New York City Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

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This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often New York City, NY has snow.

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

All the numbers are averages, based on climate data gathered from 1981 to 2010 in the midst of Central Park in Manhattan.

How Often it Snows in New York City

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 New York City
Days   Inches Centimetres
  4.0 January   7.0 17.8
  2.7 February   8.8 22.4
  1.7 March   3.6   9.1
  0.2 April   0.6   1.5
  0.2 November   0.3   0.8
  2.3 December   4.8 12.2
11.1 Year 25.1 63.8

These averages don't show how much New York City's snowfall varies from year to year.

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 7.1 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than half an inch for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 11.6 inches, while the lightest years get two inches or less.

Snow in February ranges from over 11 inches in heavy snowfall years to under an inch in light years.

When New York City Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

New York City's first snowfall of winter usually arrives in December, while in rare years an early snowfall shows up in November. In one exception on October 29, 2011, a record-setting snowstorm blanketed Central Park in 2.9 inches of fresh snow.

The season's last snowfall typically happens in March, although unusually late snow has been known to appear in April.

New York City is normally free of snow every year from May to October.

How Many Snowstorms New York City Gets

About half the days of snowfall in New York City result in just a skiff of less than an inch left on the ground. For six days a year on average, the amount of new snow totals at least an inch.

Snowstorms of over five inches a day normally occur once or twice a year. But major blizzards which dump ten inches or more in one day are rare events for NYC. Snowstorms that severe show up every few years on average, usually in December or February.

Number of days per month and year on average in New York City 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
2.0 0.8 January 0.4 0.0
1.8 1.0 February 0.5 0.2
1.0 0.4 March 0.2 0.0
0.1 0.1 April 0.0 0.0
0.1 0.0 November 0.0 0.0
1.0 0.5 December 0.4 0.1
6.0 2.8 Year 1.5 0.3

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in New York City

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

Snow mostly accumulates during January and February. Typically, on two or three days in January and in February, the snow covering Central Park gets to five or more inches deep. Snow depth can briefly reach ten inches, usually in February.

Average total days per month and year in New York City 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
  7.8   4.3 January 2.5 0.4
  7.6   4.3 February 3.0 1.0
  3.0   1.7 March 0.9 0.0
  0.3   0.2 April 0.1 0.0
  0.3   0.1 November 0.1 0.0
  2.6   1.2 December 0.7 0.3
21.6 11.8 Year 7.3 1.7
References

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

National Climatic Data Center. U.S. Records.

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