February 2022 Weather

A Wet Month with Below Normal Snowfall

By Russell Russ

February was a wet month. There was some snowfall, but it was mostly rain and freezing rain for precipitation this month. It was not ideal for wintertime weather in Norfolk. Last February was a snow lover’s paradise with 35 inches of snowfall. That was not the case this February with not even 10 inches of snowfall and several days of rain and freezing rain.

The month’s low temperature of zero degrees was observed on February 6 and the high temperature of 59 degrees was observed on February 23. There were seven days this month with single digit temperatures and one day with zero degrees. There were no days with below zero temperatures. Two days tied record highs for daily temperatures. The high of 54 on February 17 tied the 2011 record and the 55 on February 22 tied the 2017 record. The average monthly temperature was 25.1 degrees, 2.9 degrees above normal. It was above normal for warmth, but not high ranking. The warmest February on record was in 2002 with 30.7 degrees. The coldest was in 1934 with 9.0 degrees, making that also the coldest month of any month as recorded at this weather station.

Total precipitation recorded for the month was 5.01 inches, 1.38 inches above normal. It was Norfolk’s tenth wettest February over the last 91 years. A majority of February’s precipitation was in the form of rain or freezing rain, with a small portion coming as snowfall. Fortunately, the freezing rain that Norfolk experienced was more of a nuisance than a major problem for roads, trees or powerlines. This winter’s weather patterns are just not forming in a way to produce much snow here in Norfolk, and really for much of the Northeast US, except maybe for eastern Massachusetts and northern New England. The record for most February total precipitation is 11.70 inches from 1981, the least amount is 0.60 inch from 1987. The 2022 calendar year (January and February) total precipitation amount of 7.57 inches was just 0.08 inch below normal.

February’s monthly snowfall total of 9.9 inches was 10.4 inches below normal. Even with below normal snowfall and above normal rainfall for the month, thanks to January’s snowfall and no real wildly high temperatures, there was a snow cover on the ground for twenty six of the month’s twenty eight days. Snow depths ranged from 12 inches to zero inches. This month ranked as Norfolk’s fifteenth least snowy February over the last 91 years. The record for most snowfall in February is 52.4 inches from 1969 and the least is 4.8 inches from 1998.

The 2022 calendar year snowfall total through February was 27.8 inches, 13.0 inches below normal. The snowfall total for this winter season (October through February) was just 33.4 inches, 31.7 inches below normal. Not a good statistic for the area’s snow loving crowd, from those that try to make a living from snow to those that just play in it.

March is often Norfolk’s transition month between winter and spring. It is a month that can have both winter and spring conditions and sometimes just winter or spring conditions. Through March 21, this March was leaning more spring-like with just a few flashes of wintertime (snow) trying to make a show. March was running 4 degrees warmer than normal with both snowfall and total precipitation being a little below normal. Last March was Norfolk’s least snowy March on record. This March, with just 9.6 inches through March 21, was already way better than last March, but it will not be changing our low ranking for seasonal snowfall very much. As of late March, this winter was holding onto the rank of third for least amount of seasonal snowfall. Norfolk certainly can see snow in April and even May. We shall see if our coming spring has any winter left in it before this season’s snowfall totals go in the record books.

January 2022 Weather

A Cold Start to the New Year

By Russell Russ

The year of 2021 was Norfolk’s eighth warmest year and December was the seventh warmest December on record. Winter season snowfall was considerably below normal through December. Would we skip winter this year or was winter just a little slow to appear? Based on January’s weather, it appears that winter was just a little slow to arrive for Norfolk this year. January 2021 had four days with low temperatures in the single digits and just one day below zero. In comparison, this January had seven days in the single digits and eight days with below zero temperatures. Yes, winter found its way back to Norfolk. At least in January it did.

January’s average temperature of 17.9 degrees was 3.0 degrees below normal. It was 5.0 degrees colder than January 2021 (22.9) and 10.0 degrees colder than January 2020 (27.9). These recorded temperatures are pretty amazing. Even with all the cold temperatures, there still were no days with daily record temperatures this month and this January only ranked as tied with 2005 as Norfolk’s 21st coldest January. Remember, January is supposed to be one of the year’s coldest months and in Norfolk’s past, there have been many cold ones. January’s high temperature of 48 degrees was on January 1 and the low of minus 9 degrees was on January 22. Norfolk’s warmest January on record was in 2002 with an average temperature of 31.7 degrees and the coldest was in 1982 with 11.7 degrees.

January’s total precipitation of 2.56 inches was 1.46 inches below normal. The wettest January occurred in 1979 with a total of 11.77 inches and the driest was in 1970 with just 0.74 inch. The monthly snowfall total of 17.9 inches was 2.6 inches below normal. Of January’s thirty-one days, there was at least 3 inches of snow on the ground for twenty five of them. Even with the month’s colder than normal temperatures, Norfolk still had a few days with rain and freezing rain. The largest storm snowfall total was 7.2 inches from January 16-17. Fortunately, even with some snow and freezing rain during the month, there were few widespread travel or power issues. The snowiest January occurred in 1987 with 50.5 inches. Coming in at second snowiest was January 2011 with 50.0 inches. The least snowy was in 1980 with just 2.6 inches.

Norfolk’s 2021-2022 (October-January) winter season snowfall total through January was just 23.5 inches, 21.3 inches below normal. As much as January gave it a good winter effort, October through December failed miserably in their attempts at winter weather. It will take a strong effort from February and March to bring Norfolk back to near normal for winter snowfall levels.

A look at February’s weather through two-thirds of the month showed that winter was still here. Not a snow lovers paradise, but it was winter. Temperatures were running just a little above normal with a few days reaching the upper forties and even one day in the mid-fifties, but there were also several days in the single digits. Temperature swings were the norm. Snowfall was considerably below normal with just under five inches recorded. Precipitation, however, was above normal. One storm alone on February 3-5 produced 2.29 inches. This precipitation was mostly in the undesirable form of rain and freezing rain. As is fairly common in Norfolk’s higher elevation, there was considerable tree and wire icing from this event. Surrounding towns did not get the icing, but many parts of Norfolk (including the center of town) were covered in a shimmering glaze of ice for a few days. There were some minor power and road issues, but fortunately it just produced a slew of pretty pictures instead of too much trouble.


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