December 19, 2011



As a major winter storm begins hammering parts of the High Plains in far northeast New Mexico, northwest Texas, western Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas, we started wondering about the snowiest places. Where in the U.S. do people get the most snow every year? 


According to the Weather Channel, #5 on the "snowiest list" is Lead, South Dakota. Lead is in the northern Black Hills, where powerful north winds swirl through the surrounding hills.

  • Average yearly snow: 201.4 inches
  • Population: 3,124
  • Snowiest month: March (35 inches)
  • Snowiest day ever: 52 inches (March 14, 1973)
  • Record Depth: 73 inches (March 1, 1998)


#4: Truckee, California. Truckee is in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which have a long, deadly history of burying pioneers and wagon trains, as well as modern trains, in the mountain passes during huge snowstorms.

  • Average yearly snow: 202.6 inches
  • Population : 16,180
  • Snowiest month: February (44.3 inches) 


#3: Hancock, Michigan. Why do they get so much snow in Hancock? In addition to the fact that it is in the far northern part of the U.S., Hancock is also close to Lake Superior, and the cold winds pick up moisture from the lake.

  • Average yearly snow: 211.7 inches 
  • Population: 4,634
  • Snowiest month: January (65.6 inches)
  • Snowiest day: 26.5 inches (January 18, 1996) 
  • Record depth: 73 inches (February 28, 1937)


#2: Crested Butte, Colorado. At an elevation of 8,860 feet, Crested Butte has a history of spectacular New Year’s storms!

  • Average yearly snow: 215.8 inches
  • Population: 1,487 
  • Snowiest month: January (39.5 inches)
  • Snowiest day: 31 inches (January 1, 1982) 
  • Record depth: 120 inches (December 31, 1923)
#1 - the place in the U.S. that gets the most snow - is Valdez, Alaska.  Why do they get so much snow? One of Earth’s most common low pressure systems, the "Aleutian low," settles in each winter just to the southwest of Valdez. When this happens, large amounts of moisture from the Pacific Ocean flood into southern Alaska and because the air is cold, the result is heavy snow. Consistently. EVERY year!
  • Average yearly snow: 326.3 inches
  • Population: 3,976 
  • Snowiest month: December (71.9 inches) 
  • Snowiest day: 47.5 inches (January 16,1990)


Army of Snowmen Photo Courtesy of Nerd Approved.


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Posted by: Seymour Simon

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