Discover the Snowiest Place in Massachusetts

Written by Colby Maxwell
Published: December 20, 2022
© Kim
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Massachusetts is known for its diverse landscapes, from the bustling city streets of Boston to the peaceful beaches of Cape Cod. But when winter rolls around, the state transforms into a winter wonderland, with snow blanketing the ground and frosty winds blowing through the air. And while there are many snowy places to be found throughout the state, there is one particular location that stands out as the snowiest of them all. Today, we are going to explore this extremely snowy town, plus learn a little about the snow in other parts of the state. Let’s get started.

The Snowiest Place in Massachusetts

Located in the north-central region of Massachusetts, Fitchburg is known for its cold and snowy winters. With an annual average snowfall of 82.2 inches, it is the snowiest place in the state and one of the snowiest in the entire contiguous United States. Fitchburg is the third-largest city in Worcester County, with a population of 41,946 as of the 2020 census. Despite its size, Fitchburg maintains a small-town charm, with a historic downtown and a strong sense of community.

Fitchburg’s location on the northern border of Massachusetts makes it particularly susceptible to cold and snowy weather. The city is situated just a few miles from the New Hampshire border, and it is often affected by the same storms that bring heavy snow to the Granite State.

Despite the challenges posed by the snow, Fitchburg’s residents are no strangers to harsh winters. They are well-prepared for the cold, with a fleet of snowplows ready to clear the roads and plenty of warm blankets and hot cocoa to keep them cozy. In fact, just the city of Boston has more city-owned snowplows (70) than almost any other southern state! Since the state is so snowy, investing in plows is essential.

Fitchburg is second only to Boston in the number of snowplows
Fitchburg is second only to Boston in the number of snowplows they have available to manage winter conditions in Massachusetts.

© Rozenski

How Much Snow Does Massachusetts Get?

The annual average snowfall for the entire state of Massachusetts is 51.05 inches, although this is a bit misleading as the state receives different levels of snowfall according to its relation to the Atlantic Ocean.

Massachusetts is a unique state in that it has drastically different snowfalls when comparing the eastern half of the state to the western. Generally, this is caused by the Atlantic Ocean and its stabilizing effect on the eastern half, but another body of water impacts the western half: the Great Lakes! Despite being a long way from the nearest of the Great Lakes, something known as the “Lake Effect” still impacts how much snow the state gets.

Moisture is a key ingredient in the formation of clouds and snow, and when very cold air blows over a large, warmer body of water, it can trigger a significant snowstorm. These storms often originate over the Great Lakes and then travel from Minnesota to Maine. The combination of the frigid air and the warmer water creates the ideal conditions for a major snow event.

In fact, Massachusetts is one of the snowiest states in the US!

  1. Vermont – 89.25 inches
  2. Maine – 77.28 inches
  3. New Hampshire – 71.44 inches
  4. Colorado – 67.3 inches
  5. Alaska – 64.3 inches
  6. Michigan – 60.66 inches
  7. New York – 55.32 inches
  8. Massachusetts – 51.05 inches
  9. Wyoming – 51 inches
  10. Wisconsin – 45.79 inches

See a trend? The top three states are all in New England!

Massachusetts is one of the snowiest US states
Massachusetts is one of the snowiest states in the United States.


The Snowiest Blizzard in Massachusetts History

Part of living in New England is learning to live with huge snowstorms that blow through unexpectedly. There have been a few storms that have dropped a lot of snow in a few short hours. In fact, the largest of them all was only a few years ago!

According to Spada Law Group, the largest snowstorm on record occurred between February 17th and 18th, 2013. During that storm, 27.6 inches of snow fell, adding over two feet of snow in an extremely short period of time. What’s important to remember is that this is the average snowfall from the storm, meaning some towns and cities could have received much more during the same time, especially in the northwestern portion of the state.

For those living in Boston, the snowiest year ever was in 2015, only two years later. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the snowiest year on record was when the city received 108.6 inches of snow. This was the highest amount of snow ever recorded in a single calendar year in Boston, according to the most updated records.

Snow in Boston
The snowiest year on record for Boston, Massachusetts was 2015 when the city received 108.6 inches of snow.

©Collin Gravois/

Up Next

The Featured Image

Cape Cod, Massachusetts blizzard
Snowscape with a heavy winter storm coming at the beach town on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
© Kim

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About the Author

Colby is a freelance writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he isn't distracted by his backyard birdfeeder, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone around him about what he's recently learned. There's a whole world to learn about and Colby is content to spend his life learning as much as he can about it!

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  1. World Population Review, Available here:
  2. (1970)