The following is a list of the ten snowiest weather cities in the United States based upon average annual snowfall amounts. I’m only listing major cities here. To qualify for the list, a city must have a metro area population of one million or more people.
A number of smaller cities in the United States, like Syracuse, New York, Worcester, Massachusetts, and Anchorage, Alaska, would make this list if not for the population qualifier. Other places in the United States, like Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and Mount Rainier in Washington, average far more yearly snowfall than any city on this list.
The snow totals listed are the averages for each city from weather data from 1981 to 2010.
Ten Snowiest Cities in the United States
1. Rochester, New York – 99.5″
The city of Rochester, New York is the snowiest weather large city in the United States, with an annual average snowfall of 99.5″. Located along the shores of Lake Ontario in Upstate New York, Rochester gets tons of snow each winter because it gets really cold and it gets hit with many snowstorms and lake effect snow from the Great Lakes.
January is the snowiest month of the year in Rochester, with an average snowfall of 27.7″.
2. Buffalo, New York – 94.7″
Buffalo, New York is second on this list of major United States cities that get the most snow annually. Buffalo averages 94.7″ of snow per year, and for basically the same reasons as Rochester.
Buffalo gets pretty cold each winter, and gets hit with snowstorms and lake effect snow coming off Lake Erie. Unlike Rochester, which averages the most snow in January, Buffalo’s heaviest snowfall month is December (27.3″).
3. Cleveland, Ohio – 68.1″
Cleveland, Ohio averages 68.1″ of snowfall annually, good for third place. Located along the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland’s snowiest month of the year is January (18.9″).
4. Salt Lake City, Utah – 56.2″
Salt Lake City, Utah averages 56.2″ of annual snowfall. Like Buffalo, Salt Lake City’s snowiest month of the year is December (13.1″).
5. Minneapolis, Minnesota – 54″
Minneapolis, Minnesota averages 54″ of snow annually. Minneapolis is another city on the list that gets the most snow in December (12.2″).
That does not mean that winter ends early in Minneapolis, as the city averages the most annual below zero weather temperature days of any large city in the United States.
6. Denver, Colorado – 53.8″
Denver, Colorado averages 53.8″ of snow annually. Denver has the weirdest snow weather of any city on this list, as it averages measurable amounts of snow from September through May in most years. It’s also not that unusual for Denver to have a 70 degree temperature day in January.
7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin – 46.9″
Milwaukee, Wisconsin averages 46.9″ of snow per year. January (15.3″) is the snowiest month of the year in Milwaukee, where it gets plenty cold each winter.
8. Boston, Massachusetts – 43.8″
Boston, Massachusetts averages 43.8″ of snow annually. January (14.0″) is the snowiest month in Boston. I went to college in Boston, and the winters can be cold, snowy, and windy there.
9. Detroit, Michigan – 42.7″
Along with Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Milwaukee, Detroit, Michigan is the fifth city on this list located right along one of the Great Lakes. Detroit averages 42.7″ of snow annually, with January (12.9″) being its snowiest month.
10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 41.9″
With an annual average of 41.9″ of snow, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania rounds out this list of snowiest cities in the United States. January (11.8″) is Pittsburgh’s snowiest month of the year.