Winter is Back

By Russell Russ

Old Man Winter has not forgotten Norfolk after all. February turned out to be a more normal winter month than what we have seen lately. It was just a little warmer than normal, but snowfall was nearly six inches above normal.

There were a good number of days with a little snow, but the clincher was the blizzard that hit on February 8 and 9. While it was a bigger snow producer just to our east and south, it still left Norfolk with a 17 to 24 inch blanket of snow. It turned out to be a very interesting event in that the snow totals varied greatly over relatively short distances due to the heavy bands of snow that quickly dumped snow in one location while just a few miles away there was considerably less.

Hard to believe there could be a 10 inch snowfall difference in such short distances, but that is exactly what happened. Snowfall totals from some areas in southern Connecticut topped 3 feet. We better hold off on giving winter its last rites, it appears to not want to let go that easily.

February’s high temperature of 46 degrees was observed on February 15 and the low of 5 degrees was observed on both February 10 and 18. No daily or monthly records were broken this month. With an average temperature of 23.8 degrees it was 1.9 degrees warmer than normal. The month of February is typically when we get most of our lowest temperature readings. We did not slip below zero this month, but we did manage to get to 10 degrees or colder eight times. Last year, February 2012, was the second warmest February in our 81 year history.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 3.69 inches, 0.05 inch above normal. The monthly snowfall total was 26.2 inches, 5.8 inches above normal. A good portion of the monthly snowfall came from the blizzard on February 8 and 9, and most of that came during the early morning hours of February 9. Last year, February 2012, was our second driest February on record and was also tied with 1941 as our third least snowy February on record.

The 2013 calendar year (January and February) snowfall total of 33.8 inches is 7.9 inches below normal. The snowfall total for this winter season, October through February, is 55.7 inches. This is 10.8 inches below normal for this time period, but it is 11.4 inches more than last year.