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The 10 Snowiest Cities in the United States

Rochester New York

Some locations are known for their sunshine, while others are known for different climatic conditions. Although many people dream of living in a sunny place or prefer holidays in hot destinations, areas with different climates also have a lot to offer. For example, places where it snows often offer residents and visitors a vast array of outdoor sports to enjoy, and a landscape covered in crisp white snow is a beautiful sight. If you love snowy locations and the beauty and leisure activities they can offer, here are the 10 most snowy cities in the United States.

10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh's average annual snowfall is 41.9-inches. The city has four distinct seasons, and most of the snowfall falls in the winter months. Pittsburgh is on the Allegheny Plane at the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian Mountain Range. The city sits at the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River, which then forms the Ohio River.

9. Detroit, Michigan

Annually, Detroit in Michigan has an average snowfall of 42.7-inches. Over the last 150 years, Detroit has experienced around 25 snowstorms, which is the equivalent of one every six years. According to, the city's worst snowstorm took place in 188, when approximately 24.5-inches of snow fell. Detroit's most recent snowstorm was in 2016, when 10.5-inches of snow fell.

8. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is known for its chilly weather conditions, so it is unsurprising that there is an annual snowfall of 43.8-inches. Although Boston's coastal location on the North Atlantic means the weather is moderated, it also makes the city prone to Nor'easter weather systems that produce significant rain and snow. Most of the snowfall occurs between mid-November and early April. Boston's worst snowstorm took place on February 17-18, 2003, when 27.6-inches of snow fell in 48 hours.

7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The snowiest place in Wisconsin is Milwaukee, where there is an average annual snowfall of 46.9-inches. Milwaukee sits on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and at the confluence of the rivers Menomonee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee. The city's weather is rapidly changing, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Milwaukee also experiences extreme weather conditions, including thunderstorms and tornadoes.

6. Denver, Colorado

Many of the cities on this list get most of their snow in December, January, and February. However, Denver has one of the longest winters in the United States, as it begins snowing in September, and it can continue to snow as late as May. Therefore, it is a top destination for enjoying fresh snow, and it has one of the longest seasons for winter sports activities. Overall, Denver, Colorado, has an annual average of 53.8-inches of snow a year.

5. Minneapolis, Minnesota

The annual average snowfall in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is 54-inches. Minneapolis sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. Other bodies of water in the city include wetlands, creeks, waterfalls, and 13 lakes. Minneapolis is described as having a continental climate, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The snowiest winter on record for Minneapolis was between 1983 and 1984 when 98.6-inches of snow fell. On the other hand, the city's least snowy winter occurred in the winter of 1890 to 1891, when only 11.1-inches of snowfall was recorded.

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

In Salt Lake City, Utah, there is an estimated annual snowfall of 56.2-inches. Salt Lake City sits alongside Salt Lake in Utah, and it is the state's capital and most populous city. Although Salt Lake City borders an area with a humid continental climate and another area with a Mediterranean climate, the city has a cold semi-arid climate. The city's snowiest month was January 1993, when 50.3-inches of snowfall were recorded. Its snowiest winter was between 1951 and 1952 when the recorded snowfall was 117.3-inches.

3. Cleveland, Ohio

Weather data collated by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center shows that Cleveland in Ohio gets an annual average of 68.1-inches of snowfall. Cleveland is a city that sits on the banks of Lake Erie, and it is a port city that connects to the Atlantic Ocean. The city has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. The city's location next to the lake means there is a differential in geographical snowfall across the city, with the west side experiencing significantly less snowfall than the east of the city. The East Side is known as the Snow Belt, and it stretches along the shores of the lake as far as Buffalo.

2. Buffalo, New York

The second snowiest place in the United States is Buffalo, where the average snowfall is around 94.7-inches each year. Buffalo is on the eastern side of Lake Erie, and it is part of the same snow belt as parts of Cleveland, Ohio. There have been some serious bouts of snowfall in this city, including the Blizzard of 1977, a snowstorm in October 2006, and November 2014. The latter was a record-breaking snowstorm that produced more than 66-inches of snow and led to the event being called 'Snowvember,'

1. Rochester, New York

According to Only In Your State, the snowiest city in the United States is Rochester in New York. The average annual snowfall in this city is 99.5-inches. In terms of temperature, Rochester is the same as other cities in the United States that lie at the same latitude. However, it differs as its snowfall is significantly greater, and this is primarily due to the lake effect as the city is next to Lake Ontario and the Genesee River. The greatest snowfall to land in a single day occurred on March 1, 1900, when the recorded snowfall was 29.8-inches. Rochester's most recent significant snowfall was on February 16, 2018, when 18.3-inches of snowfall was recorded. The highest monthly record was February 1958, as 64.8-inches were recorded during that month.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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