Warm Autumn Weather

By Russell Russ

October this year was a pleasant weather month. Temperatures were well
above average and there were few days with any precipitation. There were
just two days with frost at most Norfolk locations (Oct. 24 and 31) and there
was no snowfall during the month. October firmly held onto autumn
throughout the entire month. After a very wet September, that was nice.
The local fall foliage season this year was a bit of a disappointment. The
wet summer caused most sugar maples to brown up and drop early. There
were splashes of appealing color, but overall, the season was not the best.
The month’s high temperature of 80 degrees was observed on Oct. 4 and
the low of 31 was observed on Oct. 31. There were five days (Oct. 4, 25,
26, 27 and 28) with record-setting daily high temperatures and one day
(Oct. 3) that missed the record by just one degree. The monthly mean
temperature of 48.5 degrees was 4.7 degrees above normal. This October
was tied with October, 2021 as Norfolk’s seventh warmest October since
1932. Norfolk’s warmest October was in 2001 with a mean temperature of
55.3 degrees and the coldest was in 1974 with 42.0 degrees.
The total precipitation for the month was 4.08 inches, 0.28 inch below
normal. Only six days during the month saw measurable rainfall. Norfolk’s
wettest October occurred in 1955 with 17.49 inches (also second wettest of
any month). The driest October was in 1963 with just 0.63 inch (also the
third driest of any month). There was no snowfall this October, technically
making it 0.9 inch below normal. Norfolk’s record for October snowfall
continues to be the impressive 23.8 inches recorded in 2011.
Through October, the total precipitation amount for the year was 58.46
inches. This was 15.08 inches above normal through October. With two
months yet to go in the year, we are already 5.93 inches above the normal
yearly average precipitation amount. This year could be in the top ten
wettest year category, but only if November and December come in with
average or above average totals.
The first snowfall of the season came on Nov. 1, when parts of Norfolk
measured up to 2.7 inches. It was a very elevation-driven snowfall. Some

nearby areas only got rain while areas above 1,300 feet in elevation saw
nearly three inches. The warm autumn weather of October quickly ended
with the arrival of November. Precipitation, through the first three weeks,
was well below normal with just 0.34 inch recorded. Temperatures were
running very average. Yes, it seemed cold, but the temperatures were very
average for a normal November. Two days hit 60 degrees, but many days
had lows in 20s and it was 17 degrees on the morning of Nov. 21.
November was acting like November and winter is fast approaching.