Winter Is Here
By Russell Russ
January 2015 marks the start of the Norfolk station’s 84th year of continuous weather observations. This month, like January of last year, winter set in hard. Snow cover was scarce for the first week, but after that there was a continuous snow cover. The month ended with a snow depth of 11 inches on the ground. It was not quite as cold as last January, but with only six days recording high temperatures above freezing, two in the low 40’s, it felt cold for most of the month. It was cold and it was snowy, but we all need to remember that it is supposed to be cold and snowy here in January.
With an average mean temperature of 17.8 degrees, January was 3 degrees colder than normal. The month’s high temperature of 44 degrees was observed on January 4. The low temperature of minus 9 degrees was observed on January 8. As cold as it seemed, we did not come close to any record temperatures this month. January is typically our coldest month so record lows are hard to come by.
January’s total precipitation of 4.18 inches was 0.15 inch above normal. The monthly snowfall total of 24.1 inches was 3.1 inches above normal. The snowfall total for this winter season, October through January, is 44.8 inches. This is 0.9 inch below normal, but 1.5 inches more than last winter for this time period.
If you thought January was cold and snowy then just wait until February’s totals wrap up. A sneak peak at February with a little more than half the month recorded shows that the average temperature is nearly 11 degrees below normal and snowfall is nearly five inches above normal. We shall see what the remainder of the month brings, but it could be one for the record books. Historically, Norfolk has recorded some huge February snowfall totals, so even with what seems like a good amount of snow the month might not rank all that high. Temperatures could be a different story. With less than two weeks to go, this February is currently the second coldest in our recorded history. As always, stay tuned.