A Yearly Summary for 2023 Weather

A Look Back at Norfolk’s 2023 Weather

By Russell Russ

With an average yearly mean temperature of 48.4 degrees, 3.4 degrees above
normal, 2023 was tied with 1998 as Norfolk’s second warmest year over the last 92
years. Eight of twelve months came in as warmer than normal. Six months were
ranked in the top ten for warmth. Most notably, January was the warmest on record
and December ranked as second warmest. July was tied as the sixth warmest July,
but also ranked as Norfolk’s seventh warmest month of any month on record.
There were eleven days that set or tied daily high temperature records. Those
record highs occurred in the months of January, February, April, September and
October. There were two days that set daily low temperature records. Those were
in February and May. Perhaps the most notable, or surprising, record temperatures
all year were minus 17 degrees on February 4, followed soon after by 50 on
February 10, 54 on February 17 and then 83 on April 13 and 87 on April 14.
During all of 2023, there were just two days in the single digits and one day below
zero, all in February. The coldest day was February 4 with minus 17 and the
warmest was June 2 with 89 degrees. At the weather station this year, there were
no days at or above 90 degrees. 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 69.01 inches was 16.48 inches above
normal. It was Norfolk’s fifth wettest year on record. Seven months were below
average, and five months were above average. The ones that were above were well
above. Four months were high ranking for wettest months (January, July,
September and December), but there were also two months (February and
November) that ranked high for driest. At the start of July, Norfolk was 2.09 inches
below normal for the year. By the end of September, we were 15.36 inches above.
July’s rainfall total was 15.53 inches and September’s was 11.33 inches. Yes, it
was a very wet summer. By far, the most notable rain event of the year was the
excessive rainfall from July 9-10 when the weather station recorded nearly seven
inches of rain and the South Norfolk area reportedly measured ten to possibly even
twelve inches. Over the station’s long history, three-to-four-inch rainfalls occur
occasionally, but more than six inches from one storm is highly irregular – and
very destructive. 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 yet again below normal. With a total snowfall amount of
56.3 inches, 32.8 inches below normal, it was Norfolk’s ninth least snowy year.
Every winter snow season month except March was below normal for snowfall.

Had it not been for March’s valiant effort of 31.3 inches of snowfall, 2023 very
likely would have been near the top for least snowfall for a year. Six of Norfolk’s
top nine least snowy years have been recorded over the last twenty years (since
2004). The current 2023-24 winter season is not doing any better. Through mid-
January, we are 17.3 inches below normal for snowfall. For the most part, we are
getting precipitation, it just is not coming in the form of snow as much as it used
to. Norfolk’s snowiest year was in 1956 with 175.1 inches and the least snowy was
in 1998 with just 33.0 inches.
Norfolk’s weather can be beautiful, and it can be awful. Weather will change day
to day and month to month, but one constant is that it will be observed and
recorded every day. 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 and December 2023 Weather

Yet Another Delayed Start to Winter

By Russell Russ

November and December typically mean the beginning of winter in Norfolk, but as
has been the case for the last few years, the final two months of 2023 showed only a
few glimpses of winter. November was cooler than normal, was just a little below
normal for snow and ranked high for being a dry month. December, on the other
hand, was very warm, very wet and had very little snow. Most local smaller ponds
began skimming over with ice by late November. With December’s temperature
swings and above normal temperatures, small and larger ponds fluctuated with ice in
and ice out several times during the month. All ponds were basically ice-free on
December 31.
November’s average temperature of 35.5 degrees was 1.6 degrees below normal.
Temperatures ranged from a high of 60 to a low of 17 degrees. There were no daily
temperature records in November. Norfolk’s warmest November was in 2006 with
43.2 degrees, the coldest was in 1933 with 30.7. Total precipitation for the month was
2.05 inches, 2.53 inches below normal. It was Norfolk’s eighth driest November over
the last 92 years. Norfolk’s driest November was in 2012 with just 0.84 inch and the
wettest was in 1950 with 10.03 inches. November’s snowfall total of 5.3 inches was
1.3 inches below normal. The first snowfall of the season came on November 1 with
2.7 inches. Norfolk’s snowiest November was in 1968 with 24.7 inches.
December’s average temperature of 35.2 degrees was 9.4 degrees above normal,
ranking it as Norfolk’s second warmest December over the last 92 years.
Temperatures in December ranged from a high of 58 to a low of 11 degrees.
December’s weather was more like November weather. Even with several unusually
warm days, there were no daily temperature records set in December. Norfolk’s
warmest December (by far) was in 2015 with 39.5 degrees and the coldest (by far)
was in 1989 with 11.5. With a monthly total precipitation amount of 8.50 inches, it
was 3.93 inches above normal and ranked as Norfolk’s fifth wettest December. It was
a wet year and December made it even wetter. The monthly snowfall total of just 2.0
inches was 14.8 inches below normal. For those that keep track, it was not a white
Christmas this year in Norfolk. In fact, there were only seven days in December with
some snow on the ground. Norfolk’s least snowy December was in 1943 with a
monthly snowfall total of just 0.6 inch. The snowiest was in 1969 with 44.2 inches.

October 2023 Weather

Warm Autumn Weather

By Russell Russ

October this year was a pleasant weather month. Temperatures were well
above average and there were few days with any precipitation. There were
just two days with frost at most Norfolk locations (Oct. 24 and 31) and there
was no snowfall during the month. October firmly held onto autumn
throughout the entire month. After a very wet September, that was nice.
The local fall foliage season this year was a bit of a disappointment. The
wet summer caused most sugar maples to brown up and drop early. There
were splashes of appealing color, but overall, the season was not the best.
The month’s high temperature of 80 degrees was observed on Oct. 4 and
the low of 31 was observed on Oct. 31. There were five days (Oct. 4, 25,
26, 27 and 28) with record-setting daily high temperatures and one day
(Oct. 3) that missed the record by just one degree. The monthly mean
temperature of 48.5 degrees was 4.7 degrees above normal. This October
was tied with October, 2021 as Norfolk’s seventh warmest October since
1932. Norfolk’s warmest October was in 2001 with a mean temperature of
55.3 degrees and the coldest was in 1974 with 42.0 degrees.
The total precipitation for the month was 4.08 inches, 0.28 inch below
normal. Only six days during the month saw measurable rainfall. 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 58.46
inches. This was 15.08 inches above normal through October. With two
months yet to go in the year, we are already 5.93 inches above the normal
yearly average precipitation amount. This year could be in the top ten
wettest year category, but only if November and December come in with
average or above average totals.
The first snowfall of the season came on Nov. 1, when parts of Norfolk
measured up to 2.7 inches. It was a very elevation-driven snowfall. Some

nearby areas only got rain while areas above 1,300 feet in elevation saw
nearly three inches. The warm autumn weather of October quickly ended
with the arrival of November. Precipitation, through the first three weeks,
was well below normal with just 0.34 inch recorded. Temperatures were
running very average. Yes, it seemed cold, but the temperatures were very
average for a normal November. Two days hit 60 degrees, but many days
had lows in 20s and it was 17 degrees on the morning of Nov. 21.
November was acting like November and winter is fast approaching.

September 2023 Weather

Fourth Wettest September

By Russell Russ

In an odd fashion, early September was more summer-like than most of
August. August’s high temperature of 80 degrees was reached just once
during that month. To the contrary, September had five days above 80 in
nearly the first week, with a high of 88 on September 7. Temperatures
turned more seasonal after mid-month. The real story for September was
the rain. After a nice weather Labor Day Weekend, most other weekends
were wet and oftentimes real wet. Just bad weather luck to seemingly
always have rain over a weekend. People do not seem to mind, or even
prefer, snow on a weekend, but rain is another story.
September’s high temperature of 88 degrees was observed on September 7. It was
a daily record high for that date, beating the 86 recorded in both 2007 and 2015.
The low of 39 was observed on September 27. This was the coolest temperature
since the 37 degree temperature observed on May 26. September’s monthly mean
temperature of 61.2 degrees was 2.2 degrees above normal, but it was not high
ranking. 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, but that was not the case
this year. To wrap up summer totals as recorded at the weather station, there were
no days with 90 degrees or above in 2023. The average for 90 or above is
two to three days per year. There was an 89 on June 2, an 88 on July 6
and September 7 and an 87 on April 14.
The month’s rainfall total was 11.33 inches, 6.66 inches above normal. Another
excessively wet month for 2023. Norfolk’s wettest September was in 1938
(Hurricane of ’38) with 13.40 inches and the driest was in 2014 with just 1.16
inches. Through September this year, the yearly precipitation amount was 54.38
inches, 15.36 inches above normal and 20.49 inches more than last year’s total
through September. With three months still to go, Norfolk has already exceeded its
normal yearly amount of precipitation (52.53 inches). Looking back at the last
several years, it is interesting to note that precipitation totals through September
seem to fluctuate from very dry to very wet each year.
In a preview of October’s weather, through October 20, it was about five degrees
above normal for temperature and three inches below normal for precipitation.

With another wet weekend on tap for October 21-22, it will make it near average
for rainfall. Norfolk can see its first snowflakes of the season in October. The 91-
year average snowfall amount for October is 0.9 inch, but Norfolk has seen some
amazing early season snows over the years. Ever since the record shattering 23.8
inches in 2011, four Octobers have recorded a trace of snow, 2016 recorded 2.5
inches and 2020 recorded the fourth snowiest October with 4.6 inches. Time is
running out for this October, but you could say we are overdue.

August 2023 Weather

Humid, But Relatively Average

By Russell Russ

After an extremely wet and very warm July, August came in fairly
average on all accounts. Unlike last year’s August which was very
summer-like, ranked as Norfolk’s warmest August on record and
also very dry, this August was basically average. It may be nice to
have a weather catastrophe to write about now and again, but it is
also nice to have an average month for a change. Highlight of
August was humidity and many cloudy days. Not the best highlight.
August’s low temperature of 47 degrees was observed on August
2. This was 3 degrees above the record low of 44 for that date,
which was set back in 1947. The high temperature of just 80
degrees was observed on August 13. August’s high was only 80
degrees and Norfolk hit that only once all month. That is unusual
for August, even in Norfolk. The monthly mean temperature of 66.0
degrees was 0.4 degree below normal. By comparison, August
2022’s mean temperature was 71.8 degrees, the warmest August
on record. The coolest August on record was in 1964 with 61.5
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 4.19 inches,
0.41 inch below normal. August saw some rain, including two days
with thunderstorms, but fortunately there were no excessive
amounts like we saw in July. August did have more than its fair
share of cloudy days, likely keeping temperatures down. There
were numerous days with humid conditions. Not hot and humid,
just somewhat warm, cloudy and humid. Not the best summer
weather, but you cannot win them all.
The reigning champion of wet months for Norfolk 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
43.05 inches, 8.70 inches above normal. Compared to last year’s
amount through August of 27.53 inches, this year has seen 15.52

more inches of rain. No drought talk this year.
September, through three weeks of the month, was above average
for both temperature and rainfall. A string of five days in the 80’s to
upper 80’s surely helped bring up September’s average. A high of
88 was recorded on September 7. The highest temperature all year
was 89 degrees on June 2. Other notable temperatures were 88 on
July 6 and 87 on April 14. There have been no days with 90
degrees or above recorded at the Norfolk weather station in 2023.
The average for that is two to three days per year. Better luck next
year for nicer summer weather. Now it is time to welcome autumn.

July 2023 Weather

Wettest July on Record

By Russell Russ

July was a warm and very wet month. There were no record setting
daily temperatures, but it was consistently warm and it was humid
for most of the month. What stood out dramatically was the rainfall –
heavy rainfall and a great deal of it. Details on the record setting
July storms through most of the month can be found in the August
issue of Norfolk Now. The final total will be included here. The final
total is impressive. This July ranked at the top of the chart for
precipitation and very high ranking for monthly temperature. With
the many roads, bridges and culverts damaged during the heavy
and excessive rains, July will likely also rank very high for damage
repair costs.
July’s high temperature of 88 degrees was observed on July 6 and
the low of 51 was observed on July 31. The average monthly mean
temperature of 71.5 degrees was 3.2 degrees above normal. This
July ranked tied with July 2010 and 2018 as Norfolk’s sixth warmest
July and seventh warmest of any month over the last 92 years. The
warmest July (and warmest of any month) was in 2020 with 73.1
degrees. The coolest July was in 1962 with 63.9 degrees.
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 15.53 inches, a
whopping 11.20 inches above normal. This July ranked as Norfolk’s
wettest July and fourth wettest of any month over the last 92 years.
The total rainfall amount is impressive, but what really stood out was
the high volume of rainfall over such short periods of time – during
four different rain events. There were multiple days when it rained
two to three inches in just a couple of hours. On July 9 in South
Norfolk, where most of the damage occurred, these totals could
have reached five to ten inches over just a few hours.
Through July, Norfolk’s yearly precipitation total was 38.86 inches.
We went from a deficit of 2.09 inches after June to a surplus of 9.11
inches after July. Norfolk’s driest July was in 1939 with 1.29 inches.
Norfolk’s top five wettest Julys: (1) 2023, 15.53; (2) 2021, 13.05; (3)
2014, 12.76; (4) 1996, 11.47; (5) 2000, 9.68.
Norfolk’s top five wettest months: (1) Aug 1955, 23.67; (2) Oct 1955,

17.49; (3) Oct 2005, 16.49; (4) July 2023, 15.53; (5) Sept 1938,
An early look at August’s weather through the third week showed a
continuation of July’s humid conditions. Temperatures were running
about normal. We came close a few times, but at the weather
station in Norfolk we have not hit 90 once yet this year. Rainfall was
about normal with thankfully no big rain storms. Everything was lush
and green through most of the summer months. No drought talk and
no brown lawns this summer. For Norfolk this summer, it has been
all about the rain and humid conditions.

Record Rainfall in July

By Russell Russ

Norfolk’s last several months have all been average to a little below average for
precipitation. Through June the year’s rainfall deficit was 2.09 inches and people were
saying we need rain. This would change dramatically during the first half of July.
The first week of the month was wet and by July 4 the rainfall total was 2.68 inches.
Then came the extreme rainfalls of July 9-10. In a 24-hour period the NWS weather
station on Windrow Road recorded 6.65 inches. Much of that rain fell around 1:00-3:00
pm July 9 and 4:00-6:00 am July 10. Several reports from the South Norfolk area came
in at 10-12 inches and possibly even more. It is hard to believe rainfall totals could be so
different over a relatively short distance, but it can happen with torrential rains from
storm cells that move very slowly. Flooding and washout damage occurred in many
parts of Litchfield County, but South Norfolk clearly was ground zero for this big
weather event. State, Town and private roads were undermined, gullied or completely
washed out. Rt. 272 was closed for weeks and a couple of Town roads could be closed
for a year (or more?). If you have a gravel driveway there was a very good chance you
had some damage.
If this wasn’t bad enough, Norfolk received another 2.35 inches July 12-14. Then on the
morning of July 16 (during weather observing time) another 2.75 inches fell in a very
short time span. The major damage had been done during the July 9-10 rains, but there
was some additional more minor damage from the additional storms. The additional
rains certainly did not help while repairs were trying to be made from the earlier storms.
Light rain also fell on July 18 and 21. In a span of less than three weeks Norfolk’s
rainfall deficit of 2.09 inches changed to a surplus of 8.04 inches.
By July 16, as recorded at Norfolk’s NWS weather station, this July had already become
Norfolk’s wettest July AND fourth wettest month of any month on record (since 1932).
As of July 21, the rainfall total for the month was 14.46 inches. Norfolk’s five wettest
Julys are: 2023 14.46+, 2021 13.05, 2014 12.76, 1996 11.47 and 2000 9.68. Norfolk’s
five wettest months are: August 1955 23.67, October 1955 17.49, October 2005 16.49,
July 2023 14.46+ and September 1938 13.40. Perhaps not such a good thing, but it is
impressive to have July 2023 on the same high rankings list as The Flood of “55
(August) and The Hurricane of ’38 (September).
As far as damage from a weather event goes, this has to be one of the larger and more
costly ones that has hit Norfolk for decades. Norfolk once again, and again not for snow
or for good reasons, was on the front page of newspapers, on the local TV news and
even on the national TV news.

June 2023 Weather

The Calm Before The Storm?

By Russell Russ

For the last two years, June had offered some very nice summer weather
for Norfolk. This June’s weather was not as perfect, but it was not all
bad. On paper it seemed very average, but it felt cooler and wetter than
usual. The numerous cloudy days and seemingly constant moisture, but
no huge rain totals, made one wonder where all the sunshine went. Early
June brought some heat and humidity, just enough to remind us all that it
was summertime. A calm weather month is not such a bad thing.
June’s high temperature of 89 degrees, one degree shy of a record, was
observed on June 2 and the low of 42 was observed on June 7. With an
average monthly mean temperature of 62.6 degrees, it was 0.8 degree
below normal. Norfolk has not hit the 90 degree mark yet this summer.
Norfolk’s warmest June was in 1943 with 68.3 degrees, the coolest was
in 1958 with 58.8 degrees. Perhaps the most notable weather condition
this month was the smoke and haze from the Canadian wildfires. The
odor and heavy haze observed early and late in the month was about as
bad as it gets here in the Northeast. A situation that we will need to get
used to until the snow begins to fall in Canada, finally putting an end to
the seasonal fires there.
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 4.94 inches, just 0.13
inch above normal. It seemed wetter, but it actually came in very
average. The largest rainfall of the month, 2.19 inches, fell June 26-27
when Norfolk saw three rounds of thunderstorms. In all, there were six
thunderstorms observed in June. None were severe. Norfolk’s driest June
was in 1988 when only 0.61 inch was recorded and the wettest was in
2013 with 13.38 inches.
For the first half of 2023, Norfolk’s total precipitation amount was 23.33
inches. This was 2.09 inches below normal through June. During June,
much of Connecticut was reaching the Abnormally Dry stage and many
were saying we needed the rain.

May 2023 Weather

Beautiful Early Summer Weather

By Russell Russ 

May started out cool and wet. After the first week, the weather turned warmer and much drier. There were numerous sunny or partly sunny days this month, seemingly many more clear days than a typical May. Hard to complain about nice weather. For the second year in a row, Norfolk had wonderful early summer weather for the entire Memorial Day Weekend. One downside to the month’s weather was a hard frost on May 18. The widespread late frost caused damage to many trees and plants around Norfolk and surrounding towns.

May’s low temperature of 27 degrees was observed on May 18. This tied the 1983 record low temperature for that date. Frost is fairly common in certain lower elevation areas in May, but this brief cold snap was unusual because it was so widespread – and damaging. The high of 82 degrees was observed on May 28. With an average monthly mean temperature of 53.9 degrees, it was 1.0 degree below normal. It was Norfolk’s first month of 2023 with a below normal monthly mean temperature. 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 3.09 inches, 1.25 inches below normal. After a cool and wet first week, it was very dry for the remainder of the month. The only measurable rainfall that occurred after May 8 was 1.38 inches that fell on May 20. One rainy day out of the final twenty-three days of the month. Through May, the total precipitation for 2023 totaled 18.39 inches, 2.22 inches below normal. A rainfall deficit is slowly growing as we head into the summer months. Norfolk’s driest May was in 1980 with 1.31 inches, the wettest was in 1984 with 12.34 inches. 

The end of May officially closed out the winter snowfall season. Norfolk’s last measurable snowfall came in March. April and May each totaled just a trace of wintry precipitation. Norfolk’s (and Connecticut’s) snowiest May on record (by far) was in 1977 when an amazing 20.0 inches was recorded. Norfolk’s final snowfall total for the 2022-2023 winter season was 63.3 inches. This was 25.8 inches below normal, but not high ranking for least amount for a winter. Had it not been for March’s 31.3 inches, this winter would have been very high ranking and possibly the least snowy winter on record.   

An early look at June’s weather through mid-month showed that temperatures were running cooler than normal despite two days with near record setting high temperatures. Highs of 87 on June 1 and 89 on June 2 were just shy of records for Norfolk. Early June did see several days with rain, including two thunderstorms, but overall rainfall was running a little below normal. We all want nice weather, but to ease the growing rainfall deficit, we do need to pick up more rain. For much of the east coast of the US, including Norfolk, early June was highlighted by numerous days with haze and smoke filled skies from Canadian wildfires. The number of wildfires, their locations and the way weather patterns (upper level winds) have set up this June, have all contributed to the worst widespread smoke conditions that many have ever witnessed in this part of the US.  

April 2023 Weather

Fifth Warmest April on Record

By Russell Russ

April’s weather this year was highlighted by summerlike conditions early in
the month. Unlike last year when April started off cool and ended warm, this
April started off warm, went to hot, then went to cool. After a very snowy
March, it was quite the rebound to be seeing eighty degree temperatures less
than a month later. The early spring warmth provided a jump start for trees and
plants, but cooler temperatures later in the month slowed their progress. New
England weather is always interesting.
With an average monthly mean temperature of 48.0, April was 4.9 degrees
above normal. It was Norfolk’s fifth warmest April over the last ninety-two
years. April’s low temperature of 21 degrees was observed on April 3 and the
high of 87 was observed on April 14. New daily record high temperatures were
set on April 13 with 83 (was 82 in 1945) and on April 14 with 87 (was 78 in
1938). A high of 73 on April 6 was one degree shy of the 1942 and 1991 record
of 74. 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 3.71 inches, 0.57 inch below
normal. It was a very dry month up to April 22-23 when Norfolk received 2.32
inches in a two day span, then received another 0.72 inch during the last few
days of the month. Had it not been for a good rain effort during the last week of
the month, this April would have ranked as Norfolk’s driest on record.
Norfolk’s driest April was in 1941 with 1.15 inches, the wettest was in 1983
with 10.79 inches. Through April, the total precipitation for the year was 15.30
inches, 0.97 inch below normal.
This April saw no actual snowfall. There was just one day with brief scattered
sleet and graupel showers, which are considered wintry precipitation and are
recorded as “snowfall”. Norfolk’s average April snowfall amount is 6.1 inches.
There have been many Aprils with very little or no snowfall. The snowiest
April was in 1997 when Norfolk accumulated an impressive monthly total of
31.1 inches.
Through April, the 2023 calendar year’s snowfall total of 49.0 inches was 15.4
inches below normal. The 2022-2023 winter season (October-April) snowfall
total of 63.3 inches was 25.4 inches below normal. This winter season has been

below normal for snowfall, but it totaled twenty inches more than last winter.
This winter would have been near record low for snowfall had it not been for
March’s impressive total of 31.3 inches. 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 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 nearly four weeks showed that
temperatures and precipitation were running a little below normal. There was
one day with brief sleet showers, but there was no snowfall this May. Weather
forecasts are showing nice weather for Memorial Day Weekend. Having nice
weather for local parades and the Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department’s annual
William F. Kelley Memorial Road Race is always a good thing.

March 2023 Weather

Big Late Season Snowstorm

By Russell Russ

March’s weather this year was highlighted by the big snowstorm that affected
the region during the middle of the month. March was running about average
for temperature, precipitation and snowfall up to the middle of the month.
Weather patterns and conditions finally worked out for the Northeast to get a
good old fashioned Nor’easter snowstorm. Patterns just worked against their
formation for most of this winter season. The total snowfall measured at the
weather station was 19.7 inches. An impressive two day total. Totals reached
24 inches to 30 inches from North Norfolk into the Berkshires and southern
Vermont. March’s monthly snowfall currently makes up roughly half of this
winter’s total snowfall amount.
March’s high temperature of 57 degrees was observed on March 22 and the
low of 18 was observed on March 31. With a monthly mean temperature of
33.2 degrees, March was 2.5 degrees warmer than normal, but only ranked
as Norfolk’s 22 nd warmest March. There were no daily temperature records
set this month. Norfolk’s warmest March was in 2012 with 41.8 degrees, the
coldest was in 1960 with 21.2 degrees.
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 4.21 inches. This was just
0.13 inch below normal. Roughly half of this month’s total precipitation, 2.03
inches, came from the mid-month snowstorm. Norfolk’s driest March was in
1981 with 0.64 inch, the wettest was in 1953 with 10.37 inches. Through the
first quarter of 2023, the total precipitation amount was 11.59 inches, just 0.40
inch below normal. We may not be doing so well with snowfall, but we are
getting precipitation.
March’s monthly snowfall total of 31.3 inches was 13.8 inches above normal.
It was Norfolk’s 12 th snowiest March over the last 92 years. The largest storm
snowfall from March, and for the entire winter season, was the 19.7 inches
from the March 13-15 storm. Snow on ground depths ranged from 5 inches to
a peak of 26 inches during the month. There was snow on the ground every
day of the month. The March with the most snowfall, also the snowiest month
of any month on record for Norfolk, was in 1956 with 73.6 inches. The least
snowy March on record was 2021 with just 0.1 inch.
The 2022-2023 winter season (October-March) snowfall total through March

was 63.3 inches, 19.3 inches below normal. Below normal, but fairly
respectable and not even in the top 15 least snowy winters, with much thanks
to March for its solid snow effort. Norfolk’s snowiest winter was 1955-1956
with 177.4 inches and the least snowy winter was 2015-2016 with 35.5
inches. Last winter, 2021-2022, ranked as Norfolk’s 3 rd least snowy winter
with 43.4 inches.
April started out with some very nice springtime weather. For a couple of days
during the middle of the month it felt more summer-like with record heat.
Norfolk reached 83 degrees on April 13 and 87 on April 14, both record high
temperatures for those dates. Precipitation, however, was very low. Through
April 21, this April was ranking as the driest and 2 nd warmest April on record.
Temperatures are forecasted to be cooler than normal for the remainder of
the month, but this April will still likely end up being highly ranked for warmth.
Considerable rainfall on April 22-23 will greatly add to this month’s
precipitation total and likely make it closer to normal by the end of the month.

Big March 2023 Snowstorm
By Russell Russ
The first two weeks of March were fairly normal with normal temperatures and
even several days with snowfall. Due to this winter’s prevailing weather patterns,
Southern New England had not seen any big Nor’easter-type storms. That all
changed on March 13.
The storm began slowly with light snow showers during the day on March 13.
There was just a dusting by 6:00 pm. The snow then fell moderate to heavy after
6:00 pm and stayed that way until the early evening of March 14. By 8:00 am
March 14, the total was 8.6 inches. By 2:00 pm, the total was 13.5 inches. By 8:00
am March 15, the total snowfall reached 19.7 inches (at Norfolk’s NWS weather
station). The heaviest snow fell from 6:00 pm March 13 to 8:00 pm March 14. As
recorded at the weather station, two miles southwest of the center of town, the total
snowfall amount was an impressive 19.7 inches. There were reports of 25 inches or
more in North Norfolk and over the border into Massachusetts. It was a classic
elevation driven snowstorm with higher elevations getting more snow. Lower
elevations got mostly rain. There were incredible snow depth differences in just a
few miles distance. Elevation means everything with these types of storms.
Due to the amount of snow and the fact that the snow was heavy and wet, it hung
on trees and power lines causing numerous issues around town. Several roads were
left unplowed for a day or more due to plow trucks not being able to pass downed
or low hanging wires. At the same time, the power crews had a difficult time
accessing the sites due to unplowed roads. Fortunately the official weather
observer has a 4-wheel drive truck, allowing him to get to the weather station, even
in big snowstorms.
Adding some additional excitement to the storm, Jon Barbagallo from Norfolk’s
Emergency Management Office put on a Snowfall Contest to see who could guess
the correct amount of snowfall (as recorded at Norfolk’s weather station). Snowfall
contests have been done a few times in recent years and they always draw many
contestants. The winner for this storm’s contest guessed the exact correct total of
19.7 inches.
This March storm produced the largest snowfall total Norfolk has seen in many
years. It was a good one, but only ranks as fifth for March snowstorms. Norfolk
has seen some big March storms. The largest was March 22-23, 1977 when 26.5
inches was recorded from one storm.

The storm definitely helped this winter’s bleak snowfall totals. Prior to the storm,
with 10.4 inches included from early March, Norfolk’s winter total was 42.4
inches, 40.2 inches below normal. After the storm, with March’s total of 30.1
inches, the season total is up to a more respectable 62.1 inches, but still 20.5 inches
below normal. Can one storm save winter? On paper maybe it can.


Go to Top