Another Slow Starting Winter
By Russell Russ
November and December typically mean the beginning of winter in Norfolk. Similar to recent winters, this winter once again got off to a slow start. The final two months of 2022 were warmer than normal and each were below normal for snowfall. Each had short periods of winter-like weather, but nothing lasting. Both months ranked fairly high for warmth. December ranked fairly high for precipitation. Most local smaller ponds and swamps started icing over in late November and temperatures were just cold enough to keep them frozen through December. Larger water bodies, like Tobey Pond and Wangum Lake, briefly iced over in late December, only to open up again by the end of the month.
November’s average temperature of 41.0 degrees was 3.9 degrees above normal and ranked as Norfolk’s eighth warmest November over the last 91 years. Temperatures ranged from a high of 71 to a low of 14 degrees. A daily high of 67 on November 12 surpassed the 66 degree previous record from 1964. The warmest November was in 2006 with 43.2 degrees, the coldest was in 1933 with 30.7. Total precipitation for the month was 3.26 inches, 1.32 inches below normal. Below normal, but not high ranking. Norfolk’s driest November was in 2012 with just 0.84 inch and the wettest was in 1950 with 10.03 inches. There was just 1.3 inches of snowfall for the month, 5.3 inches below normal. The first snowfall of the season came on November 15 with 1.2 inches measured. Norfolk’s snowiest November was in 1968 with 24.7 inches.
December’s average temperature of 28.9 degrees was 3.1 degrees above normal, ranking it as Norfolk’s fifteenth warmest December. Temperatures in December ranged from a high of 59 to a low of minus 2 degrees. There was one wild temperature swing during the month. It was 52 degrees in the early morning of December 23, then minus 2 during the early morning of December 24. A high of 59 degrees on December 30 surpassed the 1932 record of 55 for that date. Temperatures were all over the place during the month. Norfolk’s warmest December was in 2015 with 39.5 degrees and the coldest was 1989 with 11.5. With a monthly total precipitation amount of 6.02 inches, it was 1.45 inches above normal and was tied with December 1936 as the seventeenth wettest December over the last 91 years. December’s monthly snowfall total of 13.0 inches was 3.8 inches below normal. While some parts of Norfolk may not have had the snow cover, there were two inches of snow on the ground at the weather station on Christmas morning, technically making it a white Christmas this year. Norfolk’s snowiest December was in 1969 with 44.2 inches, the least snowy December was in 1943 with a monthly snowfall total of just 0.6 inch.