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Our method of obtaining data included sourcing information from the National Centers for Environmental Information and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Unlike most weather databases that haven’t been updated since 2010, our data includes recorded snowfall total averages across 200 cities through 2020.
We determined the 200 largest U.S. cities based on population and then compared them based on their recorded snowfall.
Top 25 U.S. Cities by Annual Snowfall
Our primary goal with this study was to determine the snowiest major cities across America, so we organized the top 25 snowiest cities by average annual snowfall in inches.
Salt Lake City, UT received the most snow each year during the reporting period through 2020, with an incredible 134.500 inches. Anchorage, AK was in a very close second with 105.567 inches. These cities, along with Rochester, NY, which experienced 102.200 inches, were the only three cities to record over 100 inches of snow annually.
To put this number into perspective, only 11 major cities — including those listed above — reported over 50 inches, and the average for the top 200 snowiest U.S. cities is less than 10 inches annually.
The 25th snowiest city in the United States is Des Moines, IA, which receives an average of 33.067 inches each year. Notably, this is about a third of what Salt Lake City experiences annually.
Just ahead of Des Moines are Naperville, IL and Cleveland, OH, with 33.150 inches and 33.340 inches annually, respectively.
Notably, in 2010, the snowiest cities in the U.S. by average annual snowfall were the following:
- Rochester, NY (99.5 inches)
- Buffalo, NY (94.7 inches)
- Cleveland, Ohio (68.1 inches)
- Salt Lake City, Utah (56.2 inches
- Minneapolis, Minnesota (54.0 inches)
In the last decade, Salt Lake City has bumped up to the top of the list, with the rest of the original top 5 falling in their rankings, replaced by cities in Colorado and Alaska. Could this mean a continued snowier Colorado winter over the next decade?
Annual Snowfall by Major City
We also mapped the total snowfall by major city for the top 100 cities in America, which ranges from 0.1 inches to over 134 inches at the extremes.
We pulled data for more than 200 of the largest U.S. cities, but about 100 of the most populated cities received no measurable snowfall.
At the bottom of the list for those that do receive some are Bakersfield, CA, Denton, TX, Laredo, TX, and San Antonio, TX, all of which experienced just 0.1 inches average per year.
The top 100 snowiest cities receive an average of 20.404 inches each year, which is over 200 times the average of the 100th city on our list and less than a sixth of what Salt Lake City averages every year.
Wrapping Up: Major Insights
Most data available online for average annual snowfall hasn’t been updated since 2010, leaving plenty of room for improvement and changes. We analyzed recorded snowfall totals through 2020 for the top 200 major cities in America to provide the most up-to-date snowfall statistics in the U.S.
Salt Lake City, UT, Anchorage, AK, and Rochester, NY, are the top three snowiest major cities and the only ones receiving over 100 inches annually. The least snowy cities in America that still receive some measurable snowfall include Bakersfield, CA, Denton, TX, Laredo, TX, and San Antonio, TX.
If you live in a cold climate and get hit with snow every year, you can always count on us to keep your home warm, safe, and comfortable. Simply fill in our easy contact form, and our team of professionals at Blue National HVAC will respond immediately to everything from routine inspections and repairs to emergency no-heat calls.