Norfolk’s December 2006 Weather & a Yearly Summary for 2006

December was another unusually warm month in an unusually warm year

By Russell Russ

Here are the weather highlights from December as recorded at Norfolk’s National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Observer Station, Norfolk 2SW, by the Great Mountain Forest Corporation. Norfolk 2SW has recorded weather observations since January 1, 1932. The conclusion of 2006 marked the completion of 75 full years of weather recording for this station.

The month’s high temperature of 63 degrees was recorded on Dec. 1. The low temperature of 8 degrees was recorded on Dec. 8. We got a quick taste of some cold weather during the first full week of the month. A wind chill temperature of 13 degrees below zero was recorded during the morning of Dec. 8. The cold was short lived and all in all it was a much warmer than normal December. This month was the second warmest December observed in the last 75 years. The month’s average temperature was 34.6 degrees which was a whopping 10 degrees above normal. December of 2001 was warmest with an average temperature of 36.0 degrees. The monthly precipitation of 2.22 inches was 2.36 inches below normal. There was one thunderstorm in the early evening of Dec.1. National Weather Service radar indicated three possible tornados in the Litchfield County area that evening prompting them to issue a tornado warning for our area. There was some wind damage around Litchfield County, but officially no tornados formed. There were six days with snow flurries or light snow, but all that could be measured was a total of 1.5 inches, a full 16 inches below the monthly normal. This month recorded the third least amount of snow for a December since we began keeping records. December 1943 was first with only 0.6 inches and Dec. 1999 was second with only 1.3 inches of snow.

The yearly (January – December) precipitation total for 2006 was 56.16 inches. This was 3.67 inches above a normal year, but nothing too special. The snowfall total for the year was a mere 50.4 inches making it the fourth least snow total for any year since 1932. The other years with record little snow totals are 1998 with 33.0 inches, 1999 with 44.1 inches and 2004 with 49.5 inches. The average temperature for the year was 47.8 degrees making it tied with 2002 as our third warmest year in the last 75 years. The warmest years were 1998 with 48.4 degrees followed by 2001 with 48.3 degrees.