May 2024 Weather

Sixth Warmest May

By Russell Russ

This May was a nice weather month. Nice if you like warm temperatures
with partly to mostly sunny skies. There were some wet days, but they were
few and far between. May 2023 was also a very nice weather month. Two
years in a row. Take it when you can get it. A special, non-weather related
highlight this month was the very visible Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
during the evening of May 10. It was a spectacular show for those lucky
enough to see it in person. It is exceedingly rare indeed to see it so clearly
and to such an extent in Connecticut.
May’s low temperature of 33 degrees was observed on May 11. That is cold
for May, but it was six degrees from a record low. The high of 85 was
observed on May 22, two degrees shy of a record high. With an average
monthly mean temperature of 58.9, it was 4.0 degrees above normal. Every
month in 2024 has been above normal for monthly mean temperatures.
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 4.21 inches, 0.13 inch
below normal. There were no severe weather conditions this month. There
was one small thunderstorm on May 8 that produced 0.36 inch of rain. The
big rainfall producer days were May 27 with 0.84 inch and May 30 with
0.90 inch. Through May, the total precipitation for 2024 totaled 26.76
inches, 6.15 inches above normal. We are doing well in the precipitation
department so far this year. Always good to have a buffer before we head
into the typically dry summer months. Norfolk’s driest May was in 1980
with 1.31 inches, the wettest was in 1984 with 12.34 inches.
There was no snowfall in May this year. In fact, the last wintry precipitation
to fall in Norfolk came on April 6. One cannot write about snowfall in May
without mentioning the Norfolk, and State of Connecticut, record 20.0
inches recorded in May 1977.
An early look at June’s weather through June 20 showed that temperatures
were once again warmer than normal. June had some very nice early
summer weather for the first half of the month. After June 17 temperatures
really warmed up. June 19 and 20 both reached 90 degrees and both days set

records for Norfolk. June likely will rank high for warmth. What really stood
out was the lack of rain. With just 0.31 inch of rainfall through June 20, it
ranked as the driest June on record. Rain and thunderstorms are in the
forecast for the remainder of the month, but it seems likely that June, even
with a little rain at month’s end, will rank very high as one of Norfolk’s
driest Junes on record. Norfolk’s rainfall surplus will be taking a big hit in
June. On the positive side, at least this June we so far have not had to deal
with the Canadian and western US wildfire smoke that Norfolk and much of
the country experienced last year.

April 2024 Weather

Near Normal for a Change

By Russell Russ

April’s weather this year was fairly normal. It’s refreshing not having to say
warmest or wettest on record. The month started off on the wintry side–
normal for April—but temperatures rebounded and came in just a little above
normal. We had only a handful of nice sunny days. Unlike last year, when
there were hardly any forsythia flowers, this was a good spring with the first
blooms showing up around the normal time of April 7-14. Lilacs also broke
bud and flowered at about normal time.
With an average monthly mean temperature of 45.0, April was 1.9 degrees
above normal. It was – near normal. April’s low temperature of 26 degrees was
observed on April 25 and the high of 74 was observed on April 29. There were
no daily temperature records set this month. Norfolk’s warmest April was in
2010 with an average of 49.4 degrees and the coldest was in 1943 with 36.8
Total precipitation recorded for the month was 5.56 inches, 1.28 inches above
normal. April 2 to 4, when rain changed to snow, we picked up 2.09 inches,
then on April 11 to 12 we picked up another 2.12 inches of rain. There were
numerous days with lesser amounts and, in fact, it was hard to go two or three
days without any precipitation. Norfolk’s driest April was in 1941 with 1.15
inches; the wettest was in 1983 with 10.79 inches.
Through April, the total annual precipitation was 22.55 inches, 6.28 inches
above normal. In comparison, in 2023, we were at 15.30 inches, 0.97 inch
below normal. Thanks to a very wet period from July through December, the
year 2023 finished as Norfolk’s fifth wettest year on record. Let us all hope
that we do not see a repeat of the excessive rainfall amounts that we saw during
the second half of last year.
The snowfall total for the month was 3.5 inches, which all came on April 4. It
was gone within a few days. Norfolk saw a little snow, sleet and graupel (snow
pellets) during that first week, but there was no more wintry precipitation after
April 6. Norfolk’s average April snowfall amount is 6.1 inches, but we’ve had
many Aprils with little or no snowfall. The snowiest April was in 1997 when
Norfolk accumulated an impressive 31.1 inches.

Through April, the 2024 calendar year snowfall was 38.2 inches, 26.2 inches
below normal. Snowfall for 2023-2024 winter season (October-April) was 45.5
inches, a total of 43.2 inches below normal. Assuming there is no snowfall in
May (there was none through May 25), this will rank as the sixth least snowy
winter on record. The top three in that category 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 May 22 showed temperatures running
a little above normal. A big warm-up the week before Memorial Day will
increase the monthly average for sure, but the month will not rank overly
warm. Precipitation was running about two inches below normal with no
snowfall observed. At this point, a month with below normal precipitation is
not such a terrible thing. Can we try for two months?

March 2024 Weather

Who’ll Stop The Rain

By Russell Russ

For Norfolk and much of Southern New England, March was another wet
month and another winter month with very little snow. As many recent months
have been, it also was fairly high ranking for warmth. March’s warmth brought
an early end to this year’s maple syrup season and also resulted in early ice-
out dates for local ponds and lakes. After icing over in early January, most
local ponds and lakes lost their ice for good by the first week of March. This
winter was above normal for warmth, so it was no surprise to see pond ice
duration being off by two to four weeks compared to normal.
March’s low temperature of 15 degrees was observed on March 1 and the
high of 64 was observed on March 13. With a monthly mean temperature of
37.0 degrees, it was 6.3 degrees warmer than normal. There were no daily
temperature records set this month, but March did rank as Norfolk’s ninth
warmest over the last ninety-three years. 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 7.27 inches, 2.93 inches
above normal. This March ranked as Norfolk’s ninth wettest. Two storms
stood out for precipitation they produced, and the precipitation was rain, not
snow. Rainfall from March 5-7 totaled 2.19 inches and rainfall from March 23
totaled 2.48 inches. The rainfall on March 23 came in the form of freezing
rain. While there was a minor accretion of 0.1 inch on trees and powerlines,
there was minimal damage. Norfolk can see freezing rain during the winter
and over the years we have experienced some widespread and severe ice
storm damage. Norfolk has been fortunate in recent years to have seen only
a few relatively minor ice storms. Norfolk’s wettest March was in 1953 with
10.37 inches and the driest was in 1981 with just 0.64 inch. Through the first
quarter of 2024, the total precipitation amount was 16.99 inches, exactly five
inches above normal.
March’s monthly snowfall total of 1.2 inches was 16.3 inches below normal. It
ranked as Norfolk’s fifth least snowy March. March of 2023 was a different
story; with 31.3 inches it ranked as our twelfth snowiest. March’s “big”
snowstorm this year came on March 20 when Norfolk measured a mere one
inch from passing snow showers and squalls. 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 2023-24 winter season snowfall total through March was 42.0 inches,
40.6 inches below normal. January’s 26.2 inches makes up a majority of this
winter’s snowfall total. As many of our recent winters have been, this winter
will also be high ranking for least amount of snowfall. Norfolk’s snowiest
winter was 1955-1956 with 177.4 inches and the least snowy winter was
2015-2016 with 35.5 inches.
It was a weak winter. Time to move on to spring. April is typically Norfolk’s
transition month from winter white and brown to springtime green and
colorful. April this year, through two-thirds of the month, was fairly normal
temperature-wise. Precipitation was nearly an inch above normal. April had a
little bit of everything. It had warm and cool temperatures, rain and even
some snow. April’s snowfall total of 3.5 inches was a little below normal, but it
easily surpassed March’s monthly total. The moisture we are getting is good,
but at this point, enough is enough and we need to dry out for a while. Who’ll
stop the rain?

February 2024 Weather

Another Non-typical Winter Month

By Russell Russ

Like last year, February this year lacked many characteristics of what typically
is a solid winter-like month for Norfolk. January was above normal for
temperature and way above normal for precipitation. However, January was
above normal for snowfall. February was even more above normal
temperature-wise, but it also was way below normal for both precipitation and
snowfall. Minimal snowfall for one of Norfolk’s typically solid winter months
did not make the skiers happy. Skiers have not been happy with our winters
for several years. On the plus side, the warmer temperatures early in the
month allowed the maple trees to be tapped a week or two earlier than
normal, providing a jump on the maple syrup producing season.
The month’s low temperature of 6 degrees was observed on February 20 and
the high of 56 was observed on February 27. With a monthly mean
temperature of 28.8 degrees, it was 6.6 degrees above normal and ranked as
Norfolk’s seventh warmest February over the last 93 years. There were two
days with record daily high temperatures, Feb 10 (54) and Feb 27 (56) and
one day, Feb 9 (48), was one degree shy of a record. There were no days
with below zero temperatures and just two days in the single digits. The
largest reason for the above average warmth was not the several days in the
upper forties to mid-fifties, it was that the nighttime lows just have not been as
low as they typically should be for February. 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
Total precipitation recorded for the month was 1.88 inches, 1.75 inches below
normal. This February was Norfolk’s eighth driest February. Last February
was our sixth driest. There were just eight days with measurable precipitation
and none of those produced a whole lot of it. February’s weather patterns
were just not forming in a way to produce much snow or even rain here in
Norfolk. The record for most February total precipitation is 11.70 inches from
1981, the least amount is 0.60 inch from 1987.
February’s monthly snowfall total of 7.3 inches was 13.0 inches below
normal. It was Norfolk’s fourth least snowy February on record and the least
snowy since 2012. The largest snow event for the month occurred February
13-14, resulting in a storm total of 3.6 inches. Snow on ground depths ranged

from four inches to nothing with generally nothing to maybe two inches for a
vast majority of the month. The record for most February snowfall is 52.4
inches from 1969 and the least is 4.8 inches from 1998.
The 2024 calendar year snowfall total through February was 33.5 inches, 7.3
inches below normal. The snowfall total for this winter season (October
through February) was 40.8 inches, 24.3 inches below normal. In recent
years Norfolk has seen several low snowfall winters and once again this
season seems to be no different. Will winter return in March, April or even
May? Last March recorded over thirty inches of snowfall.
An early look into March’s weather through March 22 showed that winter still
was holding off for the most part. Temperatures were well above normal,
currently tied as sixth warmest. The total precipitation amount was 4.19
inches and most of that was in the form of rain. This was near average, but
more rain is in the forecast for the end of the month. Snowfall for the first
three weeks measured just 1.2 inches, currently tied as our fifth least snowy
March. Not favorable numbers for snow lovers.

January 2024 Weather

Fickle Winter Weather

By Russell Russ

The year of 2023 was tied with 1998 as Norfolk’s second warmest and was also the
fifth wettest and ninth least snowy year on record. December was very high ranking
for temperature and precipitation and high ranking for minimal snowfall. The recent
trend certainly points to warmer and wetter weather for this part of the country.
January continued this trend. Where has winter gone? The recent trend points to
winter starting later each year. This year it seemed to arrive during early January.
Actually, winter started and stopped a few times during January. Some warmth with
rain, then a few days later, cold and snow. Like the weather just could not commit to
one or the other.
January’s monthly mean temperature of 26.4 degrees was 5.5 degrees above normal,
ranking it tied with 1953 and 2007 as Norfolk’s twelfth warmest January over the last
93 years. There were no days with daily record temperatures. The month’s high
temperature was 53 degrees on January 13. The low temperature of 4 degrees was
observed on January 20 and 21. Even with warmer than normal temperatures and
rainy days, most local ponds were iced over by the first week of the month and they
stayed iced throughout the month. Norfolk’s warmest January was in 2023 with a
temperature of 32.0 degrees and the coldest was in 1982 with 11.7.
January’s total precipitation of 7.84 inches was 3.82 inches above normal. It was
Norfolk’s fifth wettest January. With that much precipitation in January, then one
would think it was an incredibly snowy month, but that was not the case. It was a
combination of rain, sometimes heavy rain, and snowfall. Snowfall totals are included
in the total precipitation amount. For measuring, the snowfall must be melted, then
the liquid amount gets recorded as total precipitation. 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 26.2 inches was 5.7 inches above normal. Hard to
believe, an above average snowfall amount in this day and age. Winter still shows up
now and again. The snow might not last long, but it does still snow. There was snow
cover for most of the month, but depths went up and down every few days. The most
at one time was nearly a foot, but for most of the month it was just a trace to 4 inches.
The largest storm snowfall total for the month, and season so far, came on January 6-
7 with a total of 14.2 inches (over two days). It was gone within a week. The snowiest
January occurred in 1987 with 50.5 inches. The least snowy was in 1980 with just 2.6
inches. Norfolk’s 2023-24 winter season (October-January) snowfall total through
January was 33.5 inches, 11.3 inches below normal.

A look ahead into February through two-thirds of the month showed that it was
keeping up the warmer than normal trend by being nearly six degrees above normal.
February 8-9 with highs in the upper forties and a record high of 54 on February 10
had everyone thinking spring was here, but there were days with lows in the teens and
it got down to 6 degrees on February 20. Up and down temperatures, but overall,
above normal sums it up. With just 6.7 inches of snowfall and 0.61 inch of total
precipitation, February was bucking the recent wetter than normal trend. Historically,
February is one of Norfolk’s coldest and snowiest months of the year. Will Norfolk
continue its wintertime cat and mouse weather game, or will it commit one way or the
other? Stay tuned.


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