Fourth Wettest September

By Russell Russ

In an odd fashion, early September was more summer-like than most of
August. August’s high temperature of 80 degrees was reached just once
during that month. To the contrary, September had five days above 80 in
nearly the first week, with a high of 88 on September 7. Temperatures
turned more seasonal after mid-month. The real story for September was
the rain. After a nice weather Labor Day Weekend, most other weekends
were wet and oftentimes real wet. Just bad weather luck to seemingly
always have rain over a weekend. People do not seem to mind, or even
prefer, snow on a weekend, but rain is another story.
September’s high temperature of 88 degrees was observed on September 7. It was
a daily record high for that date, beating the 86 recorded in both 2007 and 2015.
The low of 39 was observed on September 27. This was the coolest temperature
since the 37 degree temperature observed on May 26. September’s monthly mean
temperature of 61.2 degrees was 2.2 degrees above normal, but it was not high
ranking. Norfolk’s warmest September was in 2015 with a mean temperature of
64.7 degrees and the coolest was in 1963 with 53.6 degrees. It is fairly normal for
some parts of Norfolk to see a few frosts in September, but that was not the case
this year. To wrap up summer totals as recorded at the weather station, there were
no days with 90 degrees or above in 2023. The average for 90 or above is
two to three days per year. There was an 89 on June 2, an 88 on July 6
and September 7 and an 87 on April 14.
The month’s rainfall total was 11.33 inches, 6.66 inches above normal. Another
excessively wet month for 2023. Norfolk’s wettest September was in 1938
(Hurricane of ’38) with 13.40 inches and the driest was in 2014 with just 1.16
inches. Through September this year, the yearly precipitation amount was 54.38
inches, 15.36 inches above normal and 20.49 inches more than last year’s total
through September. With three months still to go, Norfolk has already exceeded its
normal yearly amount of precipitation (52.53 inches). Looking back at the last
several years, it is interesting to note that precipitation totals through September
seem to fluctuate from very dry to very wet each year.
In a preview of October’s weather, through October 20, it was about five degrees
above normal for temperature and three inches below normal for precipitation.

With another wet weekend on tap for October 21-22, it will make it near average
for rainfall. Norfolk can see its first snowflakes of the season in October. The 91-
year average snowfall amount for October is 0.9 inch, but Norfolk has seen some
amazing early season snows over the years. Ever since the record shattering 23.8
inches in 2011, four Octobers have recorded a trace of snow, 2016 recorded 2.5
inches and 2020 recorded the fourth snowiest October with 4.6 inches. Time is
running out for this October, but you could say we are overdue.