Finally some snow

By Russell Russ

The month’s low temperature of 5 degrees was observed on February 7. The high temperature of 42 degrees was observed on February 22. The average mean temperature this month was 24.1 degrees, 2.3 degrees above normal. The trend which started back in December of having the average daily high temperatures lower than normal and the average daily low temperatures higher than normal continued through the month of February. This may or may not be something of great importance, but it sure seems to be the norm for this winter. February is typically when we get most of our lowest temperature readings.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 5.74 inches, 2.12 inches above normal. February’s snowfall total was 35.3 inches, 15.1 inches above normal. It was Norfolk’s ninth highest snowfall total for the month of February in the last 79 years. It was the most snow we’ve seen in a February since the 39.9 inches we got back in 1972. The two late February storms that hit between February 22 and 27 all by themselves exceeded our normal monthly amounts for precipitation and snowfall. There was snow cover on the ground at the station every day this month with depths ranging from 5 to 23 inches.

February gave us our largest snowstorm of the season to date. The storm that hit February 22 to 24 dumped a total of 16.1 inches of snow on Norfolk. The snowfall total for this winter season, October through February, is now at 70.6 inches, 4.5 inches above normal. So far, for the two months of 2010 we are at 50.5 inches of snowfall, 9.3 inches above normal, and 9.50 inches for total precipitation, 1.81 inches above normal.

Snow core measurements were taken several times during the month to determine the amount of water that was sitting on the ground in the form of snow and ice. At the end of the month, after February’s three big storms, we had nearly 5 inches of water equivalent in the nearly 20 inches of snow and ice on the ground. This will become important to forecasters as we approach the spring thaw. It all seems to be pointing towards a big mud season in the coming month or two.