Record Snowfall

By Russell Russ

The month’s high temperature of 55 degrees was observed on January 1. The low temperature of minus 14 degrees was observed on January 24. This was a record low for that date, beating the old record of minus 11 degrees set back in 1948. The average mean temperature this month was 19.0 degrees, 1.7 degrees below the January average.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 3.75 inches, 0.31 inches below normal. If you do not like snow then stop reading here because this month was all about snow. January’s snowfall total was a very impressive 50.0 inches, 29 inches above normal and it was record setting. While a number of locations throughout the state recorded their snowiest January, and in some cases their snowiest of any month, Norfolk came close, but still fell just a little short of reaching its snowiest on record. It was Norfolk’s second snowiest January and the fourth snowiest of any month since we began keeping records in 1932.

During the big storm on January 12 a snowfall total of 21.7 inches was measured at the station. Snowfall totals varied widely throughout the region and the state. In an odd twist, central Connecticut recorded more snowfall in a number of storms this month. Typically Litchfield County and Norfolk in particular, receive higher snowfall amounts than other parts of the state.

Here are Norfolk’s top six snowiest months, with snowfall measured in inches: March 1956, 73.6; February 1969, 52.4; January 1987, 50.5; January 2011, 50.0; February 1967, 48.4; January 1961, 48.1.

Twenty of the month’s thirty-one days saw precipitation and just about all of it was the frozen kind. There was snow on the ground at the station every day this month, with depths ranging from four to twenty-eight inches. We have had a continuous snow cover since December 14.

The snowfall total for this winter season (October through January) is now at 67.4 inches. This is 21.6 inches above normal and 32.1 inches above where we were through January last year. The heading for the January 2010 weather summary was “Where’s the Snow?”, but we certainly didn’t have to ask that question this year.