Madison Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages
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.
The first set of monthly snow totals are averages for 2010 to 2019. All the other numbers are averages, based on climate data gathered from 1991 to 2020 at Madison's Dane County Regional Airport.
How Often it Snows in Madison
The next two tables list monthly and yearly totals for amount of snow and how many days it snows at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres).
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 20.8 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than 2.6 inches for the month.
Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 19 inches, while the lightest years get under nine inches.
New snow for February ranges from over 14.4 inches in heavy snowfall years to 7.5 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, and some Aprils never see snow.
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 that don't show up every year.
How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Madison
For about half of winter days, Madison has at least three inches of snow on the ground.
Snow mostly accumulates during January and February. Typically, on three days in January and in February, the snow covering Madison gets to ten or more inches deep.
Jay Lawrimore, Ron Ray, Scott Applequist, Bryant Korzeniewski, Matthew Menne. 2016. Global Summary of the Month and Year, Version 1.0. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Climate Normals.