Another Non-typical Winter Month

By Russell Russ

Like last year, February this year lacked many characteristics of what typically
is a solid winter-like month for Norfolk. January was above normal for
temperature and way above normal for precipitation. However, January was
above normal for snowfall. February was even more above normal
temperature-wise, but it also was way below normal for both precipitation and
snowfall. Minimal snowfall for one of Norfolk’s typically solid winter months
did not make the skiers happy. Skiers have not been happy with our winters
for several years. On the plus side, the warmer temperatures early in the
month allowed the maple trees to be tapped a week or two earlier than
normal, providing a jump on the maple syrup producing season.
The month’s low temperature of 6 degrees was observed on February 20 and
the high of 56 was observed on February 27. With a monthly mean
temperature of 28.8 degrees, it was 6.6 degrees above normal and ranked as
Norfolk’s seventh warmest February over the last 93 years. There were two
days with record daily high temperatures, Feb 10 (54) and Feb 27 (56) and
one day, Feb 9 (48), was one degree shy of a record. There were no days
with below zero temperatures and just two days in the single digits. The
largest reason for the above average warmth was not the several days in the
upper forties to mid-fifties, it was that the nighttime lows just have not been as
low as they typically should be for February. 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
Total precipitation recorded for the month was 1.88 inches, 1.75 inches below
normal. This February was Norfolk’s eighth driest February. Last February
was our sixth driest. There were just eight days with measurable precipitation
and none of those produced a whole lot of it. February’s weather patterns
were just not forming in a way to produce much snow or even rain 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 7.3 inches was 13.0 inches below
normal. It was Norfolk’s fourth least snowy February on record and the least
snowy since 2012. The largest snow event for the month occurred February
13-14, resulting in a storm total of 3.6 inches. Snow on ground depths ranged

from four inches to nothing with generally nothing to maybe two inches for a
vast majority of the month. The record for most February snowfall is 52.4
inches from 1969 and the least is 4.8 inches from 1998.
The 2024 calendar year snowfall total through February was 33.5 inches, 7.3
inches below normal. The snowfall total for this winter season (October
through February) was 40.8 inches, 24.3 inches below normal. In recent
years Norfolk has seen several low snowfall winters and once again this
season seems to be no different. Will winter return in March, April or even
May? Last March recorded over thirty inches of snowfall.
An early look into March’s weather through March 22 showed that winter still
was holding off for the most part. Temperatures were well above normal,
currently tied as sixth warmest. The total precipitation amount was 4.19
inches and most of that was in the form of rain. This was near average, but
more rain is in the forecast for the end of the month. Snowfall for the first
three weeks measured just 1.2 inches, currently tied as our fifth least snowy
March. Not favorable numbers for snow lovers.