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Van was born and raised in North Carolina and has spent all but one year of his life in the state. That one year was spent in Myrtle Beach, SC before coming to WGHP in 1990.

As a child, Van collected weather equipment and began keeping weather records. Today he still maintains a home weather station which can be seen at his website

Along with observing weather, he tried his hand at forecasting during his youth. For several years, he put together a winter weather outlook for friends and family. In 1980, he sent this forecast to WPTF TV 28 (the NBC affiliate in Raleigh/Durham in 1980). To his surprise, Hap Hansen, then weatherman for WPTF TV, gave him a call and asked if he would like to present this forecast on the air.

In October of 1980, Van and his family made the trip to the studios where the forecast was presented over the airwaves on the 6 PM news and the highlight included a 14 inch snowfall for December 27, 1980 to be the first snow of the season. "The days leading up to this date became very stressful as I became worried that the forecast would not work out. I did not realize how big of a deal that one night on the air would become. Everyone that knew me, knew about this long range forecast. What are the odds?" On December 27, 1980, it did snow and it snowed all day. "We did not have the 14 inches that I had forecast, but the ground was covered." This experience was the turning point that pushed Van into the direction of broadcast meteorology. The positive experience also is the inspiration for the Weather Kid segment that he began in 1997.

As a senior in high school, Van had another unique opportunity and this was to fill-in for Chief Meteorologist Skip Waters at WCTI-TV (ABC) in New Bern. Van was 17 years old and anchored the 11 PM Friday night weather when Skip was out of town. "I was very nervous to be on TV that night, but, it was my first official weather weathercast."

* 1987 Earned Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from NC State
* 1989 Awarded the AMS Television Seal of Approval.
* 1992, 2000, 2001 and 2002 Nominated for Emmy Awards for Best Weathercasts in the Mid-South region of the United States.
* 2002 Honorable Mention (1st runner-up) Best Weathercast in North Carolina from the Associated Press
* 2003 and 2006 Voted Best Meteorologist in the Triad in the Reader's Choice Awards

Currently, Van prepares the forecast and anchors for The FOX8 5:00 News, The FOX8 6:00 News and The FOX8 10:00 News. Van's forecasts come complete with his 3 Degree Guarantee.

Van and his wife have two children.

Recent Articles
  • 10-12-11_wghp

    Weather Blog: Fall color

    Are you ready for some fall color?   Where do you go and when to see the best color? The first week of October the best color is found at the highest peaks above 6000 feet and by the end of the first week that color heads down to near 5000 feet.   Places like Grandfather Mountain, Mt. Mitchell and near the top of Mt Rogers are some the first to change color.   Lower areas like West Jefferson, Boone, Asheville are typically […]

  • Hurricane Season Peak

    Weather Blog: Peak of Hurricane Season

    We have now entered into the peak of Hurricane Season.   Over the next 4 weeks we historically see more activity than at any other time during the season. It is interesting to note that we actually see as much activity over the next 2 weeks (Aug 26-Sept 10) as we do the previous 3 months based on climate.   Notice on Sept. 10th, the actual peak of the season we see nearly 100 storms over a 100 year average.   There are […]

  • fall cool down

    Weather Blog: The cool down begins soon

    This has not been a very hot summer by North Carolina standards. We got off to a hot start, but that began to change during July.   We had several cold fronts move through during the “Dog Days of Summer”, the period from July 3rd to August 11th when many years we get no relief. June was actually 1.6° hotter than normal and had seven 90 degree days, but July made up for that as it was 1.4° cooler than normal.  […]

  • summer-polar-vortex

    Weather Blog: Looks and acts like Polar Vortex, but it is not

    It looks similar and will produce much cooler weather, but is is not the same as the Polar Vortex which we saw last winter.   Some are calling this one a “Poor Man’s Polar Vortex.”   Some of the National Weather Service offices put out a statement about it on Thursday being a Polar Vortex and later that was reversed. This one does not contain all of the ingredients of a true Polar Vortex, but it is going to be a bit […]

  • Dog Days 1

    Weather Blog: Dog Days of Summer

    The Dog Days of summer are here and they just got started.     Ever wondered where they came from?   In ancient times the Romans observed that the star Sirius, the dog star, rose along with the sun starting on July 3rd and did so until August 11th.   They also noticed it was usually the hottest period of summer and figured the extra light from the star helped the sun to make us even hotter. Our hottest stretch on record during […]

  • Tropical Storm Arthur may impact NC coastline

    Overnight Wednesday, a cold front will approach from the west. This cold front will move through the Piedmont on Thursday morning. At the same time, Tropical Storm Arthur should move up the east coast. This cold front will help push the storm to the northeast. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Arthur is approximately 560 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras. Most of the rain and wind with this will remain right along the coast as it should remain about 100 miles […]

  • Hot

    Weather Blog: Hottest stretch of weather since July 2012

    If you are a fan of hot weather, this is your week.   For the rest of us, we need to be sure to have a cool place to go.   Also, you will need to limit activity outside, take more breaks and be sure to drink plenty of water. If the current forecast works out, we should hit 90 degrees or hotter for at least 8 consecutive days.   The worst of the heat should be between Wednesday and Friday when much […]

  • tornado

    Weather Blog: NC Tornado Facts

    Did you know that May is the most likely month for a tornado in North Carolina? More than 200 since 1950 have occurred in the month. Fortunately the numbers drop dramatically in June. The main reason for the higher number in spring is the cold fronts and a stronger jet stream that we still see in the area. These cold fronts become less common and weaker in the summer months.  Many of the tornadoes in late summer and early fall […]

  • hot

    Weather Blog: Are you ready for hot weather?

    Ready or not, the heat of summer is rapidly approaching.   It only seems a few weeks ago we were dealing with snow and ice.   Actually, it was a couple months ago and we did have a quite a winter.   By the way, there is no proven correlation between winter weather and summer weather. The latest outlook from the Climate Prediction Center is calling for summer to be a little hotter than normal.   If that is the case, it will be […]

  • rain

    Piedmont remains under Flash Flood Watch, Tornado Watch canceled

    The Tornado Watch across the Piedmont has expired, although the area remains under a Flash Flood Watch. Overnight, we had a wedge of cool air protecting the Piedmont. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday for Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. Tomorrow we expect this cool wedge east of the mountains to be gone completely and this will make the threat of […]

  • Weather blog: Chance of severe weather on Saturday

    After a few overnight showers, we expect a more significant system to move in on Saturday. This will bring a chance for more showers and possibly a few thunderstorms. There is concern for severe thunderstorms over the eastern half of the state. We are close to the outlook area and should also be prepared for the potential. The main threat will be strong winds. An isolated tornado is also possible. Once this front slides through tomorrow evening our chance for […]

  • freezing

    Sleet, freezing rain falling across Piedmont; roads slick

    A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Triad until Tuesday at 12 p.m. Here’s the latest from Van Denton: Good and Bad News: The bad first….we have noticed more sleet in parts of the Triad. That is bad for roads as the ice can build up faster than it can melt on the road surface. (below the roads temps are above 40° and that kept the rain from freezing on the roads earlier…but sleet is a different story). […]


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