Parts of the area receive first snowfall of the season
(WHSV) - Well it finally happened for some of the viewing area, the first official snowfall of the season, and for some barely. This is based off of the first time we see at least 0.1 inches of snow, as some did today.
On Wednesday morning, a system from the southwest moved into our area. Around sunrise, snow was falling across the area, some more than others.
In Augusta County, the snow quickly changed to a sleet/wintry mix by mid-morning. Snow eventually turned to sleet or rain across the Valley as the morning went on with all of the Valley having transitioned to rain by around noon. In our West Virginia locations, the snow stuck around into the early afternoon.
This was not a major winter storm as some areas didn’t pick up measurable snow, while some barely did. Other places like West Virginia got in on more significant snow. Our highest snowfall totals came across Grant, Pendleton, and western Hardy counties.
For Harrisonburg, this snowfall ties the latest snowfall on record. Back in 1992 is when we also had our first snow on January 25th. The average first snowfall for our area is December 12th. By the end of January, Harrisonburg averages 11.1 inches of snow.
The lack of snow this winter also holds true across our Allegheny Mountain locations as well. Bayard, West Virginia has only recorded 20.1 inches of snow so far this season. Through the end of January, Bayard averages 63.4 inches of snow. January has been a “warm” month as well compared to seasonal averages. Harrisonburg is on pace to have a top 10 warmest January on record.
This winter we are still having a La Niña, and in a pattern like this, snowfall is harder to come by. A La Niña is when the central and eastern Pacific Oceans have colder ocean temperatures than usual due to winds blowing warm waters over to the western Pacific. This causes cold water upwelling, basically colder waters that rise to the surface of the ocean.
We are now in our third winter of this La Niña; it’s rare La Niñas last this long. These are called “triple La Niñas”. There have been only three other triple La Niñas since 1950.
An El Niño is expected for next winter which typically means more snow for our area.
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