No global warming in Norfolk this month

By Russell Russ

The month’s low temperature of minus 12 degrees was observed on January 17. This tied a record low temperature for that date. January 17, 1971 also reached a low of minus 12 degrees. The high temperature of 40 degrees was observed on January 23. The average mean temperature this month was 15.5 degrees, 4.8 degrees below the January normal. This was colder than normal, but nowhere near record levels.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 3.48 inches, 0.53 inches below normal. January’s snowfall total was 25.1 inches, 3.4 inches above normal. There was snow cover on the ground at the station every day this month with depths ranging from 4 to 15 inches. The snowfall total for this Winter Season (October through January) is now at 47.1 inches. This is just 1.1 inches above normal. With no measurable snowfall in November we have made up for it during December and January.

This month, icebows were observed on two separate mornings. On January 20, a beautiful full icebow was visible for over an hour and on January 27, a partial one was also visible. An icebow is a unique phenomenon which generally occurs in colder climates. When the air temperature is very cold and there are high thin clouds the light from the low on the horizon sun refracts through the ice crystals in the clouds resulting in a band, or bow, of color. We were lucky enough to see this occurrence last January as well.

A note of apology to all the ‘weather nuts’ out there who enjoy viewing Norfolk’s weather conditions via the Internet. In January, Great Mountain Forest’s Davis Vantage Pro weather station malfunctioned for the last time, and had to be removed. The good news is that a new Davis Vantage Pro 2 station will be fully operational in February. The new station is fitted with a heater that should help with precipitation measurements in situations where the temperatures are below freezing. In these conditions, the precipitation readings may still not be perfect, but they should be more reliable than they were with the old station. Remember the station that you see on the Internet is our ‘just for fun’ station and not the official one, which is used to report to the National Weather Service.

You can access Norfolk’s Great Mountain Forest weather by going to our Web site,, or by just doing a search for Norfolk, CT weather or Great Mountain Forest weather. Log on and enjoy.