West Virginia has a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cool to cold winters. The climate of the eastern panhandle is influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic slope and is similar to that of nearby coastal areas. Mean annual temperatures vary from 56°F (13°C) in the southwest to 48°F (9°C) at higher elevations. The yearly average is 53°F (12°C). The highest recorded temperature, 112°F (44°C), was at Martinsburg on 10 July 1936; the lowest, –37°F (–38°C), at Lewisburg on 30 December 1917.
Prevailing winds are from the south and west, and seldom reach hurricane or tornado force. In Charleston, average annual precipitation (1971–2000) was 44 in (111.8 cm) annually and is slightly heavier on the western slopes of the Alleghenies. Accumulations of snow may vary from about 20 in (51cm) in the western sections to more than 50 in (127 cm) in the higher mountains.