Does it snow in West Virginia? A number of friends have been asking the same question since they showed interest in relocating to West Virginia.
After all, West Virginia is renowned for its rugged terrain.
The state’s rolling mountains, hills, and valleys earned it the title of “Mountain State,” and it is well-known for a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and whitewater rafting.
The answer to the question “does it snow in West Virginia?” is YES.
In this article, I will answer in detail the question “does it snow in West Virginia?” to help you prepare adequately if you’re planning to relocate or visit the “mountain state”.
Let’s dive straight into it.
Does it Snow in West Virginia?
As previously stated, the answer is YES.
West Virginia, commonly known as The “Mountain State”, is a state in the Appalachian area of the United States’ southeastern region.
Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and Kentucky share borders with the state.
West Virginia is the 40th most populated and 41st largest state in the United States, with 1.7 million people living on its 62,755 square kilometer landmass. However, does it snow in West Virginia?
It is the highest state east of the Mississippi River, with an average elevation of nearly 1,500 feet (460 meters) above sea level.
It is a territory that is economically and socially linked to the mountain spines that run the length and breadth of it, as well as the rivers that encircle it on numerous sides.
Spruce Knob in the east has the highest elevation in West Virginia at 4,863 feet (1,482 meters) while Harpers Ferry has the lowest point at 247 feet (75 meters).
Climate of West Virginia
The state features four distinct seasons that are almost equal in length.
Except for a marine modification in the eastern panhandle, it features a humid continental climate.
The average yearly temperatures range from roughly 56 °F (13 °C) in the south to 52 °F (11 °C) in the north and 48 °F (9 °C) in the most mountainous parts, depending on latitude and elevation.
The coldest month is January, with a statewide mean of 33 °F (1 °C), and the warmest month is July, with a 73 °F (23 °C) average.
The growing season lasts 160 days on average, but can last up to 180 days.
Because West Virginia is located in the westerly wind zone, the majority of storm tracks, fronts, and wind directions originate in the northwest, west, or southwest.
The average annual precipitation ranges from more than 60 inches (1,520 mm) in mountainous regions to 35 inches (890 mm) just east of the Alps.
Snowfall, which accounts for around 8% of total precipitation, ranges from less than 20 inches (510 mm) in the southwest to more than 64 inches (1,620 mm) in the eastern highlands.
When Does it Snow in West Virginia?
West Virginia has short winters that run from December to March.
Snowfall is documented in all sections of the state during this time period, though in varied amounts.
In southern West Virginia, for example, Charleston has an annual snowfall of 36.4 inches (925 mm) after 26.6 snowfall days.
Snowshoe in eastern West Virginia, on the other hand, receives 159.0 inches (4,039 millimeters) after 51.4 snowfall days.
In West Virginia, December marks the beginning of winter with snowfall.
Temperatures throughout the entire state fluctuate between highs of 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 degrees Celsius) to lows of 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8.3 degrees Celsius) during the month.
Snow accumulates across the entire state, with the eastern mountain areas receiving the most.
In West Virginia, January is both the coldest and snowiest month.
Temperatures range from 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6.1 degrees Celsius) to 13 degrees Fahrenheit (-10.6 degrees Celsius) across the state.
Snowfall in West Virginia ranges from 10 inches (254 millimeters) in the west to 15 inches (381 millimeters) in the east in January.
In West Virginia, February marks the end of winter with intermittent snowfall.
The state is still in the grip of harsh winter weather, with highs of 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8.3 degrees Celsius) and lows of 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.4 degrees Celsius).
Snow and ice are still frequent throughout the state.
Where Does it Snow in West Virginia?
Having answered the question “does it snow in West Virginia?”, let’s now look at the places where snow is experienced.
As previously mentioned, almost all areas of the state receive snow in varying amounts with the eastern region receiving the most.
Does it Snow in Charleston, West Virginia?
The answer is YES, Charleston does experience snow during the winter period.
West Virginia’s administrative headquarters and most populated city is Charleston.
The city has a population of 47,000 people and covers an area of 84.54 square kilometers.
Throughout the year, Charleston receives snowfall on 26.6 days and accumulates 36.4 inches (925 mm) of snow.
Does it Snow in Huntington, West Virginia?
YES, Huntington does experience snow during the winter months.
Huntington is a southern West Virginia inland port city.
The city has a land area of 47.82 square kilometers and a population of 46,000 people.
Huntington receives snowfall on 6.3 days per year and accumulates 11.5 inches (292 mm) of snow.
Does it Snow in Snowshoe, West Virginia?
YES, this small town does experience snow during the winter period.
Snowshoe is a small town in West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains.
The community of 200 people resides at an elevation of 4,848 feet (1,478 meters).
Snowshoe is West Virginia’s snowiest town, with an annual snowfall of 159 inches (4,039 millimeters) after 51.4 snowfall days.
The “Great Blizzard of 1978”
West Virginia is no stranger to hard winters, and whether you like it or not, snowy days are unavoidable every year.
Every winter, residents dress up and endure the cold, storing up on essentials such as gloves and ice scrapers well in advance.
However, everyone knows that predicting the weather in West Virginia is impossible!
In reality, West Virginia was previously hit by one of the most severe blizzards in recent memory.
The heaviest snowstorm to ever strike West Virginia shut down the state for days on January 20, 1978.
This historic storm is still known as “The Great Blizzard of ’78.”
A low-pressure storm system formed on the Florida panhandle on Thursday, January 20th, causing the snowstorm.
During the early morning hours of January 20th, snow began to fall to the north and finally reached West Virginia.
The snowstorm was considered a rare snow storm since more snow fell in Charleston than in the surrounding mountains.
The average total snow depth in Charleston and the Kanawha Valley on the afternoon of January 20th was a stunning 24 inches.
Huntington had 20 inches of snow, while Wheeling received 18 inches.
The massive amount of snow that fell on the state was disastrous.
Many individuals were killed as roofs and awnings fell.
Nobody was able to get behind the wheel.
Buses had become stranded. On that Friday, the entire state seemed to come to a halt.
Many roads, schools, and commercial enterprises were closed for many days.
Ski Resorts in West Virginia
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Snowshoe Mountain Resort is West Virginia’s largest ski resort.
It is a ski resort in West Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains.
The resort consists of three mountains and 257 acres of skiable terrain.
The resort receives 180 inches of snowfall on average and supplements it with artificial snow.
It has a range of winter activities available, including skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowmobiling.
It also includes several amenities, such as restaurants, shops, and a spa.
Hiking, mountain biking, golfing, and other outdoor leisure activities are available at the resort throughout the summer months.
Physical Address: 10 Snowshoe Dr, Snowshoe, WV 26209, United States
Canaan Valley Ski Resort
Canaan Valley Ski Resort is situated within Canaan Valley State Park, one of West Virginia’s largest parks.
The resort receives approximately 180 inches of snow each year and supplements it with artificial snow.
Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, and snowshoeing are among the winter activities available at the resort.
The resort includes 47 trails for various levels of skiing difficulty and the longest snow tubing runs in the state.
The Canaan Valley Ski Resort has the longest snow tubing runs in the state.
With its many natural and artificial snowfalls, the Canaan Valley Ski Resort provides a delightful winter experience for all tourists.
Visitors can participate in a variety of winter sporting activities.
Physical Address: Park Rd 826, Davis, WV 26260, United States
Winterplace Ski Resort
Winterplace Ski Resort is located in Ghent, Raleigh County, and is West Virginia’s southernmost ski resort.
Because of its proximity to Interstate 77, the resort is one of the most accessible in the Southeast and a popular destination for snow lovers.
On its 90 acres of skiable terrain, Winterplace has 27 routes, a summit elevation of 3,600 feet (1,100 meters), 11 lifts, and two terrain parks.
It also boasts an excellent ski school where both children and adults may learn to ski and snowboard.
The ski school was actually voted as the best in America.
Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowshoeing are among the winter activities available at the resort, which also has an outdoor ice-skating rink.
There are also various food options, a ski shop for rentals and sales, and a ski school with lessons for all ability levels at the resort.
The resort receives a considerable number of visitors each year, with the peak season spanning from December to March, and has a variety of hotel alternatives to accommodate guests.
Physical Address: 100 Old, Flat Top Mountain Road, Ghent, WV 25843, United States
Timberline Mountain Ski Area
Timberline Mountain ski area is located in West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains. The resort has a 4,268-foot summit height and a 1,000-foot vertical drop.
On average, the ski region receives 200 inches of snow each year on its 40 runs, which it supplements with artificial snow during the off-season.
The resort primarily caters to beginning and intermediate skiers and features West Virginia’s first detachable “six-pack” high-speed chairlift.
Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and other winter activities are available at the ski area.
The ski resort is suitable for families and has a variety of services such as ski and snowboard rentals, a ski school, and a toasty lodge with food and refreshments.
Physical Address: 254 Four Seasons Dr, Davis, WV 26260, United States
Final Thoughts on the Question: “Does it Snow in West Virginia?”
Does West Virginia get snow? The answer is YES.
The popular “Mountain state” receives a considerable amount of snow during the winter period.
If you’re a skiing enthusiast, do not forget to check out some of their best ski resorts.
As a matter of fact, they have the best ski school in America.
So, book your flight and head over to West Virginia for a “once-in-a-lifetime-” winter experience!
Snow Shoveling in West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Does West Virginia have 4 seasons?
YES, West Virginia has all the 4 seasons - spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season brings its own unique weather patterns and temperatures
How harsh are winters in West Virginia?
Winters in West Virginia can be harsh, depending on where you live and how high you are. The climate in the state is humid subtropical, with four distinct seasons. Winters in higher heights, such as the Appalachian Mountains, are often colder and snowier than in lower regions. Because of their location in the path of winter storms, mountainous places also face severe winds and significant snowfall. Temperatures can also fall below freezing throughout the winter, resulting in hazardous driving conditions and power disruptions.
What is the hottest month of the year in West Virginia?
The hottest month in West Virginia is often July, with an average temperature of 73 °F (23 °C). Temperatures can reach the mid to upper 80s and even the 90s in some regions during this time of year. The state has a humid subtropical climate, which implies that it has hot summers and moderate winters.
Does it snow in December in West Virginia?
YES, it snows in West Virginia in December. West Virginia lies in the eastern United States, where winters are harsh and snowy. December is one of the coldest months in West Virginia, with average temperatures ranging from 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does West Virginia have mild winters?
YES, it has mild winters. Temperatures in West Virginia's southwestern region experience a subtropical climate, meaning hot and humid summers and mild winters.