Warm and Dry

By Russell Russ

June was a fairly pleasant summer month. The trade-off with having such beautiful weather is that it can become very dry with such little rainfall. While many other parts of the region did record decent rainfall, and some impressive rainfall, Norfolk kept being missed by the larger storms. On numerous occasions the storms either fell apart just before hitting town or just missed town on their way through the state. Lawns turning brown and brooks becoming nearly bone dry by mid-June is not a good sign. Hopefully, later in the summer, the storms will find Norfolk and provide some relief from its growing precipitation deficit.

June’s low temperature of 37 degrees was observed on June 1. A low temperature of 38 degrees on June 14 was a new record low for that date (was 41 in 1933). The month’s high temperature of 90 degrees on June 22 was a new record high for that date (was 88 in 1943). June 22 was Norfolk’s first day this year with a temperature of 90 degrees or above. On average, Norfolk reaches 90 or above just two to three times each year. The average monthly mean temperature this month was 66.0 degrees, 2.6 degrees above normal. This places June 2020 tied with June 1994 as Norfolk’s 9th warmest June over the last 89 years. Norfolk’s warmest June was in 1943 with 68.3 degrees and the coolest was in 1958 with 58.8 degrees.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was just 2.13 inches, 2.71 inches below normal. It was Norfolk’s 11th driest June over the last 89 years. The driest June was in 1988 when only 0.61 inch was recorded. The wettest June was in 2013 with 13.38 inches. There were two relatively small thunderstorms this month, on June 6 and 29.

For the first half of 2020, Norfolk’s total precipitation amount totaled just 17.78 inches. This was 7.73 inches below normal though the month of June. Let us hope that things turn around and we pick up considerably more rainfall in the coming months. The years of 2016 (3rd driest) and 2015 (8th driest) were recent back to back very dry years. In comparison to those recent highly ranked dry years, through the month of June, 2020 has been drier than both of them. We could be looking at a very high ranking dry year this year. Stay tuned and wish for rain.

An early look at July through July 24 showed that summer’s heat and humidity really set in. While July is historically our warmest month of the year, this July so far was much warmer than usual. With just a week to go until the end of the month, July stood at just 0.1 degree away from being the warmest July, and also the warmest month of ANY month, over the last 89 years. In recording an impressive 93 degrees on July 19, Norfolk topped the 90 degree mark for the second time this year. We finally did get some much needed rainfall with a few days of stormy weather, complete with a couple of good thunderstorms. We were still about an inch below normal for the month, but at least some rain has found its way into town and we won’t be recording another high ranking dry month.