West Virginia Climate Summary, July 2013:
A Warm, Wet Summer Continues
Heavy showers continued to pepper the Mountain State during July. Monthly rainfall topped 7 inches in locations such as Charleston, Huntington, and Parkersburg—and for Parkersburg it was the wettest July since 2003. By July 28, the state’s topsoil moisture—as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture—was 3% short, 83% adequate, and 14% surplus. There were also several severe weather outbreaks, with the greatest concentration of wind damage occurring across northern and western West Virginia on July 10. On that date, wind gusts in excess of 40 mph were clocked in Wheeling, Parkersburg, and Huntington. Meanwhile, July temperatures averaged mostly in the near- to slightly above-normal range. However, hot, humid conditions ruled during the week of July 14-20, when valley readings regularly topped 90°F. Huntington and Martinsburg each attained the 90-degree mark on 6 consecutive days from July 15-20. Conversely, a late-month cool snap sent temperatures to 55°F or below statewide on July 29. The mid-month hot spell was accompanied by very high humidity levels and minimal overnight cooling, leading to potentially dangerous conditions for those laboring outside or without air conditioning. The heat was remarkably consistent, as evidenced by Wheeling’s 5 consecutive days with a high of 89°F from July 15-19. On 4 of those 5 days, Wheeling’s low was 70°F; the minimum on July 17 was 71°F. In Martinsburg, temperatures remained at or above 70°F for 6 consecutive days from July 16-21.
Just a few days later, however, Martinsburg’s temperature (58°F on July 25) dipped below 60°F for the first time since June 22. For the majority of the state, the month’s coolest morning was July 29, when lows dipped to 50°F in Beckley and Elkins. Preliminary readings from Canaan Valley and Kumbrabow State Forest indicated that low temperatures fell to 42°F on the 29th.
With bursts of intense rain common during July, reports of flash flooding were fairly widespread. In Fayette County, for example, a car was washed off a road in Hico during the evening of July 19; the driver—the only occupant—was rescued unharmed. Earlier, Huntington had been soaked by exactly 4 inches of rain in 4 days, from July 4-7. Although Huntington received rainfall totaling 0.99 inch on the 4th of July, it was not even close to the city’s wettest Independence Day on record: 3.00 inches in 1932. In all, measurable rain fell on 20 days during July in Bluefield and Elkins, along with 19 days in Wheeling and 18 days in Charleston and Parkersburg.