Top weather stories of 2017 in western Massachusetts

Drought came and went throughout 2017

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – As 2017 winds down, 22News looked back at the big WEATHER stories of the year here in western Massachusetts.


2017 started with parts of western Massachusetts in extreme drought after a very dry year before.
We had less snow than usual in January, and even a record high in the mid 50s on January 12th.


February was probably the wildest weather month of the year.
We had a very snowy start to the month, then record heat in the second half of the February.
On February 25th, after hitting the 70s during the day, an EF1 tornado with winds of 110mph damaged homes in Goshen and Conway that evening. Luckily no one was hurt.


In March we had the biggest snow storm ever recorded at Westover A.R.B. in Chicopee on March 14th when 21.7″ of snow fell in one day, more than the blizzard of ’78.


April we bounced back with some warmth. Hitting the 80s five times and breaking two high temperature records.


By May of 2017 we were finally drought free for the first time in almost a year.
We had an early heat wave in May and broke high temperature records twice.


The spring heat continued with another heat wave in June and one record high temperature. Several rounds of storms brought widespread hail to the area.


July and August weren’t that hot. We had no heat waves, and we only hit the 90s three times.


September, on the other hand, was hot and dry. High temperatures broke records three times and we hit 90 degrees twice. After the first week of September, a prolonged dry stretch would bring the drought back by October.


October started dry, but widespread downpours soaked the area in the last week of the month ending the drought with over 8 inches of rain for the month. October was also so warm that it delayed the fall foliage.


November brought a return of dry and mild air, which continued to impact the leaves on the trees. We had no snow in the lower Pioneer Valley.
That all changed this December.


Our first storm of the snow season came December 5th, followed by a Christmas Day snow storm. After Christmas was brutal, record cold and wind to end the year.