Norfolk’s December Weather and a Yearly Summary for 2012

By Russell Russ

December came in tied with the December of 1996 as Norfolk’s eighth warmest December in the last eighty-one years. No daily temperature records were set this month, but with an average mean temperature of 31.2 degrees it was 5.8 degrees warmer than normal. The month’s high temperature of 54 degrees was observed on December 4 and the low temperature of 15 degrees was observed on December 26.

December’s total precipitation amount was 6.08 inches, 1.56 inches above normal. The monthly snowfall total of 15.2 inches was 2.1 inches below normal. For those keeping track, Norfolk did have a white Christmas, unlike last year. The snowfall total for this winter season, October through December, was 21.9 inches, 2.9 inches below normal.

Many smaller ponds in the area iced over initially in November, but then went out again in early December. Most iced over for good around Christmas Eve. Tobey Pond and Wangum Lake were still mostly open through the end of the month. By early January they should both be iced over. Last year Tobey and Wangum iced over by around December 27.

In review of Norfolk’s weather for the 2012 calendar year it was yet another year for the record books. With an annual average mean temperature of 48.5 degrees it was 3.7 degrees above normal and was the warmest year on record since observations began at this station in 1932. Other than June which was exactly average and November which came in 1.7 degrees below normal, every other month was above normal for temperatures. Many locations throughout the Northeast also recorded their warmest year, and some of those records go back to the 1820’s. With a total precipitation amount of 45.98 inches it was 6.89 inches below normal. Dry as it was, it was not even in the top twenty percent for driest years. The yearly snowfall amount of 50.5 inches placed 2012 as our fifth least snowiest year. This was nearly 41 inches below our normal yearly snowfall amount.