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Article Archive >> Winter Tourism

Winter in West Virginia

Winter in West Virginia

West Virginia enjoys the four seasons, but depending on where you visit, they can differ dramatically.
In the low-lying areas and valleys, including the western regions of the state and the Eastern Panhandle, winters are quite mild. In the central, more mountainous areas of the state, winters are much colder, with greater amounts of snow.
The statewide average high temperature in January are generally in the mid-30s.
Throughout the state rainfall averages near 40 inches per year, while in the higher elevations of the Allegheny Mountains, 55 or more inches per year are common.
The coolest temperatures and the heaviest precipitation occur along the high E edge of the Appalachian Plateau; temperatures increase, and precipitation decreases, both to the NW and to the SE. The climate of the state is notable for considerable variation between nearby areas, due largely to differences in altitude. Charleston, in the W, has an average January temperature of 1.4 C (34.5 F); Elkins, in the E, has a mean January temperature of -1.1 C (30 F), in 1930 at Moorefield and in 1936 at Martinsburg.
Mean annual precipitation in West Virginia increases from about 1015 mm (about 40 in) along the Ohio R. in the W to about 1525 mm (about 60 in) near the Allegheny Front, then drops abruptly to less than some 915 mm (some 36 in) in the Valley and Ridge Region in the E. Mean annual snowfall varies from less than 405 mm (16 in) in the SW to more than 1625 mm (64 in) along the Allegheny Front. The state is rarely struck by damaging tornadoes or hurricanes, but thunderstorms in sometimes cause flash flooding.


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