Wet and Wild

By Russell Russ

The month’s high temperature of 92 degrees was observed on June 10. The low temperature of 45 degrees was observed on June 18. The average temperature this month was 66.2 degrees, 3 degrees above normal. There were two temperature records set this month. The high temperature of 88 degrees on June 7 beat the old June 7 record of 87 degrees set in 1933 and the high temperature of 92 degrees on June 10 beat the old June 10 record of 87 degrees set in 1934.

The total precipitation recorded this month was 7.67 inches, 3.00 inches above normal. There were a total of nine thunderstorms this month. The days with storms were June 6, 8, 10, 14 (which had two), 16, 22, 23 and 30. Many of these storms dumped heavy rain over short periods of time. The storm on the evening of June 10 was the most destructive by far and one of the more memorable ones that have hit Norfolk in quite some time. This particular storm came with heavy rain, hail, damaging winds and perhaps most memorable of all, vivid and frequent lightning. Many roads around town were blocked by downed trees and branches. Electricity was knocked out in some areas for nearly 48 hours. The general conclusion from the National Weather Service was that the damage was a result of straight-line winds, not any tornadoes.

The total precipitation recorded for 2008 through June is 32.24 inches, 6.47 inches above normal. It was a warm and wet month overall. Looking back through the records to 1932 this month fell within the top ten months of June for both warm temperatures and most rainfall.

June Storm Summary

A brief summary of June’s stormy weather through June 21, as recorded at Norfolk’s National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Observer Station, Norfolk 2 SW, by the Great Mountain Forest Corporation. Our weather station records rainfall with two National Weather Service instruments. One is an 8 inch non-recording rain gage that is manually measured each day and the other is a universal recording rain gage that runs on a clock that graphs-out rainfall on a marked chart. Norfolk 2 SW is one of only three locations in Connecticut, and the only privately run Cooperative station, that records precipitation to this extent for the National Weather Service.

June has been a very stormy month. To start at the beginning we have to go back to the early evening of May 31 when Norfolk was hit with a quick thunderstorm that dumped about 0.65 inches of rain in less than 30 minutes. There was a brief bit of hail with this storm. Even though this storm actually occurred in May, according to the National Weather Service, the rain that fell that evening gets recorded on June’s total. Looking back, it now appears that this was just a sign of things to come for the coming month.

On June 6 around 9:30 p.m. there was a thunderstorm with rain to follow over a 5 hour period that produced 0.75 inches of rain.

On June 8 around 3:15 p.m. a thunderstorm produced 1.02 inches in about 45 minutes.

On June 10 at a little before 10:00 p.m. one of the more violent thunderstorms to hit the area in quite some time blasted the area with high winds, vivid lightning, heavy rain and hail. This storm dumped 0.93 inches of rain, most of which came in about a 15 minute period. Many trees and power lines were damaged during this storm event. Some parts of town were without power for 48 hours or more. Many roads in town, including Routes 44 and 272, were closed for periods of time to allow crews time to clear the downed trees and repair power lines and poles. Parts of Canaan and Colebrook were also hit hard by this storm. What most people seem to remember the most about this storm was the frequency of the lightning. It was like a strobe light was turned on. Once the storm was over many people had to turn their attention to the lack of electricity (and Internet) and the detours they had to take to get out of their neighborhoods.

June 14 had two thunderstorms. One at 2:00 p.m. produced 0.85 inches in about 20 minutes and another at 7:00 p.m. produced 0.67 inches, most of which fell in about 1 hour.

Another thunderstorm lasting about 45 minutes hit Norfolk with 0.97 inches of rain and some hail during the early evening of June 16.

Normally the entire month of June receives 4.67 inches of rain. Through June 21 this year, thanks to these thunderstorms and numerous other days with just plain rain, we have received 6.41 inches. Norfolk was brushed with a couple more thunderstorms during the late morning and afternoon of June 22. These were quick hitters that produced less than 0.50 inches of rain. The totals were not in at the time of writing this summary, but it appears that we are on our way to at least a 7 inch rain total for the month. This seems like it should be a record, but in fact even 7 inches wouldn’t even make it into the top ten for the wettest months of June. What we all will remember though is the number and strength of the thunderstorms that we saw.