Anchorage Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

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This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Anchorage, Alaska has snow.

There are data and descriptions here of how many days it snows and the total amount of snowfall that Anchorage usually gets. There are also monthly and yearly counts of the days that the northern city normally has heavy snowstorms and deep snow accumulated on the ground. Plus there's information on when Anchorage can expect the first and last snowfalls of the season.

All the numbers are long-term historical averages based on weather data gathered from 1981 to 2010 at the Anchorage International Airport.

How Often it Snows in Anchorage

This first table lists monthly and yearly totals for amount of snow and how many days it snows at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres).

Average total snowfall and days with fresh snow in Anchorage
Days   Inches Centimetres
  8.6 January 11.3   28.7
  6.9 February 10.9   27.7
  6.1 March   9.9   25.1
  2.9 April   4.0   10.2
  0.4 May   0.3     0.8
  0.2 September   0.4     1.0
  4.0 October   7.9   20.1
  8.1 November 13.1   33.3
10.8 December 16.7   42.4
48.0 Year 74.5 189.2

These averages don't show how much the snowfall in Anchorage varies from year to year.

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 23.5 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than eight inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 14.3 inches, while the lightest years get less than 4.9 inches.

New snow for February ranges from over 16.3 inches in heavy snowfall years to under 4.4 inches in light years.

When Anchorage Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

The first snowfall of winter for Anchorage usually arrives in October. In rare years, it starts snowing in September.

The season's last snowfall typically happens in April. About one out of four Mays also get at least a dusting of snow.

Anchorage is normally free of snow every year from June to August.

How Many Snowstorms Anchorage Gets

Most days of snowfall in Anchorage leave just a skiff, amounting to less than an inch, of fresh snow on the ground. For 21 days a year on average, the amount of new snow totals at least an inch.

Snowstorms of over five inches a day normally occur three or four times a year. But major blizzards that dump ten inches or more in one day are rare events that don't happen every year.

Number of days per month and year on average in Anchorage with a total snowfall of at least 1, 3, 5 or 10 inches
1 inch
2.5 cm
3 inches
7.6 cm
  5 inches
12.7 cm
10 inches
25.4 cm
  3.2 1.1 January 0.3 0.0
  2.8 1.2 February 0.6 0.0
  2.6 1.0 March 0.4 0.1
  1.2 0.3 April 0.1 0.0
  0.1 0.1 September 0.0 0.0
  2.2 1.0 October 0.4 0.0
  4.1 1.5 November 0.7 0.0
  4.6 1.8 December 0.9 0.1
20.8 8.0 Year 3.4 0.2

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Anchorage

For most of winter, Anchorage has at least three inches of snow on the ground.

Snow mostly accumulates during January to March. Typically, on half the days in those months, the snow covering Anchorage amounts to ten or more inches deep.

Average total days per month and year in Anchorage with snow depth of at least 1, 3, 5 or 10 inches on the ground
1 inch
2.5 cm
3 inches
7.6 cm
  5 inches
12.7 cm
10 inches
25.4 cm
  29.0   25.7 January   23.8 15.9
  25.9   23.0 February   21.4 14.5
  27.9   24.6 March   22.8 16.1
  12.0     9.4 April     7.9   4.3
    0.1     0.0 May     0.0   0.0
    0.1     0.0 September     0.0   0.0
    6.3     4.1 October     2.6   0.5
  20.6   16.5 November   12.0   3.2
  27.4   25.2 December   22.8 11.2
149.3 128.5 Year 113.3 65.7
Reference

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

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