An early look at January’s weather

By Russell Russ

A quick look at the weather for the first half of January. During the first week of January there were three days with below zero temperatures and two days with zero degree temperatures. By the middle of the month there were additional days with lows of 1, 2 and 3 degrees. It was definitely a cold start to the new year. By comparison, the entire year of 2017 had only four days below zero and one day at zero – and all but one of those occurred during the last four days of the year.

A temperature of minus 8 degrees on January 1 tied a 1964 record low for that date. A low of minus 10 on January 7 surpassed the old 1942 record of minus 7. By January 10 Norfolk’s average temperature was nearly 14 degrees below the normal for January. Then, oddly enough on January 12, Norfolk set a daily high temperature record with 58 degrees, easily beating the old 1932 and 2017 record of 52. It was a brief warm-up though, between January 13 and 14 the temperature went from the upper 50’s to a cold 1 degree.

Through mid-month there had been two snowstorms that brought the monthly snowfall total to 19.4 inches, almost the average amount for the entire month. Then there was the January 12-13 rain storm that dumped 2.62 inches of rain. Just prior to the big warm-up and heavy rains there was 10 inches of snow on the ground with a water equivalent of 2.4 inches. The heavy rains combined with the rapid snowmelt (it all melted) resulted in flooding conditions in many locations in the state. By mid-month the total precipitation amount was 4.09 inches, already a little above the normal for the entire month of January.

It was a wild weather beginning for 2018. If the rest of the year follows suit then it should prove to be much more exciting than 2017.

Stay tuned for a complete monthly weather summary for January. See “Past Narratives” for past weather summaries, including November and December 2017 and a Year Review for 2017. Also check out the “Weather Data Sheets” for other weather summary data as soon as it becomes available.