Not Norfolk’s Best Weather

By Russell Russ

When will we see some sunshine? That was the theme for May’s weather. It was the theme for April’s weather as well. Difficult to say why our weather has been so dreary this spring, but it sure will be nice when the sunshine returns – and for more than a day or two in a row would be even nicer. A much welcomed taste of summer came during the Memorial Day weekend. The weather in Norfolk was beautiful for this year’s Memorial Day.

It is hard to believe, but wintery precipitation is fairly common in Norfolk in May. Not welcomed, but fairly common all the same. Over the last 88 months of May, Norfolk has recorded some form of snow or sleet for 41 of those months. There have been 29 Mays with just a trace of wintery precipitation and 12 Mays that have recorded more. Spring has arrived, but as usual it comes with a hint of winter.

May’s low temperature of 34 degrees was observed on May 13 and the high of 82 degrees was observed on May 26. With an average monthly mean temperature of 53.7 degrees, it was 1.2 degrees below normal. It was over 6 degrees cooler than last May. Last May was Norfolk’s 2nd warmest on record. Norfolk’s warmest May occurred in 2015 with a temperature of 61.8 degrees, the coldest was in 1967 with 46.8.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 5.01 inches, 0.66 inches above normal. Through May, the total precipitation for the year was 22.77 inches. It seemed to rain (or snow) nearly every day this May, actually 22 of 31 days saw some form of precipitation, but the final totals were not excessive. At May’s conclusion Norfolk was looking at a precipitation surplus of 2.14 inches for the year. Norfolk’s wettest May was in 1984 with 12.34 inches, the driest was in 1980 with 1.31 inches.

May recorded just a trace of snow and sleet this year. As usual during the first and last snowfalls of the season, the Hartford TV stations were in town to do a segment on it. Norfolk’s 2019 snowfall total through May was just 39.3 inches, 26.1 inches below normal. Through last May the snowfall total was 91.1 inches. Quite the difference. Norfolk’s (and Connecticut’s) snowiest May on record was in 1977 when an amazing 20.0 inches was recorded. Our 2nd snowiest May was in 1945 with 5.6 inches.

The Winter Season officially ended after May and this season’s (October-May) snowfall total was 56.6 inches, 33.2 inches below normal. This Winter Season ranked as Norfolk’s 11th least snowy winter since 1932. Snow lovers will have to hope for better luck next year.

An early look at June’s weather through two-thirds of the month shows that temperatures and precipitation were running just a little below normal. The month’s first two weeks were nice, but it was back to the cool, cloudy and wet weather for the third week. Norfolk is still waiting for REAL summer weather to come and stay.

There was much weather talk this spring on how many continuous days there had been with some form of precipitation. This type of data is not directly tracked at this weather station so it is difficult to compare to previous years, but for 2019 through June 21 there have been 172 days and there has been some form of precipitation that fell on 113 of those days. Very generally speaking, that means that two-thirds of 2019 has been wet. People’s gut feelings are correct, this year’s weather has been not all that nice. Fair weather lovers will have to hope the rest of the summer comes in on the sunny side.