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Record rainfall was the story of 2018 weather in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fans of rain certainly enjoyed 2018 in West Virginia.

Record-breaking rainfall was the story of the year in the state weather wise.

“This year has been unusually wet,” Andy Chilian, WSAZ Meteorologist, said. “For example for Charleston, this is the wettest year on record. And the records go back in the late 1890s.”

Chilian said Charleston broke its 2003 record of 61 inches of rain by more than five inches. Yeager Airport in the capital city measured 66.56 inches of rain on the final day of the calendar year.

2018 broke the yearly record for rainfall for a lot of places in the state while one month broke the monthly record.

“September in Charleston was the wettest on record by far with 11 inches of rain,” Chilian said.

February also brought heavy rain in the middle of last winter, as bodies of water across the state flooded. This winter has gotten off to a wet start as December in Charleston has seen rain five inches above normal.

While the rainfall is certainly the story of 2018, especially in the winter months, Chilian said that caused another storyline for the year for him.

“The lack of snow,” he said. “We saw the first flakes back in November but we haven’t seen any type of major snowstorms here. Really even earlier this winter, we saw some in January but other than that there was a few here and there but nothing major in terms of snowfall

“We had our usual spring rains and summer thunderstorms.”

The end of 2018 is ending with more showers and unseasonably warm temperatures as New Year’s Eve saw temperatures around the state hit 60 degrees and above and New Year’s Day into the 50s.

New Year’s Day of 2018 saw temperatures around the state well below freezing as Charleston was in the midst of a two-week stretch with low temperatures in the teens or single digits.

Chilian said with the systems of rain continuing to move through, all it takes is some cold air to deliver significant snowfall in the early months of 2019.

“What we will be watching for is seeing if we can get colder air,” he said. “Be aware of this because we have been in a stormy pattern recently. We have seen mainly rain from these storms but if we are able to get some of these cold air from the artic to combine with this moisture from the South, that’s when we could be seeing a major snowstorm.”





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