Snowiest Places in United States
Most Snow in One Day
The most snow to fall in any 24 hour period is 75.8 inches (193 centimeters), well over six feet, that landed at Silver Lake, Colorado. The mountain lake sits at 10,220 feet elevation about 40 miles northwest of Denver. Its record-setting snowstorm began at 2:30 pm on the afternoon of April 14, 1921.
Even after 24 hours, the snowflakes still kept coming and by 6 pm on April 15, 1921 a record 87 inches had landed. The blizzard continued non-stop for 32.5 hours, ultimately leaving 95 inches (241 cm) of fresh snow on the ground. This set yet another record for the deepest accumulation from one continuous snowfall.
The biggest snowfall for a single calendar day belongs to another Colorado location, Georgetown where 63 inches landed on December 4, 1913. This small town with plenty of history is nestled high in the mountains at 8,550 feet elevation. Another dozen states have also measured three or more feet of snow arriving in one day.
|Georgetown, Colorado||63||160||Dec 4 1913|
|Thompson Pass, Alaska||62||157||Dec 29 1955|
|Giant Forest, California||60||152||Jan 19 1933|
|Mount Washington, New Hampshire||49||125||Feb 25 1969|
|Millegan, Montana||48||122||Dec 27 2003|
|Gunn's Ranch, Washington||48||122||Jan 21 1935|
|Deadwood, South Dakota||47||119||Mar 14 1973|
|Watertown, New York||45||114||Nov 15 1900|
|Heber Ranger Station, Arizona||38||97||Dec 14 1967|
|Morgantown, Pennsylvania||38||97||Mar 20 1958|
|Chemult, Oregon||37||94||Feb 6 1949|
|Wolf Ridge, Minnesota||36||91||Jan 7 1994|
|Abbott, New Mexico||36||91||Nov 24 1940|
Heaviest Yearly Snowfalls
Several spots scattered across the United States can count on plenty of snow each winter. By far the snowiest region in the country is the Cascade Mountains of western Washington state.
Weather stations on both Mount Baker and Mount Rainier measure much deeper snows than anywhere else in the US.
Among 6,377 official NOAA weather stations that record snowfall in the United States, ten report annual totals that averaged over 300 inches or 25 feet (7.62 metres) from 1981 to 2010. The Rainer Paradise Ranger Station located near alpine at 5427 feet (1654 m) on the south flank of Mount Rainier tops the list for the greatest snowfall with 671 inches (1704 cm).
The only town among the nation's snowiest places is Valdez, a seaside community in southeastern Alaska.
Besides the NOAA 1981 to 2010 averages, several other places in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state have recorded impressive amounts of snow. The Mount Baker downhill ski area in northwestern Washington reports an average snowfall of 701 inches (1781 cm) in recent years.
Other significantly snowy places include Washington's Snoqualmie Pass which tallied 504 inches yearly from 1948 to 1972 and Stevens Pass where 493 inches were measured from 1950 to 1994.
|Mt Rainier, Paradise Station, Washington||671||1704|
|Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon||483||1226|
|Echo Summit, California||407||1035|
|Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colorado||392||996|
|Caples Lake, California||375||953|
|Brian Head, Utah||368||936|
|Mt Evans Field Station, Colorado||301||764|
Most Days With Fresh Snow
It snows an average of over 90 days a year at nine sites with weather stations in the United States.
Besides places in mountainous areas, Alaska's Aleutian islands contribute two spots to the list. One other location among those with frequent snowfall is close to towns and rural communities. The Houghton County Memorial Airport, is located on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, near Torch Lake and the villages of Laurium and Calumet.
|Mt Rainier, Paradise Station, Washington||121.4|
|Mt Washington, New Hampshire||118.5|
|Climax Mine, Colorado||104.4|
|Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon||101.3|
|Shemya Island, Alaska||98.3|
|Yellowstone Park South Entrance, Wyoming||94.5|
|Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming||91.4|
|Houghton County Memorial Airport, Michigan||90.5|
The annual totals for amounts and days of snowfall given in the tables here are long-term historical averages, based on weather data collected from 1981 to 2010 for the NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.
Highest Snowfall in One Year
The Mount Baker downhill ski area achieved the world's record for receiving the most snow in a single year when 1140 inches, or 95 feet, (2896 cm) landed between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 1999. Ten states have weather stations that have recorded over 30 feet of snow falling in the 12-month period between August 1 and July 31.
|Thompson Pass, Alaska||974||2474||1952-53|
|Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon||822||2088||1948-49|
|Echo Summit, California||747||1897||1982-83|
|Stevens Pass, Washington||621||1577||1964-65|
|Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colorado||520||1321||1947-48|
|Yellowstone South Entrance, Wyoming||382||970||1975-76|
|Roland West Portal, Idaho||380||965||1945-46|
|Copenhagen, New York||380||965||1978-79|
Mt Baker Ski Area. Statistics.
National Climatic Data Center. NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals.
National Climatic Data Center. United States Snow Climatology.