Where’s the Snow?

By Russell Russ

The month’s high temperature of 53 degrees was observed on January 25. This tied the 1938 record high temperature for that date. The low temperature of minus 5 degrees was observed on January 30. The average mean temperature this month was 22.0 degrees, 1.2 degrees above the January average.

January was similar to December in that the average daily high temperatures were lower than normal, while the average daily low temperatures were higher than normal. This may or may not be some sort of trend forming, but it is something to watch for the rest of the winter.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 3.76 inches, 0.31 inches below normal. January’s snowfall total was 15.2 inches, 5.8 inches below normal. There was snow cover on the ground at the station every day this month, with depths ranging from 3 to 9 inches. The snowfall total for this winter season (October through January) is now at 35.3 inches. This is 10.6 inches below normal and 11.8 inches below where we were through January last year.

In the month of January, we did not top the seven-inch snowfall that came during the snowstorm on December 9. It is hard to believe that Norfolk cannot get more than seven inches in one storm, while places like Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. are getting buried in snow. Even southern parts of Connecticut are getting more snow than us.

One of Norfolk’s weather highlights from January was when we received over 2.25 inches of rain during a twelve-hour period on January 25. The warm temperatures and heavy rain caused some minor problems in the region, including a mudslide along Route 44 here in Norfolk.

Even without much snow and a record high temperature, it still felt like winter. By the end of January, after freezing-over around December 19, both Wangum Lake and Tobey Pond were covered with 14 to 16 inches of ice. Temperatures were pretty cold, and we had what seemed like more than our fair share of windy days. There were several days where wind chill temperatures hit minus 10 to minus 20 degrees. On the morning of January 30, one of the weather stations at Great Mountain Forest recorded a wind chill temperature of minus 26 degrees.