The climate of West Virginia
has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with warm summers and cold winters. Virginia in the southeast, Kentucky in the southwest, Ohio in the northwest, Pennsylvania in the north, and Maryland in the east, border the state. The climate varies considerably at higher altitudes (Köppen Cfb and Dfb) in the mountain ranges of the state.
West Virginia, the Mountain state, majorly consists of mountainous terrain and rolling hills that are part of the Appalachian Mountain Range. The Allegheny Mountains lie in the eastern part of the state and receive a large amount of rainfall, especially at altitudes over 2500 meters. Many rivers such as the Potomac and the Shenandoah, lakes, wetlands, swamps, and forests constitute the topography of the state. West Virginia is a region with natural challenges that are popular with adventure seekers, winter sports lovers, hunters, rock climbers, and hikers.July
is the peak of summer with average high temperatures of 82°F (27.8°C) to 87°F (30.6°C), while January
is the trough of winter with average low temperatures in the 15°F (-9.4°C) to 25°F (-3.9°C) range.
Summer days feel hot due to the increase in humidity, while nights cool down at most by 10°F (-12.2°C) to 20°F (-6.7°C) compared to the day - the difference in temperatures, however, is not as extreme as the states in the Mid-West.
Winter days are cold, while the temperatures are below freezing during the nights.
Spring is warm and wet, while autumn is temperate and windy in the majority of the state. Fog is common in many places during the winter, and sunshine is at a premium. West Virginia rarely experiences severe weather, typical of the northeast region of America, and records the least number of tornadoes in the eastern United States.
West Virginia experiences evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year that averages 44" (1118mm). Rainfall peaks in midsummer July and the higher elevations register 56" (1422mm). Eastern valleys that lie in the rain shadow region of the Allegheny Mountains record low rain compared to the rest of the state to the tune of 36" (914mm). Snowfall averages 36" (914mm) during the year; Snowshoe in the east is the snowiest at 159" (4039mm), while Elkins records 84" (2134mm) - the eastern highlands accumulate considerably more snow than the rest of the state. West Virginia is usually cloudy and rainy, at least to an extent throughout the year, and the sun is present on the horizon for only 162 days during the year - in fact, a few cities in the state record even more than 200 days of cloud cover.
Martinsburg recorded West Virginia's highest temperature of 112°F (44.4°C) on July 10, 1936, while Lewisburg recorded the lowest temperature of -37°F (-38.3°C) on December
The best time to visit West Virginia
Summers are hot and humid, but the temperatures rarely go above 95°F (35°C). Rainfall occurs throughout the year but reaches a peak between June
. Spring is warm but experiences frequent rainfall. Autumn is mild in the early and middle season, and the foliage is colorful.
Overall, the period from May
is the best time to visit West Virginia
- though, keep in mind that summer is also the peak tourist season and draws large crowds. The mountain climate in the eastern region is colder than the rest of the state during peak summer, which is an excellent time for hiking and backpacking.
The worst time to visit West Virginia
Winter is the worst time to visit West Virginia
as the weather is cold, and temperatures are below freezing.
Fog is a constant companion as the cloudy skies hide the sun for many days. Snow and rain both are persistent during the winter, and the roads are icy. Winter is a slow season for tourism but attracts some visitors for activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. West Virginia receives 40" (1016mm) to 120" (3048mm) of snow in the various regions of the state.
is usually calm, but thunderstorms occasionally occur in late spring and early summer. Tornadoes hit the state but in lesser numbers and low intensity as the winds find strong barriers in the form of high mountain ranges.
Summer experiences heavy rain and hailstorms are not entirely unexpected in the state. Snowstorms are common during the winter, although they lack the strength of those in the other parts of the country.
Weather in January
is the coldest month of the year in West Virginia
as the temperatures plummet to the frigid zones. The average high temperatures are in the cold range of 33°F (0.6°C) to 43°F (6.1°C), while the average low temperatures stay in the 13°F (-10.6°C) to 24°F (-4.4°C) zone. January is the snowiest month with an average of 10" (254mm) to 15" (381mm); Eastern regions like Snowshoe, Elkins, Bartow, Marlinton, and Seneca State Forest accumulate significantly higher amounts of snow over the average. Weather in January »
Weather in February
is cold in West Virginia
with the average temperatures in the 15°F (-9.4°C) to 47°F (8.3°C) zone across different regions of the state. The eastern mountains block cold air masses that are unable to pass to the west side most of the time and bring severe cold to West Virginia's eastern valley regions during the winter. Weather in February »
Weather in March
arrives with the promise of the warm temperatures of spring in West Virginia
. The average day temperatures rise to register between the 43°F (6.1°C) to 53°F (11.7°C) range but the nights regularly drop below freezing with the temperatures in the 22°F (-5.6°C) to 36°F (2.2°C) range. A slight increase in rainfall is evident during the spring, while snowfall sees a slight decrease to approximately 6" (152mm) to 8" (203mm) statewide. Weather in March »
Weather in April
sees the advent of spring in West Virginia
with warm days and mild nights. Spring smells of freshwater and blossoming flowers like honeysuckles and rhododendrons in the background of greenery everywhere. Rain is persistent, but snowfall is almost over with the end of winter. Weather in April »
Weather in May
sees warm temperatures in West Virginia
with comfortable days and nights as the spring weather blesses the state. The average high temperatures are in the pleasant 65°F (18.3°C) to 75°F (23.9°C) zone, while the average low temperatures are in the warm 40°F (4.4°C) to 55°F (12.8°C) range. Sunshine increases in the state, especially in the southern part, as the average number of days with sunshine increases to 15. Weather in May »
Weather in June
is beautiful, with many sunny days and one of the best times to visit West Virginia
. The usually cloudy skies give way to sunshine as the daylight lasts over 12 hours. The average high temperatures are in excellent 70°F (21.1°C) to 80°F (26.7°C) range, while average low temperatures are between 50°F (10°C) and 60°F (15.6°C). Weather in June »
Weather in July
is undoubtedly the hottest and most humid month of the year in West Virginia
. The average high temperatures in the state are from hot 76°F (24.4°C) to 87°F (30.6°C), and the average low temperatures are from warm 50°F (10°C) to 65°F (18.3°C). Weather in July »
Weather in August
is a hot month during the summer of West Virginia
with day temperatures in the 75°F (23.9°C) to 85°F (29.4°C). Nights tend to be warm and humid with 50°F (10°C) to 65°F (18.3°C). Humidity is up to 75% as cloud cover is common during the summer. Weather in August »
Weather in September
begins the beautiful autumn season in West Virginia
that sees average temperatures in the pleasant 44°F (6.7°C) to 80°F (26.7°C) range. The average high temperatures are in the 70°F (21.1°C) to 80°F (26.7°C) range, while the average low temperatures are cooler between 44°F (6.7°C) to 57°F (13.9°C). Early fall receives 3" (76mm) to 4" (102mm) of rain and an average of 15 days of sun during the month. Weather in September »
Weather in October
has warm days and cold nights as the autumn in West Virginia
reaches its peak. It is a great time to watch the peak fall foliage in the temperate weather conditions. Sunny days are in abundance, and the sunshine averages 6 to 7 hours daily. Weather in October »
Weather in November
signals the end to the autumn season in West Virginia
that sees a rapid drop in temperatures and the first of the snowflakes. The average daily temperatures range between 49°F (9.4°C) to 57°F (13.9°C), while the nights plummet below freezing with the 24°F (-4.4°C) to 36°F (2.2°C) range. The sunshine reduces to 4 to 5 hours daily, while the sun is on the horizon for an average of 12 days in November. Weather in November »
Weather in December
is a cold winter month in West Virginia
with the average temperatures in the 17°F (-8.3°C) to 42°F (5.6°C) range. The eastern part of the state is cold with average low temperatures of 17°F (-8.3°C) in Marlinton and 23°F (-5°C) in Wardensville; Beckley in the south has lows at 26°F (-3.3°C), while Clarksburg in the northwest registers approximately 25°F (-3.9°C). Snowfall is heavy in the eastern mountain ranges where it often crosses 15" (381mm) to 20" (508mm). Weather in December »