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A much snowier time: Recap of the 2009-2010 Winter

Weather

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – There have been several memorable snowstorms over the years here in the Mountain State – from the “Great Appalachian Storm of 1950,” to the “Blizzard of 93,” and even 2012’s infamous “Superstorm Sandy.”

A resident digging out their car during one of the many snowstorms that winter

But when we look at winter seasons as a whole, not many compete with the winter of 2009-2010.

The 2009-2010 winter was the snowiest season on record for the city of Clarksburg and ranks in the top 10 for both Elkins and Morgantown.

One of the most crippling storms of the season hit during the first weekend of February.

On that Saturday, the WBOY 12News team was on air for most of the morning to keep north-central West Virginia ahead of the storm.

Even our own Don Graye was out in the elements.

We are at eleven and a half inches, just shy of a foot and that’s here along the interstate, as you mentioned along I-79 north here in Harrison County.

Don Graye in February 2010

Former WBOY 12News Chief Meteorologist Jason Parrish recalls the efforts of the WBOY 12News team on that snowy Saturday morning.

It was great, because again, we knew well ahead of time it was coming. So we had ample time to put people in different places. It was really good, I think, doing good public service.

Jason Parrish, Former WBOY 12News Chief Meteorologist
A snowy I-79 during the winter of 2009-2010

It wasn’t just one storm that brought us snow, it was round after round of systems that moved through the region.

What key ingredients played into the active weather?

It’s kind of a perfect setup when it comes to winter storms in the Mid Atlantic. We had a real strong El Nino that year and at the same time you know, our North Atlantic oscillation was kind of strong that year too. So you have a setup as a system that is slowing down, that has plenty of moisture, and then when it taps cold air from the north, particularly in the mid-Atlantic where we are, it’s a good setup for snow and a lot of it.

Jason Parrish, Former WBOY 12News Chief Meteorologist

By the end of February 2010, five significant snowstorms impacted north-central West Virginia.

A snowy Clarksburg street during the winter of 2009-2010

Clarksburg saw a total of 65 inches of snow, over 40 inches above the seasonal average.

To put that into perspective, only 26 inches have fallen in the city over the past four years.

That winter, outside of working you know, Superstorm Sandy in late October, early November in 2012, that stretch of winter between 2009 and 2010 was as a Meteorologist very busy but at the same time incredibly fun.

Jason Parrish, Former WBOY 12News Chief Meteorologist

Whether you were out of school for days on end or gained some bicep muscles from all of the shoveling, the winter of 2009-2010 was an unforgettable one for many.

To revisit this story in the 2020 StormTracker 12 Winter Weather special, click here.

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