Madison Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

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This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Madison, Wisconsin has snow.

There are data and descriptions here of how many days it snows and the total amount of snowfall that Madison 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 Madison 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 Madison's Dane County Regional Airport.

How Often it Snows in Madison

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 Madison
Days   Inches Centimetres
  9.8 January 12.9   32.8
  7.9 February 10.6   26.9
  5.8 March   7.0   17.8
  2.0 April   2.6     6.6
  0.2 May   0.2     0.5
  0.5 October   0.5     1.3
  3.8 November   3.6     9.1
  8.7 December 13.5   34.3
38.7 Year 50.9 129.3

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

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 22.5 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than 3.4 inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 19 inches, while the lightest years get under 6.5 inches.

New snow for February ranges from over 13 inches in heavy snowfall years to 6.5 inches or less in light years.

When Madison Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

The first snowfall of winter for Madison usually arrives in November. But at least one in four years also see snow in October.

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

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

How Many Snowstorms Madison Gets

Most days of snowfall in Madison leave just a skiff, amounting to less than an inch, of fresh snow on the ground. For 15 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 couple 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 Madison 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
  3.6 1.2 January 0.6 0.1
  3.2 1.1 February 0.3 0.1
  2.0 0.6 March 0.3 0.0
  0.7 0.3 April 0.1 0.0
  0.1 0.0 May 0.0 0.0
  0.1 0.1 October 0.0 0.0
  1.2 0.2 November 0.1 0.0
  3.8 1.3 December 0.6 0.1
14.7 4.8 Year 2.0 0.3

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Madison

For more than two-thirds of winter days, Madison has at least an inch of snow on the ground.

Snow mostly accumulates during January and February. Typically, on six days in January, plus four or five days in February and another three in December, the snow covering Madison gets to ten or more inches deep.

Average total days per month and year in Madison 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
24.0 17.5 January 13.6   6.2
20.9 15.0 February 10.4   4.5
  8.8   5.1 March   3.4   0.3
  1.2   0.5 April   0.2   0.0
  0.1   0.1 May   0.0   0.0
  0.1   0.0 October   0.0   0.0
  2.9   1.0 November   0.3   0.0
18.5 11.7 December   7.4   3.3
76.5 50.9 Year 35.3 14.3
Reference

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

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