Snowy Weather in Canada

Snowiest Places in Canada


Some of British Columbia's mountains get far more snow than anywhere else in Canada. The highest average annual snowfall recorded at a weather station is 1388 centimetres (45.5 feet) on Mount Fidelity. The station sits above the Trans Canada Highway at 1890 metres (6201 feet) elevation on the west side of Glacier National Park. This is also where snow falls most often in southern Canada, averaging 141 days a year.

The tables below list the places in Canada that measure the most snowfall, record the biggest blizzards and observe the most days with snow on the ground.

The rankings here are for 1739 weather stations that record snowfall information for Environment Canada. The snow data are averages of weather measurements made from 1981 to 2010.

Places in Canada with the highest average annual snowfall:
Days Place Inches Centimetres
141 Mt Fidelity, Glacier National Park, BC 546.4 1388.0
114 Unuk River, Eskay Creek Mine, BC 511.3 1298.6
104 Tahtsa Lake West, BC 384.1   975.7
  78 Grouse Mountain, North Van., BC 342.0   868.7
112 Rogers Pass, British Columbia 340.4   864.7
  78 Pleasant Camp, BC 285.0   723.8
  90 Fraser Camp, BC 276.8   703.2
  69 Hollyburn Ridge, West Vancouver, BC 257.7   654.6

Most Snowfall in the Rest of Canada

Canada's community that tallies the highest snowfall measurements is the town of Woody Point, Newfoundland. It is located on Bonne Bay of Newfoundland's west coast, next to Gros Morne National Park. Over a typical winter, Woody Point racks up 638 centimeters, nearly 21 feet, of snow that lands in just 89 days.

Annual average snowfall for some of the snowiest Canadian places:
Days Place Inches Centimetres
  89 Woody Point, Newfoundland 251.1 637.9
117 Forêt Montmorency, Quebec 244.1 619.9
125 Cape Dyer, Nunavut 218.2 554.2
  85 Murdochville, Quebec 215.7 547.8
103 St Anthony, Newfoundland 214.0 543.7
  51 Main Brook, Newfoundland 202.8 515.0

Biggest Blizzards

Only a handful of places in Canada have recorded over a metre of snow dumped in a single day. The deepest one-day snowfall measured is 145 centimetres (4.75 feet) at Tahtsa Lake, in BC's Coast Mountains north of Tweedsmuir Park. That day, February 11, 1999, also left a record-setting snowfall of 113 cm at the small city of Terrace, BC.

Another blizzard-prone spot, Pleasant Camp, is a remote border crossing between BC and Alaska on Haines Highway with a one-day snow record of 127 centimetres (4.2 feet).

This table lists some of the biggest one-day snowfalls ever measured in Canada:

Amount of snow falling in one day:
Date Place Inches Centimetres
Feb 11, 1999 Tahtsa Lake West, BC 57.1 145.0
Dec 4, 1985 Pleasant Camp, BC 50.0 127.0
Mar 20, 1885 Cap Madeleine, Quebec 48.0 121.9
Jan 17, 1974 Lakelse Lake, BC 46.5 118.0
Feb 11, 1999 Terrace, BC 44.6 113.4
Feb 18, 1972 Kitimat, BC 44.2 112.3
Jan 16, 1976 Stewart, BC 41.6 105.7
Feb 5, 1988 Main Brook, Newfoundland 41.3 105.0
Jan 11, 1968 Kemano, BC 41.0 104.1
Jan 27, 2000 Unuk River, Eskay Creek Mine, BC 40.9 104.0
Jan 6, 1988 Nain, Newfoundland & Labrador 40.7 103.4
Feb 17, 1943 Colinet, Newfoundland & Labrador 40.0 101.6

Most Days With Snow on the Ground

Even though many southern spots get more snow, it lingers longest in Canada's northern regions. The country's northernmost settlement, a military base at Alert, Nunavut on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island, is the weather station that's covered in snow the longest. It typically has 304 days a year with at least a centimeter of snow on the ground. Cape Dyer, Nunvut comes in a close second at 300 days.

Outside the territories, 13 weather stations observe snow cover for 200 or more days a year.

Average number of days a year with at least 1 cm (0.4 inches) deep snow on the ground.
Location Days
Mt Fidelity, Glacier National Park, BC 271
Inukjuak, Quebec 228
Schefferville, Quebec 221
Churchill Falls, Newfoundland & Labrador 221
Tahtsa Lake West, BC 216
Churchill, Manitoba 215
Rogers Pass, British Columbia 215
Unuk River Eskay Creek, BC 212
Makkovik, Newfoundland & Labrador 210
Nain, Newfoundland & Labrador 205
Wabush Lake, Newfoundland & Labrador 202
Kuujjuaq, Quebec 201
Poste Montagnais, Quebec 200
Reference

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

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