Snow can be a blessing and a curse. Many people want a white Christmas. Snow can cancel school and allow people to stay home from work, but snow can also make driving particularly dangerous, cause power outages, and break trees.
Snow forms when the atmospheric temperature is at or below freezing (0ºC or 32ºF) and there is a minimum amount of moisture in the air. If the ground temperature is at or below freezing, then the snow will reach the ground.
Atmospheric life is when warm air collides with cold air and is forced to rise of the frigid air mass. The boundary between these two air masses is called a front. Lift is needed to raise moisture to form clouds and cause frozen participation.
You’ve probably heard of lake effect snow. Lake effect is the reason why most heavy snowfalls happen around the Great Lakes region. Because moisture is an essential element needed to form clouds and snow, very cold air blowing across a large, warmer body of water causes a large snowstorm.
That being said, the coldest states in the U.S. do not always receive the most amount of snow. Moisture is a huge factor in snow production. Additionally, some areas in states get much more snow than other areas in the same state.
Vermont receives more snow per year than any other state. Vermont sees about 54 days of snow per year and an average of 89.25 inches per year. In the 2018-2019 winter season, Vermont received 201 inches of snow.
Maine, the third-coldest U.S. state, gets the second-highest amount of snow per year on average of 77.28 inches. Maine sees about 28 days of snowfall each year. Caribou, the northernmost city in the U.S., recently recorded 157 consecutive days with at least one inch of snow on the ground.
New Hampshire, Vermont’s neighbor, receives an average of 71.44 inches of snowfall every year. Mount Washington, the highest peak in New Hampshire, receives 23 feet of snow each year, making it the snowiest place in the country.
Colorado sees about 67.30 inches of snow every year. Snowfall varies greatly across the state. Denver receives about 57 inches of snow annually while the mountains receive anywhere between 150 to over 400 inches of snow.
Alaska, another one of the coldest states in the U.S., receives 64.46 inches of snow on average every year and has about 48 days of at least 0.1 inch of snowfall. The average temperatures in the winter in Alaska range from a low of 9.3ºF to a high of 25.8ºF. In. 2018, Nome saw a snowstorm that dropped almost 36 inches of snow at once.
Michigan receives an average of 60.66 inches of snow per year. Heavy snowstorms Michigan are very common, especially because of lake effect snow. The eastern shore of Lake Michigan in the Lower Peninsula receives more snow annually than any other part of the state.
7. New York
New York receives about 55.32 inches of snow on average every year. New York is another hot spot for lake effect snow, especially for cities like Buffalo and Rochester in the western region. In the 2018-2019 winter season, Rochester got more than 97 inches of snow and Buffalo got more than 100 inches.
Unsurprisingly, the eighth-snowiest state in the U.S. is the fourth New England state: Massachusetts. On average, Massachusetts receives 51.05 inches of snow per year. Massachusetts averages about five snow events each winter month, with its northeastern and central parts getting hit the hardest.
Wyoming average 51.00 inches of snow per year, just below Massachusetts’s average. The mountain ranges in Wyoming see more snow than other areas of the state, receiving over 200 inches of snowfall annually. Wyoming residents see over 36 days of snowfall each year.
Wisconsin is the tenth-snowiest state in the U.S., averaging about 45.79 inches of snow per year. Iron County and Vilas County, located close to Lake Superior, experiences more than double the state average, receiving about 100 to 125 inches per year.