What state has the best snow on Earth?
Utah has long claimed to have the greatest snow on Earth—the state itself has even trademarked the phrase. In Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth, Jim Steenburgh investigates
At 8,750 feet in Utah, 99 percent of the precipitation during the ski season falls in the form of snow. Suggested Reading. Want to really dork out on interesting snow facts? Read, University of Utah's Meterologist Jim Steenburgh's new book Secret's of The Greatest Snow on Earth.
You'll find the Greatest Snow on Earth® in Utah, and particularly at Salt Lake's ski resorts. This proud claim refers to more than just the texture of the snow. Location and weather patterns are key. Accessing the snow is incredibly easy with four resorts close to the city.
According to Ski Utah, we have great snow because we get a lot of light, dry snow spread over numerous snow days. Some of these snow days actually drop a huge amount of snow in a short amount of time, which is even better! This combination provides a balance between flotation and face-shots.
Mount Rainier and Mount Baker in Washington are the snowiest places in the United States which have weather stations, receiving 645 inches (1,640 cm) annually on average. By comparison, the populated place with the highest snowfall in the world is believed to be Sukayu Onsen in the Siberian-facing Japanese Alps.
The United States of America is home to some of the snowiest places on the planet – its ten snowiest states being New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Alaska, Wyoming, Michigan, New York, Utah, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. The snowiest state of all is New Hampshire, which gets an average of 174.35 inches of snow each year.
There's actual merit to that statement. In fact, there's scientific evidence that conditions here are ideal for creating the best "flotation." According to the Utah Office of Tourism, that's when lighter snow falls on heavier snow and creates that perfect knee-deep powder that skiers kick up.
“If you're talking purely scientifically, defining the best snow as the deepest and lightest powder, it usually goes to [Utah's] Little Cottonwood Canyon,” says Colorado-based forecaster and OpenSnow founder Joel Gratz. “The snow in Utah and Colorado is roughly the same quality.
Southern Colorado's Wolf Creek is on record as having the highest average annual snowfall in the state with about 430 inches per season. By comparison, Alta, which gets the most riches of any Utah ski area, averages about 540 inches per season. That's about a 20% difference.
While both Colorado and Utah boast strong snowfall totals at every destination resort, Utah takes the edge in this category thanks to unprecedented accumulation quality at its best resorts.
What city in U.S. gets most snow?
Determining the Top Snowiest Cities
The town with the most snow is Valdez, Alaska, with 279.4 inches per year on average. Another stand-out is Blue Canyon, CA, with a historical average of 241.7 inches per year!
Utah is known for its challenging mountain terrain and some of the best snow in the world, making it a hub for serious skiers. With 10 of the state's 15 ski resorts located within an hour of the airport, Utah's ski resorts are also some of the easiest to access.
It has snowed each month of the year in Colorado, but the snow is mainly during the months of late October - late April. Snow is usually heavier and wetter (more moisture) in the spring time than winter. The mountains receive more snow and it sticks around longer than Denver/Front Range area.
Japan also has the heaviest recorded snow cover on earth, even in uninhabited areas. In 1927, the world's deepest snow cover of 1,182cm was at Mount Ibuki, a record that has not been broken for nearly 100 years. There is even special laws in Japan for areas with heavy snowfall.
The cold, dry conditions and high altitude allow the snow crystals to have a structure that makes Utah snow unique. The snowflakes tend to be thick and symmetrical, and float slowly to the surface accumulating as fluffy "powder".
The lower moisture content means the flakes don't fall as fast, allowing large crystals to form. This means that they don't become as compact when laying on the ground, so you're skiing on a pillow of snow, not cement.
Researchers at the personal finance publication ranked the 50 states based on scores in five categories: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety. Massachusetts topped 2023's list, scoring 61 out of 100. New Jersey came in second.
The answer is yes, although only on top of the highest peaks on Maui and the Big Island. Every winter, storm systems bring frequent snow storms to elevations generally above 11,000 feet. This means that only Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are impacted.
Colorado gets some of the lightest, driest snow in the world and nowhere is the champagne powder better than the small throwback ski area of Wolf Creek.
“Utah's powder reputation is based largely on the remarkable microclimate in the Cottonwood Canyons where you'll find Alta, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton ski resorts.” One of Steenburgh's criteria for rating Utah better than Colorado is sheer volume of snow.
What mountain has the most snow?
Mt. Baker does not need any bells and whistles to market itself, though, as the mountain holds the World Record for the snowiest season. In the 1998-1999 season, the mountain accumulated 1,140 inches of fresh powder—that's 95 feet!
The race is close in terms of natural beauty and adventure activities, but somebody has to pull ahead. Colorado brings microbreweries, a free-spirited culture, and a perfect vacation atmosphere to the table. Utah counteracts with a smaller population, closer mountains, and (debatably) better national parks.
Zion National Park
Zion is Utah's lowest park in both elevation and latitude, so its weather tends to be pretty fair year round. You can expect rain at times, but rarely snow, and cool temperatures especially in sunless canyon bottoms.
While the Cottonwood Canyons are the mecca for snowfall, the entire Wasatch Range is known for receiving copious snowfall amounts. Park City, just on the other side of the Wasatch Crest from the Cottonwood Canyons, is an old, historic mining town turned ski town.
If you mean only alpine mountains, Colorado has more alpine mountains than Utah does. Utah's mountains do tend to rise higher above their bases though, so usually look bigger.
Monthly household expenses usually amount to up to $2,100 in Colorado households. In Utah, the average money spent by households on regular expenses is $1,800. The cost of living in Colorado is higher than more than half of all the states in the country. In Utah, it's 2% lower than the national median.
The snowiest city in Colorado is Crested Butte with an average snowfall of 216.6 inches, though this is debateble. The least snowy city in Colorado is Grand Junction with an average snowfall of 15.8 inches.
1. Crested Butte. The beautiful mountain village of Crested Butte is also Colorado's snowiest city. Once an old coal mining town that has now shifted to a great little ski town for skiing and other recreational activities.
The Western Plateau (by Grand Junction and Fruita), the Front Range Urban Corridor (Fort Collins, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo), and the Eastern Plains (Sterling, Limon, La Junta) are a few places around Colorado where towns and cities have much milder winter conditions, with warm days from time to time.
The climate of Colorado is continental, meaning that it is far from an ocean moisture source. This often means less snowfall than states that are closer to the coast, but it also means light, dry snow is the normal type of powder.
Does it snow in Africa?
Snowfall is not uncommon in some Southern African countries. Johannesburg, a major city in Gauteng province situated in Southeastern Africa, has experienced intermittent snowfall over the years. Meanwhile, the Drakensberg Mountain range in South Africa receives enough snow for skiing during winter.
2 Mammoth Lakes, California
California is known for its hot weather, but it can also be a paradise for snow lovers. One of the best destinations for snow year-round is Mammoth Lakes. It's become a popular ski resort destination but offers other outdoor sports, like skating, snowshoeing, tubing, and sledding.
Key West, Florida: Not only has Key West never experienced snow, it's never seen frost, ice, or sleet either. That's because Florida's low latitude and low elevation hinder temperatures from getting cold enough for snow to fall, let alone accumulate on the ground.
- Crans Montana, Switzerland. ...
- Megève, France. ...
- Courchevel, France. ...
- Méribel, France. ...
- Alpe d'Huez, France. ...
- Zell am See, Austria. ...
- Kitzbühel, Austria. ...
- Arabba, Italy.
- Colorado. One of the best places by far to go skiing in the USA is Colorado. ...
- Nevada. ...
Hood, the tallest mountain in Oregon. Timberline offers the longest ski season in North America. Historically, the winter season begins early to mid-November and continues through the end of May. The Palmer Express high-speed quad operates in the Spring and Summer seasons only.
And on average, January is the coldest month in Colorado, though sometimes December is the coldest in places, such as Colorado Springs and Denver. Typically, January and February are the snowiest months, so opt for these if planning a ski vacation.
Summer daily maximum temperatures are often 95°F or above, and 100°F temperatures have been observed at all plain stations. Such temperatures are not infrequent at altitudes below 5,000 feet; above that elevation they are comparatively rare.
Colorado's position far inland and great distance from any large bodies of water, results in a usually dry climate. Also, because there are no oceans to moderate daily and seasonal temperatures, Colorado typically has hot summers and cold winters with relatively large temperature differences throughout each day.
Most Snow Measured in One Day
If you were 6 feet tall and standing outside for 24 hours in Silver Lake, Colorado, April 14-15, 1921, you would've been buried by snow from head to toe. That location recorded 6.3 feet of snow in a single day at an elevation of 10,220 feet in the Colorado Rockies, according to NOAA.
What major city gets the most snow?
1. Syracuse, New York: 127.8 inches. Syracuse takes home the crown as the snowiest city in America, averaging 127.8 inches each winter. That's just shy of 11 feet of snow, most of which is courtesy of the large body of water to its northwest: Lake Ontario.
These are the seven snowiest cities in the U.S. based on the most recent 30-year climatological averages (1991-2020). The outright snowiest place in America is Crater Lake National Park in Oregon's Cascade Mountains, where an average winter brings 38.6 feet of snow.
Even Disneyland experienced snow.
In Southern California's San Bernardino County — one of 13 counties declared under a state of emergency — some residents were stranded for days after some locations received 100 to 150 inches of snow in a week. At least five people have been found dead.
The Snow Winter of 1880–1881
A snow blockade in southern Minnesota, central US. On March 29, 1881, snowdrifts in Minnesota were higher than locomotives. The winter of 1880–1881 is widely considered the most severe winter ever known in many parts of the United States.
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In the United States, there is often—but not always—snow on the ground at Christmas in the northern states, except in the Pacific Northwest, with Alaska the most likely to see snow on the ground at Christmas.
Ridiculous photos show aftermath of 12 feet of snow in California's Sierra Nevada.
The least snowy places in Colorado include Grand Junction, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Commerce City, and Longmont. In Grand Junction, the snowiest month is December with an average of 3.74 inches, followed by January (2.83 inches), and February (2.6 inches).
Close to Grand Junction, Fruita is in a unique area of the state where lower elevations on the Western Plateau lead to milder winters. With higher temperatures year-round, it normally doesn't have a lot of snow.