Your StormTracker 59 team goes back into the weather files to highlight some of the most impactful weather of the month. Kicking off the year, January can, well, be January. Cold at times, blustery, gray, gloomy. Sometimes it can be sunny, hot, and more like spring. This year, January couldn’t make up its mind but did feature some cool events for the two Virginias. Take a look at some of the weather highlights from the first month of 2023.


We like to joke around a little in the weather lab about a “rollercoaster ride” when temps make big swings, but this month would have been one of the worst rollercoasters ever made. We started the month with temperatures in the 60s and 70s only to be followed by temps barely making the freezing mark. In the end, we ended up with the 10th warmest January on record in Beckley – about 7 degrees above the average temperature at about 39.3 degrees.


This photo provided by Dan Bartlett shows comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) on Dec. 19, 2022.

A once in a lifetime comet became visible to telescope users mid-January and will be with us until February 5th. While unlikely to be visible to the naked eye, Comet C/2022 E3 (ZFT) will delight telescope and binocular users until it ultimately races away never to be seen again in our lifetimes. The last time this comet was viewed was nearly 50,000 years ago!


The full moon in January is known as the Wolf Moon dating back to European settlers and Native American tribes. Mistakenly thinking wolves howl more in January due to hunger, they named this months fool moon after them. Fast forward 400 years, the name has stuck. As for the ‘micromoon’ title, this is when the moon reaches its furthest point from Earth in the moons orbit. A micromoon looks about 2-3% smaller than normal. Not exactly noticeable on its own. Check out some of the viewer photos sent in to the StormTracker 59 #WeatherTogether Community Photo Album of the micromoon over our region.


When you think January, most often the words cold, barren, and snowy come to mind. At times this month, we certainly saw the cold with some days in the 20s. But overall, snowy would not be a word to describe January of 2023. Hydrologically speaking, we’re about an inch under normal precipitation levels so we’ve been cold, sure, but dry most of the month. And what has fallen has been in the form of rain, not snow. However, that doesn’t mean we escaped the winter wonderland completely. On January 13-14th and January 23rd we did manage to get enough snow to create some hazards and bring that winter feel back to the region. Here are some photos from viewers to the #WeatherTogether Album:

What is #WeatherTogether?

Launched late last year, #WeatherTogether is a dedicated community photo album hosted by 59News and StormTracker 59 to allow viewers to submit weather photos directly to us that we can share on all our platforms on-air or online. These photos are also showcased in our web based photo album on our site for all to see and enjoy! Any photo of interesting weather, storm damage, snowfall, pets playing in puddles or snow and the likes are all welcomed! We hope to use this to showcase the beauty of the two Virginias through the eyes of our viewers and the vastly dynamic weather we see because we think there is no place more beautiful than here.

See for yourself the collection of photo’s already submitted or submit a few of your own, here.