(WVNS) — Winter, at least meteorologically speaking, ended on February 28, 2022 across the two Virginias, capping off what wasn’t a record breaking season but certainly an unusual one. Let’s dive into the details and see how it all stood up to previous years.

**ALL DATA BELOW IS SPECIFICALLY FOR BECKLEY, WV**

TEMPERATURES

Winter, at times, didn’t feel all that cold around here especially as we recorded the fourth warmest December on record in Beckley.* Running just shy of nine degrees above the 1991-2020 climate ‘normals’ it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that it ranked so high. Comparably, January and February may have ended up feeling quite a bit colder than they really were.

January was certainly cold though, ending up as the 26th coldest January on record*. While not comparable to Decembers extremes, it’s still nothing to shake a stick at especially when you consider the curveball that was Jan. 1 when Beckley hit 68F. Despite only being one day it skewed the average temperature for the month up a whole degree!

February conversely to January only ran a little above average by 2.4F. While the departure is small, with an average temperature of 37.8F February 2022 ranks as the 27th warmest February recorded in 107 years of reliable records in the Beckley area.*

Looking at all three months as a whole in the end Winter, based on the 1991-2020 climate ‘normals’ was 2.4F above average. This ranks it as the thirteenth warmest winter out of 104 years of reliably recorded winters on file for Beckley.** 2021-2022 joins five other years since 2010 in the top fifteen warmest winters including: 2018-2019 [15], 2015-16 [12], 2011-2012 [8], 2019-20 [7], and 2016-17 [6]. Keep in mind, that’s over a third of the top 15 in the past 10 years, and nearly a third of the top 10 just in the same amount of time!

*NOTE: For monthly rankings, only years with less than five (5) days of missing temperature records were considered. Records for Beckley date back to 1896.
**NOTE: For the seasonal ranking, only seasons with less than ten (10) days missing from their records were considered. Records for Beckley date back to 1896.

PRECIPITATION

With over 11-inches of rain and the liquid equivalent of fallen snow, 2021-22 ranked as the 26th wettest on record.* This complements a few years in a row worth of wetter winters: 2018-19 [7], 2019-20 [20], and 2020-21 [22]. Each year had at least 11.5-inches of precipitation associated with them, healthily beating the current average of 9.54-inches based on the 1991-2020 climate ‘normals’.

For snowfall we fell short, but still didn’t end up to far down in the rankings for Beckley. Keep in mind, we have a lot of varied terrain in West Virginia that can lead to drastically different amounts of snow in a single storm, let alone for long term averages. With that in mind, Beckley came in with its 26th snowiest winter on record pulling in just 27.7-inches well below the 40+ inches expected from December to February.* Most of that snowfall came during January, with December and February only contributing a measly 3.4-inches combined.

To further how much of a snow drought there was lets look at the rankings. December 2021 is tied for 10th least snowiest on record with December 1932. February 2022 isn’t much better ranking in 14th place for the least snowiest February’s.**

*NOTE: For the seasonal ranking, only seasons with less than ten (10) days missing from their records were considered. Records for Beckley date back to 1896.
**NOTE: For monthly rankings, only years with less than five (5) days of missing temperature records were considered. Records for Beckley date back to 1896.