A Wet Month with Below Normal Snowfall

By Russell Russ

February was a wet month. There was some snowfall, but it was mostly rain and freezing rain for precipitation this month. It was not ideal for wintertime weather in Norfolk. Last February was a snow lover’s paradise with 35 inches of snowfall. That was not the case this February with not even 10 inches of snowfall and several days of rain and freezing rain.

The month’s low temperature of zero degrees was observed on February 6 and the high temperature of 59 degrees was observed on February 23. There were seven days this month with single digit temperatures and one day with zero degrees. There were no days with below zero temperatures. Two days tied record highs for daily temperatures. The high of 54 on February 17 tied the 2011 record and the 55 on February 22 tied the 2017 record. The average monthly temperature was 25.1 degrees, 2.9 degrees above normal. It was above normal for warmth, but not high ranking. 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 5.01 inches, 1.38 inches above normal. It was Norfolk’s tenth wettest February over the last 91 years. A majority of February’s precipitation was in the form of rain or freezing rain, with a small portion coming as snowfall. Fortunately, the freezing rain that Norfolk experienced was more of a nuisance than a major problem for roads, trees or powerlines. This winter’s weather patterns are just not forming in a way to produce much snow here in Norfolk, and really for much of the Northeast US, except maybe for eastern Massachusetts and northern New England. The record for most February total precipitation is 11.70 inches from 1981, the least amount is 0.60 inch from 1987. The 2022 calendar year (January and February) total precipitation amount of 7.57 inches was just 0.08 inch below normal.

February’s monthly snowfall total of 9.9 inches was 10.4 inches below normal. Even with below normal snowfall and above normal rainfall for the month, thanks to January’s snowfall and no real wildly high temperatures, there was a snow cover on the ground for twenty six of the month’s twenty eight days. Snow depths ranged from 12 inches to zero inches. This month ranked as Norfolk’s fifteenth least snowy February over the last 91 years. The record for most snowfall in February is 52.4 inches from 1969 and the least is 4.8 inches from 1998.

The 2022 calendar year snowfall total through February was 27.8 inches, 13.0 inches below normal. The snowfall total for this winter season (October through February) was just 33.4 inches, 31.7 inches below normal. Not a good statistic for the area’s snow loving crowd, from those that try to make a living from snow to those that just play in it.

March is often Norfolk’s transition month between winter and spring. It is a month that can have both winter and spring conditions and sometimes just winter or spring conditions. Through March 21, this March was leaning more spring-like with just a few flashes of wintertime (snow) trying to make a show. March was running 4 degrees warmer than normal with both snowfall and total precipitation being a little below normal. Last March was Norfolk’s least snowy March on record. This March, with just 9.6 inches through March 21, was already way better than last March, but it will not be changing our low ranking for seasonal snowfall very much. As of late March, this winter was holding onto the rank of third for least amount of seasonal snowfall. Norfolk certainly can see snow in April and even May. We shall see if our coming spring has any winter left in it before this season’s snowfall totals go in the record books.