Rochester MN Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Rochester, Minnesota 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 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
8.6 January 12.0 30.5
7.5 February 8.5 21.6
6.0 March 8.7 22.1
2.3 April 3.3 8.4
0.1 May 0.0 0.0
0.9 October 0.8 2.0
5.2 November 6.1 15.5
9.3 December 12.5 31.8
39.9 Year 51.9 131.8

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

In December, for instance, one in four years totals 16 inches or more of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than 5.4 inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 15.7 inches, while the lightest years get less than six inches.

New snow for February ranges from over 10.8 inches in heavy snowfall years to under 6.2 inches in light years.

When Rochester Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

Rochester's first snowfall of winter usually arrives in November. But at least once every four years, snow comes as early as October.

The season's last snowfall typically happens in April, although at least one in four Aprils receive no fresh snow. Very rarely a few snowflakes land in May.

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

How Many Snowstorms Rochester Gets

Most days of snowfall in Rochester 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 usually happen a couple times a year. But major blizzards that dump ten inches or more in one day are rare events. Snowstorms this severe have normally occurred just in March.

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
3.6 1.2 January 0.5 0.0
2.7 0.8 February 0.3 0.0
2.5 0.8 March 0.4 0.1
0.8 0.4 April 0.1 0.0
0.2 0.1 October 0.0 0.0
1.8 0.6 November 0.2 0.0
3.6 1.3 December 0.4 0.0
15.2 5.2 Year 1.9 0.1

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Rochester

For nearly all of winter, along with some of early spring and late fall, Rochester has at least an inch of snow on the ground.

A snowpack that gets to ten or more inches deep can cover the city anytime from November to March. The snow accumulates most during January and February. Typically, on seven or eight days in January and in February plus another four days in December, the snow depth in Rochester tops ten inches.

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
25.5 19.5 January 15.6 7.8
22.8 18.8 February 14.6 6.9
13.4 8.6 March 6.4 2.6
1.7 0.5 April 0.2 0.0
0.3 0.0 October 0.0 0.0
5.9 3.0 November 1.3 0.2
22.2 15.2 December 9.7 4.2
91.8 65.6 Year 47.8 21.7

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

Minnesota Snowfall
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