Snowy Weather in Canada

Snowiest Canadian Cities


St. John's, Newfoundland and Saguenay, Quebec top the lists as Canada's snowiest large cities. St. John's ranks first for total amount of snow, while Saguenay has the most days with fresh snowfall.

Saguenay also leads the country's cities for how long snow lingers on the ground. But at St John's, all that snow doesn't stick around for long. The city doesn't even make the top ten for most persistent snowpack.

The tables below list the major Canadian cities that get the largest amount of snow each year, record the most days with fresh snowfall, and have the longest periods of snow on the ground.

The cities included in these rankings are Canada's 33 largest metropolitan areas. These are the urban regions that had over 100,000 people according to the 2011 census by Statistics Canada. The snow data are averages of weather measurements made from 1981 to 2010.

Greatest Amount of Snow

Ten of Canada's large cities receive an average of over two metres (6.6 feet) of snow every year. These cities with the most snow are scattered throughout Central Canada and the Maritime Provinces.

Annual average snowfall a year.
City Inches Centimetres
St. John's, Newfoundland 131.9 335.0
Saguenay, Quebec 126.6 321.7
Québec City, Quebec 119.4 303.4
Sherbrooke, Quebec 112.8 286.5
Moncton, New Brunswick 111.0 282.0
Sudbury, Ontario 103.7 263.4
Trois-Rivières, Quebec 102.0 259.0
Saint John, New Brunswick   94.3 239.6
Barrie, Ontario   87.8 223.0
Montréal, Quebec   82.5 209.5

Most Days With Fresh Snow

Canada's ten cities that most often get snow all average more than 55 days a year when 2 millimetres or more snow lands.

With 54 days of snow a year, Calgary, Alberta does not quite make the list of most days with new snow. But Calgary often sees fresh snow at times of the year when most other cities don't expect any snow at all. Calgary has more snowy days in May, September and October than any other large Canadian city. It averages two or three days of snowfall in May, another one or two in September and four in October.

Average number of days a year with at least 0.2 centimetres (0.08 inches) of new snow
City Days
Saguenay, Quebec 93
St. John's, Newfoundland 79
Sherbrooke, Quebec 76
Sudbury, Ontario 75
Québec City, Quebec 70
Thunder Bay, Ontario 62
Kitchener - Waterloo, Ontario 62
London, Ontario 60
Montréal, Quebec 59
Regina, Saskatchewan 56

Longest Lasting Snow

There's snow on the ground for over four months a year in ten of Canada's major cities. The longest periods of lingering snow are found at cities in Quebec, Ontario and the Prairie Provinces.

These Canadian cities average more than 120 days a year with at least a centimetre of snow cover:

Average number of days a year when snow is 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) or more deep.
City Days
Saguenay, Quebec 155
Québec City, Quebec 141
Sudbury, Ontario 136
Trois-Rivières, Quebec 134
Sherbrooke, Quebec 133
Edmonton, Alberta 133
Winnipeg, Manitoba 128
Thunder Bay, Ontario 126
Regina, Saskatchewan 125
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 124
Reference

Environment Canada. Meteorological Service of Canada. Canadian Climate Normals. 1981-2010 Climate Normals & Averages.

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