CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — As we near the last days of January, many West Virginians might be wondering when it is going to snow.
Although north central West Virginia has seen a few minor snowfalls this winter season, most of the state has seen substantially less snow accumulation than normal.
|City||Snow so far (2022-23)||Average snowfall|
|Clarksburg, WV||1.3 inches||23.8 inches|
|Elkins, WV||6.8 inches||68.9 inches|
|Charleston, WV||2.8 inches||31.5 inches|
According to a researcher from Virginia Tech, hydroclimate scientist Andrew Ellis, much of the northeastern United States is under a “snow drought” for the 2022-23 winter season. According to NOAA, a snow drought is when there is a lack of snow accumulation despite near-normal precipitation, caused by warm temperatures and precipitation falling as rain rather than snow or unusually early snowmelt.
“Aside from the unusually cold spell in mid-December, there has not been an episode of persistent cold air,” said Ellis, but he also said that global warming isn’t necessarily to blame. NOAA did predict a wetter and warmer than average winter due to La Nina.
Currently, 8.5% of West Virginia in eight counties is listed on the NOAA Drought Monitor. Parts of Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, Pendleton, Hardy, Mineral, Grant, Preston and Hampshire counties are listed as “Abnormally Dry” on the monitor, meaning those areas have a chance of stunted crop growth, meaning later planting season and elevated fire danger, meaning spring fire season starts earlier. No areas of West Virginia are currently listed as under drought.
Ellis said he expects the pattern of warmer temperatures and less-than-average snow to continue through February and March until the beginning of spring. There is a chance of overnight snow showers overnight into Tuesday, but StormTracker 12 meteorologists predict that it won’t cause much accumulation.