Central Virginia PDC Hazard Mitigation Planning - Severe Winter Storm

Severe Winter Storm


A severe winter storm is a prolonged storm event in which the varieties of precipitation are formed that only occur at low temperatures, such as snow or sleet, or a rainstorm where ground temperatures are low enough to allow ice to form (i.e. freezing rain). The characteristics of severe winter storms are determined by the amount and extent of snow or ice, air temperature, wind, and event duration (National Weather Service, 2009). The common types of winter precipitation are snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

Location and Extent

A winter storm is a combination of heavy snow, blowing snow, and/or dangerous wind chills. Winter weather generally impacts Virginia between the months of November and April, with varied intensities from east to west.


A large percentage of the federal declared disasters in CVPDC were due to severe winter weather. In history, the area’s maximum 1-day snowfall of 21.8 inches on March 6, 1962 was recorded by Pedlar River Dam weather station in Amherst County.

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