National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Significant Snowstorm of December 9-10th, 2018

Low pressure tracked across the southern U.S. and strengthened in response to an upper low digging out of Plains and pulled significant moisture from Gulf and Atlantic into the southern Appalachian region, spreading over top of deep cold air from a strong surface ridge and cold air damming scenario. The cold layer in place was deep enough for mainly snow, with brief periods of sleet and very light freezing rain across the southern Piedmont of Virginia into North Carolina near the end of the event.

The resultant snowfall was significant across our entire forecast area (most areas over a foot, and a few locations around 2 feet), and had enough weight in some places to result in power outages, and made for extremely hazardous travel for those who had to venture out on a Sunday when most of the snow fell, or early Monday. At our primary climate locations (see table below) this was either the 2nd or 3rd largest December snowfall on record for any event (records go back to different years at each site), and was the earliest in the season that this much snow had fallen at each of those locations. At Danville this was the most snow measured in an event since February 1948.


December 2018 Snowstorm Climate Facts

Snowfall Analysis
Snowfall Analysis from Storm


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