Climate in Virginia

The Virginia climate is a coastal one, mild and humid, with the four seasons experienced slightly differently in the different regions. The Tidewater regions, where Virginia's major rivers drain into the Chesapeake, are low-lying and experience more moderate temperatures, with warm to hot summers and mild winters.

As one moves westward and altitudes increase, temperatures tend to drop and winters tend to be far colder, particularly in the more mountainous regions and the northeastern areas, with heavy snowfall in the Appalachians. Summers, however, tend to also be mild and pleasant, and the average summer temperature statewide is close to 80F (27C). Winter temperatures in January, usually the coldest month, are usually about 30F (-1C).

Severe weather, including tornadoes, tropical cyclones, hurricanes and winter storms, impacts the state on a regular basis. There is an average of seven tornadoes per year in western Virginia, most occurring between May and August. Hurricanes striking coastal Virginia tend to be on the decline as they come north from the Gulf of Mexico, and flooding from torrential rains is the biggest concern.