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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 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
  • Irma, a Category 2 hurricane, passes through the Florida Keys, heads north with sustained winds near 100 mph

    Hurricane Irma has passed over the Florida Keys Sunday morning and is now moving north through Florida. It is a Category 2 hurricane as of 11 p.m. Sunday with winds sustained near 100 mph. Strong winds are now headed up the west coast of Florida with potential hurricane force gusts across all of Florida over the next 12 hours. This storm is forecast to move across Georgia with Tropical Storm force winds on Monday and Tuesday. Here in the Piedmont, […]

  • Van Denton has the latest details on tropical system and what it could mean for the Triad

    A poorly defined tropical system off the southeast coast is drifting northeast and will move along the Carolina coast late Monday and Tuesday. This may become Tropical Storm Irma if a closed center of low pressure forms and winds reach 39 mph or higher. Odds favor that happening overnight Monday. This system will bring heavy rain to coastal North Carolina and South Carolina with some gusts to over 40 mph possible. Also, heavy rainfall of generally 4-6 inches along the […]

  • Van Denton shares early thoughts for possible snowfall in the Piedmont Triad

    Over the past two days, the GFS model has been showing little or no snow over the Triad and points north and west. The latest update at 6 p.m. Wednesday boosted numbers here. Now the GFS is more in line with the other models. After studying all options, my early thoughts on snowfall are for three to four inches in the Triad with higher amounts to the east and southeast. I still expect lesser amounts in the north and northwest, but […]

  • Could we see a tropical system Memorial Day weekend? Van Denton reports

    We are watching the potential for the development of a system off the Southeast coast. There is a 50 percent chance of development over the next five days. That could mean development into a tropical depression or sub-tropical depression. With that in mind, we do expect to see some showers at the coast this weekend – maybe a lot of rain, depending on how this comes together. There will be a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms along this […]

  • Weather Blog: May snow déjà vu?

    Déjà vu? Just a little. Some of you may recall in 1992, Frank Deal (WGHP Meteorologist, 1969-96) and I were talking about a big snow storm that hit our Mountains in May. Actually May 7-9, a cut-off low dropped heavy snow over the highest mountains in North Carolina. Mainly above 4,000 feet and especially above 5,000 feet. We had a record 60 inches of snow fall on Mt. Pisgah, (5,722 ft) which is just SW of Asheville. That number has […]

  • Showers, thunderstorms to continue overnight in Piedmont Triad

    Showers and thunderstorms are expected through tonight and tomorrow. Track the storms with the FOX8 Interactive Radar. A cold front will sweep through tomorrow night and put an end to the storm threat. This will also lead to a cool down for the last half of the week. What many call Blackberry Winter will arrive. Lows tonight in the lower 60s, highs tomorrow in the upper 70s. Back to the mid-50s tomorrow night. Wednesday will be partly cloudy with highs […]

  • Hour-by-hour look at storms moving across the Piedmont Triad

    Here is an hour-by-hour look at the storms headed through the Piedmont Triad through midnight tonight. Track the storms with the FOX8 Interactive Radar. Showers and thunderstorms are expected through tonight and tomorrow. Some could be severe with the main threat being damaging wind gusts to 60 mph and large hail, up to 1.5 inches in diameter. A cold front will sweep through tomorrow night and put an end to the storm threat. This will also lead to a cool […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]