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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
  • weather

    Few sprinkles overnight possible; chilly day on Monday

    Since there isn’t a 6 p.m. news broadcast today, Van Denton posted an update to his Facebook page. Check it out above.

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    Northern Lights could be visible in NC Tuesday night

    This graphic is from our friends with the National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City. They are providing this graphic to show that the Northern Lights may be visible here in North Carolina tonight. You will need to be away from city lights and look to the north. They may appear as a red tint or possibly green. It is rare this far south and usually hard to see.

  • Capture

    Piedmont counties under Winter Weather Advisory

    A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for several Piedmont counties until noon Friday due to the threat of black ice. Temperatures are falling and rain will be tapering off west to east by early evening. As this rain tapers off temperatures will be falling to near freezing and some of us will see some sleet and possibly a few snowflakes. Areas that get some rain when temperatures fall to 32 or colder will also see some light freezing rain. […]

  • Feb 2015 Recap

    Weather Blog: February review

    February 2015 was a cold month. Tied for the 6th coldest since records began in the Triad in 1903. It was also snowy/sleety. Snow and sleet are stored in the same category by the NWS and was well above normal. By the way, the most snow on record in the month of February is 16.3″. We actually had light snow fall on 7 dates in the month. We also had 5 days with highs at or below 32° The month […]

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    Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Piedmont, black ice expected

    There is a Winter Weather Advisory for black ice until 10 a.m. Friday. Wet roadways refroze overnight. Use caution during the morning commute and watch for black ice. Skies will remain cloudy to mostly cloudy through Saturday. Highs in the mid 30s and lows from the mid 20s tonight to the upper teens to near 20 Friday night/Saturday morning. On Sunday we start out cold in the low to mid 20s and then a chance for light rain returns late in […]

  • Is winter weather in the Piedmont over? What’s next?

    There is a Winter Weather Advisory for black ice overnight. Wet roadways should refreeze overnight. Use caution, especially after midnight when we slip back into the 20s. Skies will remain cloudy to mostly cloudy through Saturday. Highs in the mid 30s and lows from the mid 20s tonight to the upper teens to near 20 Friday night/Saturday morning. On Sunday we start out cold in the low to mid 20s and then a chance for light rain returns late in […]

  • Heavy snow falling across the Piedmont Triad

    A significant winter storm with heavy snow hit overnight and continues this morning. Snow fell heavy overnight and is expected to taper off west to east during the morning near rush hour. As it tapers off and for a short period afterwards, there may be some light and patchy freezing drizzle or mist. This will not be enough to cause any power issues. A general 4 to 6 inches across our coverage area is expected, with amounts closer to 4 […]

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    What to expect Tuesday in the Piedmont Triad

    A wintry mix will continue to fall across the Piedmont with more snow north and west and sleet in the Triad with freezing rain and sleet south of the Triad. As we go through the night, the freezing rain and sleet will advance farther north and become mostly freezing rain over the south. Temperatures are very cold, so anything that falls will have impact on roads, bridges, etc. Unfortunately, there may be enough freezing rain over the southern and eastern […]

  • FOX8 Chief Meteorologist Van Denton discusses 3 cold fronts headed our way

    Not just one, but three Arctic cold fronts will push through the Piedmont over the next week. The first will bring a noticeable cool down during the day on Thursday. Winds will pick up and push wind chills below freezing by late afternoon and these will head to the single digits on Thursday night and Friday morning. The second cold front will arrive on Saturday and bring even colder air Saturday night and Sunday. Then another arrives on Wednesday of […]

  • SnowFlake

    Weather Blog: Has this winter been mild or just quiet?

    Has this winter been mild or just quiet?  The answer may surprise you. As of my writing this article, we have seen no more than flurries so far this winter. Actually our best round of these came on Dec. 20th, the day before winter started. With the lack of snow and ice, this winter has been rather quiet. Before you ask, there is still time. We have actually had snow flurries in the Piedmont-Triad as late as April 18, 1983 […]

  • NOAA Wx Stations

    Weather Blog: Why are airports used for official readings?

    I am often asked why we use the airport for our temperature reports when no one lives at the airport?  I bet you have wondered the same thing.   There is actually a very good reason. If you think about it, your personal observations might answer the question.   Temperature readings vary greatly depending on topography, sensor location and actual conditions outside.  People that ride motorcycles have observed that when they ride bikes at night, temperatures are much cooler when they go […]

  • nws

    East Coast storm could disrupt Thanksgiving travel

    A storm with rain and heavy snow will cause major disruptions and delays for Thanksgiving travel on the East Coast and in the Appalachians. For those of you traveling up the East Coast to visit family this week, snow is expected to become an issue over the central Appalachians, interior mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. Here is a great link where you can type a city name and get the forecast updated every 6 hours, which is provided by the National Weather […]


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