Norfolk’s December Weather and a Yearly Summary for 2013

By Russell Russ

Up to the third week of the month it looked like we would have a colder than average December. A few warm days just before Christmas, including two back to back record warm days, changed all that. The high of 59 degrees on December 21 beat the old 1973 record of 53 degrees and the high of 62 on December 22 beat the old 1990 record of 58. Temperatures went back to normal from Christmas through the end of the month.

The monthly average temperature of 27.5 degrees was 2.1 degrees warmer than normal. The month’s low temperature of minus 2 degrees was observed on December 17 and the high temperature of 62 degrees was observed on December 22.

December’s total precipitation amount was 3.96 inches, 0.56 inches below normal. The monthly snowfall total of 15.8 inches was 1.5 inches below normal. With eleven inches of snow on the ground on December 18, a white Christmas seemed a given. It turned out that a very light dusting of snow on Christmas Eve was all that contributed to a barely white Christmas. The snowfall total for the winter season, October through December, was 17.5 inches, 7.3 inches below normal.

Many smaller ponds in the area initially iced over in late November. Most went out around December 24, only to ice over again on December 25 or 26. Tobey Pond and Wangum Lake were iced over quite early (on December 13), but lost it on December 24. They both iced over for the season on December 26, about a week earlier than last year.

In review of Norfolk’s weather for the 2013 calendar year, it was a little warmer than normal, a little wetter than normal and a little less snowier than normal, but all in all not too far from average. With an annual average mean temperature of 45.9 degrees it was 1.1 degrees above normal. Eight of twelve months in 2013 were above normal for temperatures. July was our warmest month of any month that we have recorded in 82 years.

With a total precipitation amount of 54.80 inches, the year 2013 was 1.93 inches above normal. June was our wettest June and fifth wettest month of any month on record. The yearly snowfall amount of 71.3 inches was 20 inches below normal. Our trend of warming with less snow and more rain continued throughout 2013.