Yet Another Delayed Start to Winter

By Russell Russ

November and December typically mean the beginning of winter in Norfolk, but as
has been the case for the last few years, the final two months of 2023 showed only a
few glimpses of winter. November was cooler than normal, was just a little below
normal for snow and ranked high for being a dry month. December, on the other
hand, was very warm, very wet and had very little snow. Most local smaller ponds
began skimming over with ice by late November. With December’s temperature
swings and above normal temperatures, small and larger ponds fluctuated with ice in
and ice out several times during the month. All ponds were basically ice-free on
December 31.
November’s average temperature of 35.5 degrees was 1.6 degrees below normal.
Temperatures ranged from a high of 60 to a low of 17 degrees. There were no daily
temperature records in November. Norfolk’s warmest November was in 2006 with
43.2 degrees, the coldest was in 1933 with 30.7. Total precipitation for the month was
2.05 inches, 2.53 inches below normal. It was Norfolk’s eighth driest November over
the last 92 years. Norfolk’s driest November was in 2012 with just 0.84 inch and the
wettest was in 1950 with 10.03 inches. November’s snowfall total of 5.3 inches was
1.3 inches below normal. The first snowfall of the season came on November 1 with
2.7 inches. Norfolk’s snowiest November was in 1968 with 24.7 inches.
December’s average temperature of 35.2 degrees was 9.4 degrees above normal,
ranking it as Norfolk’s second warmest December over the last 92 years.
Temperatures in December ranged from a high of 58 to a low of 11 degrees.
December’s weather was more like November weather. Even with several unusually
warm days, there were no daily temperature records set in December. Norfolk’s
warmest December (by far) was in 2015 with 39.5 degrees and the coldest (by far)
was in 1989 with 11.5. With a monthly total precipitation amount of 8.50 inches, it
was 3.93 inches above normal and ranked as Norfolk’s fifth wettest December. It was
a wet year and December made it even wetter. The monthly snowfall total of just 2.0
inches was 14.8 inches below normal. For those that keep track, it was not a white
Christmas this year in Norfolk. In fact, there were only seven days in December with
some snow on the ground. Norfolk’s least snowy December was in 1943 with a
monthly snowfall total of just 0.6 inch. The snowiest was in 1969 with 44.2 inches.