ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — We’re almost halfway through the winter season. While December was unseasonably mild for Southwest & Central Virginia, January packed a cold punch.
Temperatures were 7.3 degrees above average for December. A number of record high temperatures were set across the region during the last month of 2021.
The year 2022 had just begun when a winter storm impacted the Commonwealth on Jan. 3. Southwest and Central Virginia mainly saw a few inches of snow. During that event, more than 45,000 Appalachian Power customers lost service because of the heavy, wet snow. The winter weather and fallen trees left Amtrak passengers stranded in Lynchburg and Nelson County.
Farther east, a major crash left hundreds of travelers stranded for hours on a 40 – 50 mile stretch of I-95 in Virginia. A Louisa County man died after he became stranded in the snowstorm and tried to walk home in the cold weather.
On Jan. 16, a snowstorm brought several inches of snow to parts of Southwest and Central Virginia. Snow and sleet fell over the region for most of the day.
The heavy snow and sleet caused headaches for motorists. Traffic came to a standstill on Interstate 81 in Roanoke County after a tractor-trailer jackknifed and the cab of the truck disconnected from the trailer in the northbound lanes. Two additional crashes occurred in the traffic backup.
According to Virginia State Police, troopers responded to 482 traffic crashes and 486 disabled vehicles between 12:01 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 16.
Although each winter event is different, Southwest and Central Virginia looked like a winter wonderland at times.
While trace amounts of snow were reported in December, all measurable snow in the Blue Ridge and Central Virginia fell in January.
Many locations have already surpassed last winter’s snowfall totals. Even lower snowfall amounts were recorded during winter 2019-20.