Van Denton CROPPEd

Contact: Van.Denton@wghp.com

Van Denton came to WGHP TV 26 years ago after working in New Bern (WCTI-TV 12, ABC) and Myrtle Beach (WBTW-TV 13, CBS). After arriving at WGHP on April 1, 1990, he anchored the weather at 11pm, Monday-Friday and a few months later the 5pm weather when WGHP became the first station in the market with a 5pm news. For 6 of these years, he had a chance to work with the late Frank Deal and did team weather with Frank at 5:30pm once that newscast was added. Frank was with WGHP from 1969 until 1996. There have only been 2 Chief Meteorologists at WGHP since 1969. Not too many stations have that kind of stability.

He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from North Carolina State University in 1987 and received the AMS TV Seal of Approval shortly after.

5-time Emmy Nominee for best weather in the Mid-South region of the United States.

2015 Voted America’s Favorite Weathercaster in Weatherist.com poll of more than 600 weather people in 45 of the largest TV markets in the United States.

Voted best meteorologist in the Triad by:
*Reader’s Choice Awards
*Triad Style
*Rhino Times

In 1997, he started a weather segment called Van’s Weather Kids and in 1999 gave a presentation to the national American Meteorological Society (AMS) Broadcast Conference in Orlando, Florida on the Weather Kids program. After this presentation, many other stations around the country began the segment too.

This program had been a dream for Van since he visited a station as a guest at 15 years old. In October 1980, he had sent a winter forecast to a Raleigh TV station, WPTF (NBC for the market in 1980) and was invited to give the winter forecast on the air. They did not normally invite kids to be on the air, but did in this case. The highlight was the first snow was forecast to be December 27, 1980, and was presented on-air 2 months in advance. On December 27, 1980, it did snow and he was invited back to the station and this opened many doors toward the television career. After realizing how significant this experience had been for him, he thought it would be great to do this for others. When Frank Deal retired in 1996 he brought the idea to the General Manager and News Director and they came up with Van’s Weather Kids. He had saved the names and phone numbers of young people he had met between 1990 and 1996 and called these young people to start the program. Once others saw it, the letters started pouring in from others wanting to be a part of the program. This program was nominated for 2 Emmy Awards.

Van credits two people for inspiring him in his career. The late Skip Waters at WCTI in New Bern where he interned and got his first job as a TV meteorologist. Skip even allowed him to fill-in and anchor the weather on a Friday night at 17 years old when he took a vacation day. He also learned a lot about the business from Frank Deal with whom he remained good friends until his passing in 2010.

He has been married for 26 years and he and his wife have 2 children.

Van anchors the weather for WGHP, Monday-Friday from 4-7pm and 10-11pm.


Recent Articles
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    Weather Blog: The year without a summer, 1816

    This is one of those articles that will leave an impression on you for many years to come. I remember when I first heard about it, I could not believe it. There was a year that many claim had NO SUMMER. There were certainly warm days, but there were also cool and cold days that summer. Even reports of frost into the south well into June. Crops suffered over much of the country. It created so much hardship it was […]

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    Weather blog: Safe to plant

    I have had many ask me “is it finally safe to plant?”    I sure hope so, I planted a great deal over the past weekend.   I have always used tax day as my safe date to plant.   Some of the coldest areas may still get a touch of light frost after tax day some years, but it is not every year and rarely is it a hard freeze after that date.    Our average, our last freeze (32 or colder air […]

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    Could the Triad see snow overnight?

    We are still looking at a situation where we could see some snow tonight. Rain should arrive this evening and as temperatures cool, some of this may mix with or even change to wet snow. The best chance for accumulating snow will be north and west of the Triad. In these areas, given the relatively warm surface most should not accumulate on roadways. Still, if flakes fall hard enough or with enough intensity, some slush could build up faster than […]

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    Sunny days ahead for Piedmont Triad as storms move out

    Sunny days are on the way after powerful storms moved through the Piedmont Triad on Wednesday afternoon. A cold front is now approaching the mountains of North Carolina. Ahead of the cold front, powerful thunderstorms formed and marched across the Piedmont. Thunderstorms with gusty winds will continue to move into eastern North Carolina. For the Piedmont, scattered showers will remain in the forecast. But it appears the showers should remain below severe limits. As we move into the overnight time […]

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    Latest from Van Denton on severe thunderstorms, possibility of tornadoes Wednesday

    Light rain and drizzle this evening will give way to steady rain tonight. That’s because a powerful low-pressure system moving across the deep south will begin to march toward the northeast. As the storm moves toward the East Coast, warm unstable air will move into the Piedmont. Wednesday afternoon highs will rocket into the mid to upper 60s, providing the energy that’s needed for strong to severe thunderstorms. The primary threat being damaging, straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes. The FOX8 viewing […]

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    Severe thunderstorms, possibility of tornadoes expected Wednesday in Piedmont

    Severe thunderstorms with damaging straight-line winds are expected across central North Carolina on Wednesday. A lot of wind energy will be moving across the state. This will cause the storms to move quickly, so you need to be prepared to act, as fast moving storms come up with less advance warning. Most storms will produce straight-line winds, but these could reach more than 70 mph and cause damage similar to a weak tornado. The risk for one or more tornadoes […]

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    1 to 2 inches of snow likely on Monday, also ice and rain

    Cold is the big story of the weekend. Our clouds will increase on Sunday with highs around 32 degrees. Sunday night into early Monday morning, we expect snow to arrive in the north and west around midnight and then spread across the Piedmont-Triad. The snow will continue to about 8 a.m. Monday. From 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, the snow will mix with sleet. Then from 12 p.m. Monday to about 8 p.m. Monday, freezing rain will take over […]

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    Van Denton has the latest on the possible winter weather next week

    Cold weather continues and will get even colder this weekend. Before that, a weak area of low pressure will move along the coast and bring a chance for light snow and rain to eastern North Carolina and could send a few flurries back to the Piedmont on Friday, highs in the upper 30s. Clearing will take over Friday night with lows in the lower 20s. Saturday will be very cold and dry with highs near 30 and lows Saturday night […]

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    Van Denton says chance for rain showers tonight; could mix with snow

    There is a chance for a shower overnight and the air will be marginally cold enough aloft to support a few snowflakes if the precip falls with enough intensity. The best chance will be after midnight to just before daybreak. Precip should be light and patchy and no issues are expected. At most a dusting/light coating in areas where a good shower could form. I’ll have details at 5 and 6.

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    Van Denton breaks down the strong storm that hit Davidson County on Wednesday afternoon

    Here is some more information on the storm over Davidson County this afternoon. I have gone through every sweep and found this rotation at 1:10 p.m. northeast of Lexington and west of Thomasville. 34 mph does not sound impressive, but on radar that does get my attention. This was at the time when many experienced wind damage. Straight line winds were around 60 mph. The spin does not appear to be as strong, but still that is a noticeable spin. […]

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    Why is the sleet taking so long to melt? Van Denton has your answer

    Why is the sleet taking so long to melt? We often talk about the standard ratio of snow to rain (10 to 1). On average 10 inches of snow when melted down will equal 1 inch. 90 percent of the snow is made up of air. If the air is really cold, it can be 20 or even 25 to 1. Sleet is a solid ball of frozen water. As snowflakes fall from the cloud, they melt in a warm […]

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    Here’s the latest update on the winter storm moving through the Piedmont Triad

    The winter storm is here! Most of the area reported sleet with some freezing rain this afternoon. The freezing rain could be a real problem across the southern Piedmont. Southern Davidson County and Randolph County to Montgomery County will see more ice than snow. 1 to 3 inches of sleet & snow is possible over the southern Piedmont with between 1/10 and 1/4 inch of freezing rain. Winston-Salem, Lexington, Greensboro and Burlington could see 3 to 6 inches of snow […]

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