Another Warm Winter Month

By Russell Russ

After a warm November and December and the warmest January on record,
it was a shock to have February start out so cold. February’s first week was
considerably colder than normal. Many were thinking that winter might finally
have arrived, but those thoughts were dashed as the month progressed. By
the last week of the month, with warmer temperatures the norm and hardly
any snowfall, most people had given up on winter and were ready for spring.
February is typically a solid winter month in Norfolk, but that was not the case
this year.
The month’s low temperature of minus 17 was observed on February 4. This
was a daily record low for this date and the coldest temperature recorded
since the minus 19 that was recorded on February 14, 2016. It was a one day
cold snap and then temperatures turned warmer for most of the rest of the
month. The month’s high temperature of 57 was observed on February 15.
Two days tied record daily high temperatures. A high of 50 on February 10
tied the 2002 record and a high of 54 on February 17 tied the 2011 record.
The monthly mean temperature was 28.6 degrees. It was 6.4 degrees above
normal and was tied with February 2020 as Norfolk’s seventh warmest
February over the last 92 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.
The coldest temperature recorded at this weather station (since January
1932) was minus 26 degrees on February 16, 1943. On that same day, a
temperature of minus 37 was recorded at a satellite valley weather station on
Westside Road.
Total precipitation recorded for the month was 1.70 inches, 1.93 inches below
normal. This February was the driest (and least snowy) right up until the third
week of the month. It ended up being Norfolk’s sixth driest February. A
majority of this month’s precipitation was in the form of rain, freezing rain and
sleet, with a small portion coming as snowfall. Once again, this winter’s
weather patterns were just not forming in a way to produce much snow 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 9.7 inches was 10.6 inches below

normal. There was no measurable snowfall until February 21 and the month
was ranking as the least snowy February right up until the last day of the
month when Norfolk received 5.9 inches of snow. This February ended up
being Norfolk’s fifteenth least snowy February. Snow on ground depths
ranged from nothing to two inches until the last day of the month when it
peaked at eight inches. The record for most February snowfall is 52.4 inches
from 1969 and the least is 4.8 inches from 1998.
The 2023 calendar year snowfall total through February was 17.7 inches,
23.1 inches below normal. The snowfall total for this winter season (October
through February) was 32.0 inches, 33.1 inches below normal. In recent
years Norfolk has seen several low snowfall winters and this season seems
to be no different. March and April can be snowy in Norfolk, but by late
February most people had given up on winter and were ready for spring.
Could March bring some surprises?