimes predict what type of winter we will have. Some people swear by that statement, others do not believe it at all. Looking back at the last ten years of Norfolk weather, November’s weather during that stretch did not seem to have much influence on winter’s weather. It seems that sometimes November can be a predictor and sometimes it cannot.

Early November this year was very warm with temperatures in the 60’s to low 70’s for many of the first twelve days of the month. Our extended autumn weather ended after November 13 when our local weather finally became more seasonal and more in line with the calendar. Temperatures dropped significantly and November began acting like November. The first snow of the season came during the early evening of November 15. A quick 1.2 inches of snow with some sleet and freezing rain, plow trucks out plowing and sanding and ice forming on some local ponds is a good way to get everyone thinking that winter is on its way.

September 2022 Weather

Autumn Replaces Summer

By Russell Russ

September was our transition from summertime warmth and dry conditions to cooler fall temperatures and wetter conditions. It was bound to happen at some point. Summer cannot last forever here in Norfolk. September was about normal for temperatures and came in above normal for precipitation. It was our first month since April with above normal precipitation. We did not see anything dramatic for rainfall and it did not eliminate our yearly deficit, but it did turn the tide and it did ease Norfolk’s deficit conditions. Norfolk’s autumn rainfall often depends heavily on hurricanes and tropical systems. It was an unusually quiet hurricane season through September.

September’s high temperature of 82 degrees was observed on September 4 and the low of 38 degrees was observed on September 24 and 30. The monthly mean temperature was 59.9 degrees, 0.9 degree above normal. After just recording our warmest August on record, September was near average. Norfolk’s warmest September was in 2015 with a mean temperature of 64.7 degrees and the coolest was in 1963 with 53.6 degrees. It is fairly normal for some parts of Norfolk to see a few frosts in September. This year there were reportedly a few days with light frost in the area, but just one was observed near the weather station during the early morning hours of September 30. To wrap up summer totals as recorded at the weather station, there were three days with highs of 90 or above, which is about average for Norfolk. The warmest temperature recorded for the year was 91 degrees on August 4.

The month’s rainfall total was 6.36 inches, 1.69 inches above normal. There were five thunderstorms observed at the weather station, but none were severe. Norfolk’s wettest September was in 1938 with 13.40 inches and the driest was in 2014 with just 1.16 inches. Through September this year, the yearly precipitation amount was 33.89 inches. This was 5.13 inches below normal and a whopping 14.69 inches below last year’s total (through September). Interesting to note that in 2020 the total through September was just 29.18 inches. Actually, over the last five years, the precipitation totals through September, while fluctuating almost year by year, average out to very close to the ninety year average of 39.02 inches. Maybe things do average out over time. In this particular case, in five years.

In a preview of October’s weather, through October 20, it was very near normal for temperatures and already above normal for precipitation. By October 20, with a total of 4.55 inches, we were already 0.19 inch above normal for the month. Any precipitation we get until Halloween will eat away at our yearly deficit. It is time once again to talk about snow. Norfolk can see its first snowflakes in October and we have had some amazing early season snows over the years, but we have yet to see any flakes fly here (as of October 20). It is just a matter of time, so prepare yourselves. Let’s get the leaves picked up first though.

Norfolk’s fall foliage season was arguably just fair this year. The summertime drought played a role in some early browning and leaf drop, reducing our chances for a super spectacular foliage season. Peak color around the swamps and ponds was probably October 1-8, while overall peak was probably October 8-13. Of course, everyone has their own opinion on what makes a good or bad fall foliage season.

August 2022 Weather

Warmest August on Record

By Russell Russ

August weather in Norfolk was very summer-like and full of nice warm sunny days. Could it have been too warm and sunny? This August ranked as Norfolk’s warmest August and fifth warmest month of any month over the last ninety-one years. Not only was it warm, it was also very dry. It ranked as Norfolk’s fifth driest August. It would have been the driest August and likely the driest month of any month had it not been for a couple of rain showers during the second half of the month. These rankings are impressive, like it or not.

August’s high temperature of 91 degrees was observed on August 4. This was also the hottest day of 2022 to date. The low of 50 degrees was observed on August 13 and 14. The monthly mean temperature of 71.8 degrees was 5.4 degrees above normal. It surpassed the 71.0 degree average from August 2001 to become the new warmest August. There were two days this month with highs of 90 or above, bringing the summer total up to three days, which is about average for Norfolk. Three days early in the month (August 6-8) set or tied daily record highs. What seemed to be the difference maker this year was that the nighttime lows stayed higher than usual, thus bringing the daily average up. The coolest August on record was in 1964 with 61.5 degrees.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 1.37 inches, 3.23 inches below normal. One thunderstorm on August 23 and a little rain on the last day of the month made all the difference in the rainfall ranking. This summer’s low rainfall totals have been completely opposite from last year’s overly wet totals. Rainfall this August was hit or miss all over the state. Some towns got impressive totals while others did not get much. That is how it usually goes unless there is a hurricane or tropical storm in play. The hurricane season got off to a very slow start this year. The reigning champion of wet months is still the infamous Flood of ’55 August of 1955 with 23.67 inches. Norfolk’s driest August was in 1953 with just 0.65 inch, which was also Norfolk’s fifth driest month of any month.

Through August, the total precipitation amount for the year was 27.53 inches, 6.82 inches below normal. Just for the three months of June, July and August, Norfolk was 7.10” below normal. This year we are 12.25 inches less than last year’s total through August. On the bright side, this year we are 3.02 inches above 2020’s rainfall totals.

September started off warmer than normal, but it also was cloudier than previous months. The cloudier and more unsettled weather brought much needed rainfall to the area. Through September 21, the Hurricane season was still getting off to a slow start, but it had begun and had produced several storms, none of which came anywhere near the east coast. Weather patterns make all the difference and the patterns changed in September. By the third week of the month, Norfolk was already 0.25 inch above normal for rainfall. Hit or miss storms again, but this time we got some hits. Foliage had begun its seasonal change, earlier this year due to the dry summer. It is time to bring forth some classic beautiful fall weather.

July 2022 Weather

Summertime Heat and Humidity

By Russell Russ

July is typically Norfolk’s warmest month of the year and typically when Norfolk’s summer heat and humidity really kick in. This year was true to form. June was about average for temperature and while there was some rainfall, there strangely were no thunderstorms. July came in hot and with numerous thunderstorms. Unfortunately, the thunderstorms did not produce much in the way of rain so it was another drier than normal month. Compared to last July, which was below normal for temperature and came in as the wettest July on record, this July was a completely different story.

July’s low temperature of 50 degrees was observed on July 10 and the high of 90 was observed on July 20. This was the first 90-plus degree day in Norfolk in 2022. It reached 90 only once, but it also hit 89 three times, 88 once and 87 twice. The average monthly mean temperature of 70.8 degrees was 2.5 degrees above normal. This July ranked tied with July 2011 as Norfolk’s ninth warmest July and tenth warmest month of any month over the last 91 years. The warmest July was in 2020 with 73.1 degrees and the coolest was in 1962 with 63.9 degrees.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 2.59 inches, 1.74 inches below normal. This July ranked as Norfolk’s sixteenth driest July. It was nearly 10.5 inches below last July’s rainfall total. Thunderstorms were hit or miss all over the state this month. There were six observed at the weather station, but none were particularly strong and none produced much rain. Norfolk’s wettest July was in 2021 with 13.05 inches and the driest was in 1939 with 1.29 inches. Through July, Norfolk’s yearly precipitation total of 26.16 inches resulted in a yearly deficit of 3.59 inches.

During the early evening of July 28, a small pop up thunderstorm cell produced a small EF-0 tornado just south of Dennis Hill State Park. The path extended about five miles and ended in Colebrook. Fortunately, there was just sporadic and relatively minor damage. The tornado did not show up on radar, but there were eyewitnesses and photos and videos. There is at least one weather enthusiast very familiar with Norfolk and Colebrook that really would have enjoyed watching this small funnel cloud from atop Dennis Hill, as some fortunate people were able to do.

An early look at August’s weather through mid-month showed a continuation of July’s mostly warm and mostly dry conditions. Through mid-month this August ranked as the warmest and driest August on record. With just 0.44 inch of rain recorded by August 16 it was no surprise that a good portion of Connecticut reached severe drought conditions. Norfolk’s summertime rainfall comes mostly from big thunderstorms and tropical systems and this summer we have not seen much of either one. Unless weather patterns change during the latter half of the month, August could be very high ranking for least amount of rainfall.

June 2022 Weather

No Weather Complaints This Month

By Russell Russ

As it was for the last several years in a row, June was a very pleasant summer weather month. Actually, eight of the last ten Junes have had mostly good weather. June 2015 was Norfolk’s fifth wettest and June 2013 was the wettest June on record, but eight out of ten is not bad. Regarding Norfolk’s weather this month, with many nice, clear days and not much humidity, there was little to complain about. Some people in the weather business even called it boring. That may be the case, but we should enjoy the beautiful weather while we have it. The weather will always change. Enjoy it while you can.

June’s low temperature of 43 degrees was observed on June 20 and the high of 86 was observed on June 26. With an average monthly mean temperature of 63.3 degrees, it was just 0.1 degree below normal. At times this month it felt cool, almost early fall-like, but temperature-wise, it was a very average June. In June of last year, which ranked as Norfolk’s fourth warmest, there were two days in the low 90’s and multiple days with record or near record highs. Not the case this June where there was one day with a near record cold low temperature and just four days with highs in the 80’s. Norfolk’s warmest June was in 1943 with 68.3 degrees, the coolest was in 1958 with 58.8 degrees.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 2.68 inches, 2.13 inches below normal. It was a dry June, but it did not even rank in the top twenty for dry Junes. The driest June was in 1988 when only 0.61 inch was recorded. The wettest June was in 2013 with 13.38 inches. What was very unusual this June was that there were no thunderstorms. This was the case in the entire Albany, NY forecast area. No severe weather occurred in our entire region. This is unusual for this time of year.

For the first half of 2022, Norfolk’s total precipitation amount was 23.57 inches. This was 1.85 inches below normal through the month of June. It is the largest deficit of the year, but it still was not too bad. As of late June, eastern Connecticut was in a slight drought, but here in the northwestern part of the state we had not reached drought conditions yet.

Nice weather continued to bless our area through the first half of July. Norfolk saw a big increase in thunderstorm activity early in the month. Thunderstorms were observed on July 2, 12, 13 and 14. The July 12 storm, with three waves of small thunderstorms over a two hour span, caused several tree and powerline issues around town. Norfolk was creeping toward drought conditions early in the month. Many lawns were beginning to turn brown. Thanks to several days with rain and thunderstorms, the rainfall total by mid-month was 1.91 inches, which is near normal for half of July. This is quite the change from last July when it rained almost every day for the first three weeks of the month. Last year, June was the ninth driest June and July was the wettest July on record. Weather conditions in Norfolk this summer definitely are not as extreme as they were last year. We do need the rain at this point, but let’s hope we do not repeat what happened last year when the rain seemingly did not stop from July through the end of the year.

May 2022 Weather

Eighth Warmest May on Record

By Russell Russ

May started out cooler than normal and much drier than normal. Temperatures increased by the middle of the month, and then by the latter part of the month, temperatures matched record highs. Warmer temperatures, brighter skies and greening trees meant that we were getting closer to summer. After last year’s very cool and wet Memorial Day, it was nice that the weather for this year’s holiday was spectacular. The weather was very nice for local parades and Norfolk’s annual road race.

May’s low temperature of 32 degrees was observed on May 1 and the high of 88 degrees was observed on May 21. With an average monthly mean temperature of 58.2 degrees, it was 3.3 degrees above normal. It was Norfolk’s eighth warmest May over the last ninety-one years. There were no days with record cold temperatures. There were two days that tied record highs. The high of 88 on May 21 tied the 1934 record and the high of 87 on May 22 tied the record from 1988. Many other locations in the state also tied or surpassed records during this warm spell. Norfolk’s warmest May occurred in 2015 with a temperature of 61.8 degrees, the coldest was in 1967 with 46.8.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 3.84 inches, 0.50 inch below normal. There were five thunderstorms recorded in May, but only May 27-28 had a duration of moderate to heavy rainfall. Through May, the total precipitation for 2022 totaled 20.89 inches. Believe it or not, this was actually 0.28 inch above normal and we were sitting 2.50 inches above last year’s total through May. Snowfall this year has been pitiful, but we are getting beneficial precipitation. Norfolk’s wettest May was in 1984 with 12.34 inches, the driest was in 1980 with 1.31 inches.

To put an exclamation point on Norfolk’s dreadful snowfall totals for the 2021-2022 Winter Season, April recorded just a trace of snow and May recorded no snowfall at all. For May, this was 0.4 inch below normal. Norfolk’s (and Connecticut’s) snowiest May on record (by far) was in 1977 when an amazing 20.0 inches was recorded.

Norfolk’s Winter Season snowfall total for 2021-2022 (October-May) ended up being just 43.4 inches, 45.7 inches below normal. This winter ranked as Norfolk’s third least snowy winter since 1932-1933. Did anyone predict that we would get so little this year? Probably not many people made an accurate prediction for Norfolk’s snowfall this winter.

An early look at June’s weather through two-thirds of the month showed that temperatures were cooler than normal. A low of 43 degrees on June 20 was just shy of the 1959 record of 41. Rainfall was running about average for June. With breezy conditions, daily highs in the fifties and sixties and nightly lows in the forties, it sure did not feel like mid-June weather. The heat and humidity is going to come so we should enjoy the early fall-like weather while we have it.

April 2022 Weather

Impactful Storm Hits Town

By Russell Russ

Spring got off to a slow start this year. It was a cool and cloudy early April with high temperatures staying in the forties and fifties. For the first two weeks of April the weather felt more like March. Typical spring sights, smells and sounds were not common until after the second week of the month.

The weather changed with a bang when a strong cold front came through town during the late afternoon of April 14. The approaching storm front intensified right over Norfolk, bringing with it heavy rainfall, thunder and lightning, hail and brief straight-line winds. Damage from the storm was more localized than widespread, but it was localized right near the center of town. Trees and wires were down near the Village Green, Town Hall and Botelle School. Several roads were closed, including Rt. 44 and Rt. 272. Power was out for several hours (at least) for many residents. Adding difficulty to cleanup efforts, another smaller thunderstorm with brief heavy rainfall came through an hour later. After this impactful storm front passed, the tide was turned, summer was knocking at our door.

April’s low temperature of 27 degrees was observed on April 5 and 18. The high of 75 degrees was observed on April 14. With an average monthly mean temperature of 43.7, it was just 0.6 degree above normal. Norfolk’s warmest April was in 2010 with 49.4 degrees and the coldest was in 1943 with 36.8 degrees.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 6.55 inches, 2.27 inches above normal. This April was Norfolk’s tenth wettest April over the last 91 years. A vast majority of the precipitation came during the first two-thirds of the month. The April 14 event produced 1.23 inches, most of which came in a short period of time. Norfolk’s wettest April was in 1983 with 10.79 inches, the driest was in 1941 with 1.15 inches. Through April, the total precipitation for the year was 17.05 inches, 0.78 inch above normal and 6.41 inches above where we were last year through April. Norfolk is holding its own for total precipitation this year.

This April saw no accumulating snowfall. There were eight days with snow showers or flurries and one day with a little sleet, all amounting to just a trace for total depth. Norfolk’s average April snowfall amount is 6.1 inches. There have been many Aprils with no snowfall or just a trace of snow. The snowiest April was in 1997 when Norfolk accumulated an impressive monthly total of 31.1 inches.

Through April, the 2022 calendar year’s snowfall total of 37.8 inches was 26.6 inches below normal. The 2021-2022 winter season (October-April) snowfall total of 43.4 inches was a whopping 45.3 inches below normal. Every month this winter was below normal for snowfall. January was the only month that came close to normal for snowfall. Through April, this winter ranked as the third least snowy winter season since records began at this weather station in 1932. The winter season technically runs through May, but it is not looking like Norfolk will see any May snowfall this year. Norfolk’s top three least snowy winters are: 2015-2016 with 35.5 inches, 1994-1995 with 40.9 inches, and now 2021-2022 with 43.7 inches. Norfolk’s snowiest winter season was in 1955-1956 with 177.4 inches.

A look ahead at May’s weather through mid-month showed that temperatures were running about normal until a brief heat wave hit the Northeast US during the weekend of May 21-22. Norfolk’s high of 88 degrees on May 21 tied the 1934 record for that date. The high of 87 on May 22 tied the 1988 record for that date. Rainfall through mid-month was about average. Everything was still very spring like early in the month, but as we entered May’s second week everything popped and everything turned a summer green. May is like that, it starts with just a hint of green, and then by the end of the month everything looks like summer.


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