7th Warmest February on Record
By Russell Russ
The typical winter weather that Norfolk has historically become accustomed to continued to stay away during the month of February. There were brief glimpses of winter with some cold temperatures and a little snow, but for the most part, it was a very unusual February as far as the weather is concerned. As they have been doing all winter, the weather patterns that often bring cold temperatures and snow into this part of the country have been pushed elsewhere – or haven’t formed at all. The northern regions of New England and New York State have seen something that resembles snow and winter, but not southern New England. Winter seems to have taken the year off in Norfolk.
The month’s low temperature of 0 degrees was observed on February 15. There were only two days this month with single digit temperatures. The high temperature of 55 degrees was observed on February 24. There were no daily record high or low temperatures this month. The average monthly mean temperature was 28.6 degrees, 6.5 degrees above normal. It was the seventh warmest February over the last 89 years. The warmest February on record was in 2002 with 30.7 degrees. The coldest was in 1934 with 9.0 degrees, making that also the coldest month of any month as recorded at this weather station.
Total precipitation recorded for the month was 3.38 inches, 0.26 inch below normal. The 2020 calendar year, January and February, total precipitation amount of 5.25 inches was 2.43 inches below normal. Monthly total precipitation amounts in Norfolk are evenly distributed throughout the year, with average monthly amounts ranging from 3.64 inches to 4.84 inches. February happens to be the month with, on average, the least amount of precipitation here in Norfolk. The record for most February total precipitation is 11.70 inches from 1981, the least amount is 0.60 inch from 1987.
February’s monthly snowfall total of 8.5 inches was 11.9 inches below normal. This month ranked as Norfolk’s seventh least snowy February over the last 89 years. The record for least snowfall in February is 4.8 inches from 1998, the most is 52.4 inches from 1969. Norfolk has seen precipitation this winter, but most of it has been plain rain or sometimes sleet or freezing rain. When Norfolk has seen snow, it often has been preceded or followed by sleet, freezing rain or rain. Norfolk usually stays all snow when other parts of the state get rain or a mix, but that has not been the case for a better part of this winter.
The 2020 calendar year snowfall total through February was just 14.3 inches. This was 26.8 inches below normal. That is quite a snowfall deficit for just two months. The snowfall total for this winter season, October through February, was 40.3 inches. This was 25.1 inches below normal for this time period. Bad news for the snow lovers and those who make a living from snowfall. To make things even more unpleasant for these people is the fact that the winter season snowfall total through February last year was just 44.0 inches. Better than this winter, but not by much. The 2018-2019 winter season ended up with 56.6 inches of snowfall, ranking it as the eleventh least on record.
A look ahead into March through mid-month shows that typical winter weather continues to be a no show. March’s monthly temperature was running 6 degrees above normal. Both total precipitation and snowfall were well below normal for March. Norfolk once again is flirting with a very high-ranking low snowfall winter. Unless something really snowy comes our way between late March and May, this winter could easily rank in the top ten for least winter snowfall for Norfolk.