Kent Mason, Photographer / Conservationist

The weather in the WV mountains is striking in it's extremes. Take total precipitation (rain and snow) which ranges from a recorded all time low for areas east of the Mississippi of 9.5 inches at Upper Track, WV (in the rain shadow) to an average of over 67 inches (79 inches on the wettest year) in Pickens, WV which is on the wet western slope. Seattle, WA. gets much less rain. As wet stormy weather from the west collides with the Allegheny Mountains and starts rising over the mountains, it cools and intensifies. On Cheat Mountain there are over 200 days a year of measurable precipitation. It is much cooler/colder also. The average growing season in Canaan Valley is only 92 days between spring and fall freeze. Temperatures in the higher elevations below 0 degrees is not rare and wind chills below 0 are fairly common. This gallery illustrates what one might see in WV just before or after a storm.