January 2017

Another Warm January

By Russell Russ

Just when it seemed that winter had us firmly in its grasp we got a little break. We all thought last January was warm, but this year was over 3 degrees warmer than that. Snowfall was well below average, but it was several inches more than last year’s amount. The ongoing precipitation deficit continues, but it grew only a small amount this month.

January’s average mean temperature of 27.2 degrees was 6.4 degrees above normal. It was Norfolk’s ninth warmest January over the last 86 years. The warmest January on record was in 2002 with an average temperature of 31.7 degrees. The month’s high temperature of 52 degrees was observed on January 12. This tied the 1932 record hi temperature for that date. The low temperature of -4 degrees was observed on January 9. Only three days during the month had low temperatures in the single digits or lower.

January’s total precipitation of 3.53 inches was 0.48 inch below normal. The monthly snowfall total of 8.5 inches was 12.4 inches below normal. This January’s snowfall amount was the ninth least amount for a January over the last 86 years. The January 2016 snowfall amount of 4.8 inches was the fourth lowest January monthly snowfall amount. The record for least snowfall for a January is 2.6 inches from 1980. The winter season, October through January, snowfall amount of 45.3 inches is just 0.1 inch below normal. Even with January’s limited snowfall we are still very much average for snowfall this winter.

Winter will have to kick in at some point, but for the month of January it was in a bit of a holding pattern. A look at February’s weather through mid-month shows that winter finally woke up – and woke up a little angry. Halfway through the month and we had already seen our normal monthly snowfall amount of 20 inches. Other parts of the state have seen even more snow than Norfolk. Temperatures were running about 2 degrees warmer than normal with no super cold days recorded yet. February can produce some of Norfolk’s coldest temperatures. Spring may be around the corner, but winter is not over just yet.


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