Reviewing the big weather stories in western Massachusetts in 2016

Recapping the biggest weather stories of last year

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)- Weather was a big story in 2016 and much of the story was about what weather was lacking.

January 2016 will be remembered for its lack of snow! Only half an inch of snow fell in the lower Pioneer Valley in typically our snowiest month. We even had record highs early in the month and January was fairly dry overall.

February 2016 was more winter-like, but we still had quite mild temperatures and not enough snow for typical February, but February 2016 was actually our wettest month of the year.

March continued the snow drought with only one inch of snow and temperatures even reached the 80s early in the month, breaking more high temperature records.

The most winter-like weather we had came in spring! April 2016 had 4″ of snow to start the month, with some cold air, but milder than average air ended the month.

The rest of spring and throughout the summer, the weather was about hotter than normal temperatures and the development of drought. The drought became extreme and many communities had to implement water restrictions. We had less of our typical summertime thunderstorms and an eight day heat wave in July.

The drier than normal weather continued through autumn and so did the warmth. We had record highs in the mid 80s on October 18th, 2016. Yet just 9 days later we had an early snowfall to end October as close to 1″ of snow fell in the lower Pioneer Valley. Some of that snow caused damage and power outages.

November 2016 was relatively quiet with very little snow in the Pioneer Valley, even though the Berkshires ended up with close to a foot on the 20th and 21st of the month.

December 2016 ended the year with slightly higher than normal snowfall.

Looking ahead to 2017, we’ll hope for improvements in the drought, and the outlook for the first three months of the year is for temperatures to stay milder than average overall.