Snow is a beautiful but often treacherous weather condition that many of us learn to endure, while others happily enjoy the activities that the winter snow provides. People living in areas of heavy snowfall experience more work loss, school closures, travel delays and hazardous road conditions than other areas.
Uncovering the top candidates for the snowiest cities in the United States requires lots of rather dry statistical research. Some reports include only major cities of over 440,000 people, others site cities of 10,000, and then others refer to the “snowiest places” in the US.
Under the category of major cities, Denver, Colorado comes in first with over 60 inches of snow reported annually. Denver also has the distinction of being the major city with the earliest and latest reported snowfalls; averaging 1.6 inches in September and 1.6 inches in May.
Cleveland, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wisconsin usually are in the running for the title of most snowfall in one month in a major metropolitan area. Last January Cleveland had 59.0 inches and Milwaukee had 47.1 inches of snowfall.
Cities of 10,000 or more include Truckee, California with 203 inches of snow annually, Marquette, Michigan with 179 inches, Steamboat Springs, Colorado with 173 inches and Oswego, New York with 153 inches.
Cities, towns, unincorporated areas and recreation districts are listed under the heading “snowiest places” in the United States. Mount Baker, Washington, a popular ski area, has an annual snowfall of 647 inches but in the 1998/99 season received 1,140 inches. Valdez, Alaska, a town of fewer than 5,000, receives 326 inch a year. Blue Canyon, California another popular ski area has 240 inches of snow a year.
A fun new website www.goldensnowglobe.com is hosting their first annual Snowiest City in the United States contest for 2009/2010. Competitors must have populations of 100,000 or more.
The competition is patterned after the Golden Snowball contest between five upstate-central New York cities. Albany, Birmingham, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse compete for a trophy and bragging rights for being the snowiest city in the state.
The states with cities of over 100,000 people that will be ranking high in the Golden Snow Globe contest include Colorado, Pennsylvania, New York, Alaska, Michigan and several others. The only rules are that the snowfall statistics come from NOAA the National Weather Service and each city must have a population of over 100,000.
As of December 11, 2009, Fort Collins, Colorado and Lakewood, Colorado are holding the lead. But a number of large winter storms have left piles of the white stuff all over the United States just this week—so the next update on this site will change the dynamics of the contest. This is a site worth watching.