Digging into the frequency and severity of April snowstorms in southwest Virginia

Snow is in the forecast Wednesday morning, so we’re wondering: How often and how much snow do we see during in April?

April snow frequency (4/14/2020)
April snow frequency (4/14/2020) (WSLS)

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s been a wild week in weather in our area with severe storms last Wednesday, snow squalls last Friday morning, then another severe weather event Monday morning. Now, we’re bracing for another brief blast of wintry weather on Wednesday morning as cooler air and moisture meets up to bring snow for some.

Your Local Weather Authority is forecasting a low-impact event, more of a late-season novelty really. The area with the best chance at an accumulating snow will be the West Virginia mountains, where 1 to 3 inches of the white stuff could fall. The Highlands and New River Valley are looking at up to an inch of snow.

If you live in Roanoke, you may see some snowflakes, but accumulation is unlikely. The Lynchburg area and Southside can expect a chilly rain, unfortunately.

Wednesday morning snow forecast (4/14/2020)
Wednesday morning snow forecast (4/14/2020) (WSLS)

It’s not all that out of the ordinary to see snow in our region during April, but it’s certainly not something that happens every year.

Out of our major cities, Blacksburg sees April snow the most frequently, once every three years. Danville only gets snow in April once every 30 years. For Lynchburg and Roanoke, it’s once every eight years for an April snow.

April snow frequency (4/14/2020)
April snow frequency (4/14/2020) (WSLS)

When snow does fall in April, it’s usually of the variety we’re getting Wednesday: light and not accumulating much. However, there have been big snows in our area during the fourth month of the year.

In fact, April 6-7, 1971 produced ten inches of snow in Blacksburg and 7.3 inches in Roanoke. Lynchburg got 4.8 inches of the white stuff. Danville sat that event out, but they did get a nice two inch snow on April 12, 1918.

Biggest April snows (4/14/2020)
Biggest April snows (4/14/2020) (WSLS)

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