Another Cold Month, but Springtime Is Near
By Russell Russ
This winter and early spring continued to be cold, very much like last year. The big weather related news this March was the unprecedented water line and sewer line freeze-ups that occurred all over Norfolk and in surrounding towns. The depth of the frost was incredible and the cold temperature of the water coming out of Wangum Reservoir made for perfect freeze-up conditions. Running water to prevent water line freezing in many cases resulted in frozen sewer lines. Just a bad situation caused by extended cold temperatures and a harsh winter.
There were no big March snowstorms like we have seen in the past, but with no warm spells and just enough new snow to add to the January and February totals, we kept a deep snow cover throughout the month. Most ponds were not even thinking of losing any ice by the end of March. The maple syrup season was delayed in Norfolk and the entire maple syrup producing region of the Northeast. There was a slight change towards a little warmer springtime weather during the last week of the month. That warmer weather may not have been good for the late season skiers, but it helped save the maple syrup season for certain producers.
March’s low temperature of minus 1 degree was observed on both March 1 and 6 and the high of 50 degrees was observed on both March 10 and 11. With an average mean temperature of 25.6 degrees it was 5.2 degrees colder than normal, but it was 1.0 degree warmer than last March. For a few weeks it looked as if it might be a record cold March. It ended up being the ninth coldest March in the last 84 years.
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 2.35 inches, 2.13 inches below normal. It was a dry month, but nothing record setting. The monthly snowfall total of 13.7 inches was 4.4 inches below normal. The snow cover on the ground at the station ranged from 26 inches in early March to 17 inches at month’s end. A snow core taken in mid March indicated that there was six inches of water on the ground in the form of snow and ice.
The 2015 calendar year’s total precipitation amount of 9.08 inches was 3.04 inches below normal and the snowfall total of 70.2 inches was 10.8 inches above normal for this period. The snowfall total for this winter season, October through March, was 90.9 inches. This was 6.8 inches above normal and 0.4 inch above our normal entire winter season snowfall amount. We still have April and May to go until our winter snow season ends, but it looks like we probably will not see much more snowfall.
What will April bring? When will we finally make that transition into springtime? A quick look at the first half of April showed that it started seasonably cool, but there were signs of some very welcomed warmth. With a few days in the 60’s and the ponds finally losing their ice around the third week of the month you could say spring finally arrived. Another long Norfolk winter is behind us.