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Old 05-07-2015, 01:18 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
430 posts, read 676,619 times
Reputation: 618

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Hi folks of Virginia,

I was recently looking at some climate data for Winchester, for Staunton, and for Charlottesville.

Very surprised to find that while all three towns ("cities" in Virginia) have similar high and low temperatures and dew points in the four seasons, the northern Shenandoah Valley (Winchester) has far less rain than the southern Shenandoah Valley (Staunton, Charlottesville).

Charlottesville isn't technically in the Valley proper, but is a nearby city I am interested in.

Here is the data:

In Winchester, it is 16% (1 in 6 days) likely to rain or snow in January.
In Staunton, it is 26% (1 in 4 days) likely to rain or snow in January.
In Charlottesville, it is 37% (1 in 3 days) likely to rain or snow in January.

In Winchester, it is 22% (1 in 5 days) likely to rain in June.
In Staunton, it is 36% (1 in 3 days) likely to rain in June.
In Charlottesville, it is 47% (1 in 2 days) likely to rain in June.

Ergo, the wettest season in Winchester is drier than the driest season in Staunton.

Are there any geography and climatology buffs who can explain to me why it is so much drier in Winchester and the northern Shenandoah Valley than it is in Staunton, Charlottesville, and the southern Shenandoah Valley?

Also, how is this true while at the same time the dew point is not significantly lower in Winchester? Bizarrely, it remains about the same as Staunton and Charlottesville.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:31 PM
 
Location: The South
3,913 posts, read 5,367,544 times
Reputation: 2750
Interesting question. I have no clue but you may get more answers if you re-post this in the "Weather" forum or by contacting a meterologist at one of the tv stations or a community college. Come back and tell us what you find out.


Best of luck.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:36 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
430 posts, read 676,619 times
Reputation: 618
Good idea, thanks!
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:27 AM
 
59 posts, read 52,679 times
Reputation: 91
I'm no weatherman, but I live in Winchester, and I've always heard that the mountains to the west in West Virginia block most stuff from getting to us. It's annoying...you'll hear about a big storm, but as soon as it gets to our border it stalls. Makes allergies really bad here as well, as everything just lays here in the valley. Wife had no allergies until moving here.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:48 PM
 
862 posts, read 750,601 times
Reputation: 1057
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobamike View Post
I'm no weatherman, but I live in Winchester, and I've always heard that the mountains to the west in West Virginia block most stuff from getting to us. It's annoying...you'll hear about a big storm, but as soon as it gets to our border it stalls. Makes allergies really bad here as well, as everything just lays here in the valley. Wife had no allergies until moving here.
When I had lived in Winchester for many years I too had heard the same thing about how the nearby West Virginia mountains really do block so many of those storms and yes it can be annoying especially if the local media says little precip is to occur but somehow a storm does end up passing through those mountains resulting in one town getting hammered while another town gets little if anything at all. This sort of thing I can remember happening in the valley at least twice back in the late 70s when a western storm somehow passed through the mountains only to slam into Front Royal dumping well over than a foot of snow there but up north in Winchester & Martinsburg..nothing !! It was dittos with Harrisonburg, Woodstock and Luray as well. Of course the storm had caught everyone in Front Royal by surprise since the area wasn't even under a watch at all and to make things worse Front Royal had lost power & phone thanks to this sudden storm and their local radio station WFTR was knocked off the air for a few days which didn't help.
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