Long Island Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Long Island in New York state has snow.

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

All the numbers are averages, based on climate data gathered from 1981 to 1997 at the hamlet of Medford in the Town of Brookhaven, located in central Suffolk County, about 60 miles east of Manhattan.

How Often it Snows on Long Island

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 Long Island
Days   Inches Centi­metres
3.5 January 8.7 22.1
2.8 February 9.5 24.1
1.9 March 5.7 14.5
0.5 April 2.1 5.3
0.4 November 0.9 2.3
2.4 December 5.0 12.7
11.5 Year 31.9 81.0

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

In December, for instance, one in four years totals seven inches or more of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than 1.9 inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 16.4 inches, while the lightest years get two inches or less.

Snow in February ranges from over 14.8 inches in heavy snowfall years to under 2.8 inches in light years.

When Long Island Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

Long Island's first snowfall of winter usually arrives in December, although at least one in four years see some snow in November.

The season's last snowfall typically happens in March, but snow in April is not uncommon.

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

How Many Snowstorms Long Island Gets

While Long Island gets snow less often than most places in New York State, most snowfalls there aren't just a dusting. For three-quarters of the days that receive fresh snow on Long Island, the amount totals at least an inch.

Still, snowstorms of over five inches a day normally occur just a couple times a year. And major blizzards that dump ten inches or more in one day are rare events.

Number of days per month and year on average that Long Island has 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
3.0 1.2 January 0.8 0.1
2.3 1.4 February 0.6 0.2
1.6 0.8 March 0.4 0.1
0.4 0.3 April 0.1 0.1
0.3 0.1 November 0.1 0.0
1.5 0.6 December 0.3 0.1
9.1 4.4 Year 2.3 0.6

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates at Long Island

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

Snow mostly accumulates during January. Typically, on three days in January and another two in February, the snow covering Long Island gets to five or more inches deep.

Average total days per month and year that Long Island has a 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
10.1 5.3 January 3.0 0.8
5.7 3.4 February 2.3 0.7
2.2 1.1 March 0.6 0.1
0.4 0.3 April 0.3 0.1
0.3 0.1 November 0.1 0.0
3.1 1.8 December 0.6 0.0
21.8 12.0 Year 6.9 1.7

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. 1981-2010 U.S. Climate Normals. (Data Access. FTP.)

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