A Beautiful Fall Foliage Season

By Russell Russ

A near typical October for Norfolk. Temperatures were about right for this time of year. Many locations had early morning frost on at least ten days. Even the weather station in its higher elevation saw frost on six mornings. Rainfall continues to be below normal, but we seem to be picking up just enough to keep out of serious drought conditions.

Perhaps the dry conditions helped with our spectacular fall foliage colors this year. The lack of heavy rain (and snow) and wind storms certainly helped the trees keep their leaves on for our visual enjoyment. All fall foliage seasons are beautiful, but this year seemed to be brighter than normal. Peak coloring in Norfolk occurred around Columbus Day this year, as usual earlier than many other parts of the state, but very typical for northwestern Connecticut.

The month’s high temperature of 71 degrees was observed on October 12 and the low temperature of 20 degrees was observed on October 19. Several morning lows dipped into the low to mid 20’s. The average mean temperature was 46.6 degrees, 1.1 degrees below normal. It was 3.7 degrees cooler than last October.

The total precipitation for the month was 3.22 inches, 1.08 inches below normal. Nearly two-thirds of the monthly rain, 2 inches worth, came during a period of less than twenty-four hours spanning October 28 and 29. Had it not been for this one late month rain event we would have been once again flirting with another potentially record setting dry month. The first snow of the season came during the afternoon of October 18. The snow showers resulted in just a trace of measured snow, but the ground was covered and it certainly reminded us all that winter really is just around the corner.

The yearly rainfall deficit continued to grow this month. Through October, the total precipitation amount for the year was 35.07 inches. This is 8.54 inches below normal and 12 inches below last year through October. Unless the weather patterns dramatically change over the next two months 2015 is solidly looking at a spot in the top ten driest years on record for Norfolk.