Columbia Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

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This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Columbia, Missouri has snow.

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

All the numbers are averages, based on weather data gathered from 1997 to 2010 at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

How Often it Snows in Columbia

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 Columbia
Days   Inches Centimetres
  3.5 January   4.8 12.2
  2.4 February   2.8   7.1
  0.8 March   1.3   3.3
  0.1 April   0.3   0.8
  0.2 November   0.4   1.0
  3.5 December   5.0 12.7
10.5 Year 14.6 37.1

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

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 9.3 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than 1.3 inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 6.4 inches, while the lightest years get less than 2.3 inches.

New snow for February ranges from over 4.8 inches in heavy snowfall years to under half an inch in light years.

When Columbia Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

The first snowfall of winter for Columbia usually arrives in December. Once or twice in a decade, anything from a light dusting to a heavy dump of snow shows up in November.

The season's last snowfall typically happens in March. At least one in four years, though, have no snow in March. Although rare, April can get some fresh snow.

Columbia is normally free of snow every year from May to October.

How Many Snowstorms Columbia Gets

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

Snowstorms of over five inches a day don't occur every year. Major blizzards that drop ten inches or more in one day are exceptional events, that happen about once a decade.

Number of days per month and year on average in Columbia 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
1.3 0.3 January 0.2 0.0
1.1 0.2 February 0.0 0.0
0.4 0.2 March 0.1 0.0
0.1 0.1 April 0.0 0.0
0.1 0.1 November 0.1 0.0
1.9 0.6 December 0.1 0.1
4.9 1.5 Year 0.5 0.1

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Columbia

For about one-fifth of winter days, Columbia has at least an inch of snow on the ground.

Snow mostly accumulates during December and January. Typically, on one or two days in January and in December, the snow covering Columbia gets to five or more inches deep. Most years, the snowpack never tops ten inches.

Average total days per month and year in Columbia 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
  7.1 2.9 January 1.2 0.0
  4.2 1.0 February 0.0 0.0
  1.1 0.7 March 0.3 0.0
  0.1 0.1 April 0.0 0.0
  0.2 0.1 November 0.0 0.0
  6.9 3.7 December 1.5 0.3
19.6 8.5 Year 3.0 0.3
Reference

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

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