Summer is on its way

By Russell Russ

May continued Norfolk’s string of sixteen consecutive months with above normal temperatures. It was fairly cool for about the first half of the month with some locations getting light frost or close to it on several occasions. We dipped into the mid to upper 30’s a few times, but no frost was observed at the weather station. Our opportunity to finally record a cooler than normal month for a change was quickly eliminated when the temperatures increased towards the end of the month. It warmed up quite a bit actually, with two days setting high temperature records. It was a hot Memorial Day ending with thunderstorms during the evening hours. Perhaps it was our weather’s way of leading us all into the summer season.

May’s low temperature of 36 degrees was observed on May 12 and the high of 89 degrees was observed on May 29. With an average temperature of 59.2 degrees it was 4.6 degrees above normal. Two high temperature records were set this month. The high temperature of 86 degrees on Memorial Day, May 28 just beat the 85 set in 1934 and the 89 degrees on May 29 shattered the old 1955 record of 83.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 4.78 inches, 0.44 inches above normal. It was the first time this year that we recorded an above average rainfall total. No snow or sleet fell during the month. On average that is less than half an inch below normal.

The snowfall total for the 2011-12 winter season, October through May, was 55.7 inches, which is 35.1 inches below normal for a season. This was way below normal. A quick review of our 80 year history solidly places the 2011-12 winter season in Norfolk’s top ten for least amount of winter season snowfall.

For the 2012 calendar year our snowfall total of 28.6 inches is 37.4 inches below normal. Our total precipitation amount of 14.49 inches is 6.79 inches below normal. We are not in water trouble yet, but we do need to pick up some rain over the next few months so we stay out of drought conditions.