Snowy Weather in United States

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.

Places that have set state records for the heaviest one-day snowfall amounting to three feet or more.
Location Inches Centimeters Date
Georgetown, Colorado 63 160Dec 4 1913
Thompson Pass, Alaska 62157 Dec 29 1955
Giant Forest, California 60 152Jan 19 1933
Mount Washington, New Hampshire 49 125Feb 25 1969
Millegan, Montana 48 122Dec 27 2003
Gunn's Ranch, Washington 48 122Jan 21 1935
Deadwood, South Dakota 47 119Mar 14 1973
Watertown, New York 45 114Nov 15 1900
Heber Ranger Station, Arizona 38   97Dec 14 1967
Morgantown, Pennsylvania 38   97Mar 20 1958
Chemult, Oregon 37   94Feb 6 1949
Wolf Ridge, Minnesota 36   91Jan 7 1994
Abbott, New Mexico 36   91Nov 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.

Average annual snowfall for places that receive over 300 inches of snow a year
Location Inches Centimeters
Mt Rainier, Paradise Station, Washington 671 1704
Alta, Utah 546 1387
Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon 483 1226
Brighton, Utah 411 1044
Echo Summit, California 407 1035
Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colorado 392   996
Caples Lake, California 375   953
Brian Head, Utah 368   936
Valdez, Alaska 326   829
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.

Average number of days a year with at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres) snowfall
Place Days
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
Adak, Alaska   91.2
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.

Largest annual snowfalls recorded for the ten snowiest states.
Location Inches Centimeters Year
Thompson Pass, Alaska 9742474 1952-53
Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon 8222088 1948-49
Alta, Utah 8112060 1983-84
Echo Summit, California 7471897 1982-83
Stevens Pass, Washington 6211577 1964-65
Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colorado 5201321 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
Summit, Montana 369  937 1942-43
References

Mt Baker Ski Area. Statistics.

National Climatic Data Center. NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals.

National Climatic Data Center. United States Snow Climatology.

Western Regional Climate Center

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AMERICAN WEATHER