Second Wettest February in last 77 years

By Russell Russ

The month’s high temperature of 54 degrees was observed on February 18. The low temperature of 1 degree below zero was observed on February 29. The average temperature this month was 24.8 degrees. This was 3.5 degrees above the normal February average, but by no means record setting.

February’s normal monthly total precipitation amount is 3.74 inches. The total precipitation recorded this February was 9.85 inches, a whopping 6.11 inches above normal. Now this was record setting. It was the second highest February precipitation amount in the last 77 years. Only 1981 with 11.70 inches recorded more February precipitation. Two thunderstorms were observed at the station this month, a small one during the morning of February 5 and a larger one that produced a burst of hail during the evening of February 6. The month’s two biggest rainmakers dumped large amounts of rain over short periods of time. During a roughly 20 hour long period from 6 a.m. February 6 to 2 a.m. February 7 we recorded 2.13 inches of precipitation. And, during a roughly 22 hour long period from 6 p.m. February 12 to 4 p.m. February 13 we recorded 3.38 inches of precipitation.

February’s snowfall total was 25.9 inches, which was 4.3 inches above normal. The largest snowstorm this month was on February 22 when we received 8.2 inches of snow. Many open areas around town lost their snow cover for periods of time, but at the weather station we have now had a constant snow cover since the beginning of December. The snow cover at the station this month ranged from a low of 5 inches to a maximum of 17 inches.

An often-asked question, why are these weather summaries always two months old? The reason for the two month lag is that Norfolk Now must have their articles in by the second or third week of the month and at that time you obviously cannot have a complete month’s worth of data. So, to read about a certain month you must wait until the end of the following month when the article is published.