While the snowbirds typically migrate south for the winter, the snow fanatics tend to flock to northern areas of the U.S. to get their winter weather fix. But do you know which cities receive the most snowfall each year?
Using the most recent 30-year climatological averages (1991-2020) from NOAA, we've compiled a list of the seven U.S. cities that have the highest average annual snowfall.
For this analysis, we only included cities with a population of at least 50,000 residents. This ruled out some smaller cities that would have otherwise made the list, including (in no particular order) Bozeman, Montana; Burlington, Vermont; Caribou, Maine; Lander, Wyoming; Marquette, Michigan; Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; Traverse City, Michigan; and Watertown, New York.
The outright snowiest place in America is Crater Lake National Park in Oregon's Cascade Mountains, where an average winter brings 463.1 inches of snow.
7. Anchorage, Alaska: 77.9 inches
Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, kicks off our list of the seven snowiest cities in America. This probably isn't much of a surprise for a city so far north that has an average winter temperature of about 19 degrees.
6. Flagstaff, Arizona: 90.1 inches
Flagstaff – surrounded by desert, mountains and ponderosa pine forests – might not be a city you'd expect to find on this list. Sitting at 6,903 feet in elevation, Flagstaff is situated just south of the San Francisco Peaks, the tallest mountain range in Arizona.
5. Boulder, Colorado: 92.8 inches
Boulder is at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills and sits at an elevation of 5,319 feet above sea level. It is the 12th most populous city in Colorado and is located some 25 miles northwest of Denver.
4. Buffalo, New York: 95.4 inches
Buffalo is the second-largest city in New York, behind only New York City at the opposite end of the state. It's located at the eastern end of Lake Erie, placing it in a prime spot for lake-effect snow off this Great Lake. However, Buffalo does not typically receive as much snow as two other cities to its east, Rochester and Syracuse.
3. Rochester, New York: 102.0 inches
Rochester, some 70 miles east of Buffalo, receives more than 100 inches of snow in a typical winter. Much of it comes in the form of lake-effect snow off Lake Erie to its southwest and Lake Ontario to its north.
2. Erie, Pennsylvania: 104.3 inches
Erie is situated on the immediate shoreline of Lake Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania. Snowbands off this Great Lake vault its average seasonal snowfall to more than 100 inches.
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.