Rochester NY Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

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

There are data and descriptions here of how many days it snows and the total amount of snowfall that Rochester 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 Rochester can expect the first and last snowfalls of the season.

All the numbers are averages, based on climate data gathered from 1981 to 2010 at the Greater Rochester International Airport.

How Often it Snows in Rochester

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 Rochester
Days   Inches Centimetres
18.0 January 28.2   71.6
14.4 February 21.5   54.6
  9.8 March 16.3   41.4
  3.2 April   3.9     9.9
  0.2 May   0.4     1.0
  0.2 October   0.1     0.3
  5.6 November   7.3   18.5
14.5 December 21.8   55.4
65.9 Year 99.5 252.7

These averages don't show how much Rochester's snowfall varies from year to year.

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 28.2 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than 11.7 inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 36.8 inches, while the lightest years get less than 15.1 inches.

Snow in February ranges from over 28.7 inches in heavy snowfall years to under 13.7 inches in light years.

When Rochester Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

Rochester's first snowfall of winter usually arrives in November, although a rare snowstorm can show up in October.

The season's last snowfall typically happens in April, but fresh snow in May is not unheard of.

Rochester is normally free of snow every year from June to September.

How Many Snowstorms Rochester Gets

Most days of snowfall in Rochester result in just a skiff of less than an inch left on the ground. For 30 days a year on average, the amount of new snow totals at least an inch.

Snowstorms of over five inches a day normally occur a three or four times a year. But major blizzards that dump ten inches or more in one day are rare events.

Number of days per month and year on average in Rochester 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
  8.8 2.7 January 0.8 0.1
  6.8 2.2 February 0.6 0.1
  4.0 1.6 March 0.8 0.2
  1.2 0.3 April 0.1 0.0
  0.1 0.0 May 0.0 0.0
  2.3 0.5 November 0.3 0.1
  6.3 2.3 December 1.1 0.1
29.5 9.6 Year 3.7 0.6

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Rochester

For about two-thirds of winter days, Rochester has at least an inch of snow on the ground.

Snow mostly accumulates during January. Typically, on three days in January and another one or two in February and in March, the snow covering Rochester gets to ten or more inches deep.

Average total days per month and year in Rochester 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
21.3 15.0 January 10.1 3.0
19.7 12.9 February   8.2 1.4
12.0   6.4 March   4.4 1.8
  1.4   0.4 April   0.2 0.0
  3.4   1.1 November   0.5 0.0
15.1   7.4 December   3.9 0.6
72.9 43.2 Year 27.3 6.8
Reference

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

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