The Biggest Snowstorms in North America

General Article

Some winters it seems like the snow hardly falls at all. Other winters, the snow hardly seems to stop. Then there are historic years and days where the snowfall amounts will be remembered for many years. In these moments, the snow piles up and causes power outages, road closures and the closing of airports. Here are some of the largest snowfalls in North America.

By Storm

The northeast portion of Canada received about 29 inches of snow in a 48-hour period in 2019. This massive snowstorm snarled traffic and required people to shovel and clear off driveways and sidewalks, not to mention clearing the snow off their cars. The heavy load of snow also put structures in danger of collapsing. A roof load calculator would have been a good thing to own in such a storm. This device allows people to monitor the stress on roofs with technology, alerting them when the load is dangerously heavy.

By Day

All across North America, historic snow days have occurred, mostly in the northern tier of U.S. States and into Canada. In 1955, Alaska received over five feet of snow one day in December.  In 1952, California received 6 feet and 3 inches of snow in Yuba County. This was one inch less, though, than Colorado received on April 15, 1921. Even Texas saw over 2 feet of snowfall in one day in 2009.

By Year

It is almost unthinkable that the Mount Baker ski area in Washington received 1140 inches of snow from July of 1988 to June of 1999. That is the all-time record in North America in one year. One place in Utah, Alta, receives an average snowfall of 546 inches a year, while Crater Lake National Park averages about 483 inches of snow a year. Valdez, Alaska, has the distinction of receiving the most annual snowfall for a city with 326 inches a year.