These Are the 10 Snowiest Countries in the World

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: November 29, 2023
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Snowfall can make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland. While some places may never get a glimpse of fragile snowflakes, other regions see jaw-dropping amounts of snowfall. With a bit of research, we’ve found the snowiest countries in the world.

These results are measured by overall snow totals throughout the winter season. Grab your hat and mittens as we check out which spots made the cut.

Discover the top 10 snowiest countries in the world.

Snowiest Countries in the World

10. Russia

A Stunning View of Koryaksky Volcano, Shrouded in Clouds and Adorned with Green Moss, Part of the Volcanic Landscape of Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. In the Distance, You Can Marvel at the Snow-Capped Cone of Vilyuchinsky Volcano on a Clear and Sunny Day

Russia has over 8600 mountains.

©Anwarul Quddus Sikder/iStock via Getty Images

We can’t have a list of the snowiest countries in the world without mentioning Russia. Not only are the winters snowy here, but they’re also quite chilly. In fact, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Russia is 89.9 degrees below zero.

In comparison to other places on this list, it may not seem like a lot to hear that this country receives over 20 inches per year. There are roughly 72 snow days each winter in Russia. Locals love to spend winter ice skating on Lake Baikal.

Sledding around Kamchatka is also a popular activity. When you’re in Russia during the winter, the Northern Lights are a must-see. The mesmerizing shades of green dancing across the sky as snow-capped mountains dot the Kola Peninsula is something unlike anything else on the planet.

9. South Korea

Lots of Snow

An average winter day in South Korea can be -4 degrees Fahrenheit.

©Joy Fera/iStock via Getty Images

South Korea is beautiful in many aspects, even when covered in a blanket of snow. The winters in this region are frigid. There is near-continuous snowfall throughout the winter season. 

Many tourists and locals describe the winter as wet and cold. Think of it similarly to that of the Pacific Northwest in the United States. Because of this type of weather, ice fishing is incredibly popular here.

It’s somewhat mesmerizing to see Seoul turn from a bustling city to a snow globe. South Korea has a record of 400 inches of snowfall on record. In Seoul, there is an average of 25 snow days per year. Mokpo sees 27 snow days, while areas such as Busan only get five days of snowfall.

8. Greenland

Ice sheets cover 80% of Greenland.

©Nicolaj Larsen/Shutterstock.com

The name is deceiving, as Greenland is mostly white. The Denmark-governed land is considered a “dead territory” in Europe. The northern portion of Greenland is where you’re most likely to see beautiful foliage. 

Some of the shortest days of the year in Greenland are in December. The sunlight is only around for four hours or fewer. This doesn’t help with the frigid temperatures the country experiences. 

However, the rest of the country receives plenty of snowfall. Over the last 22 years, records show that Greenland has had roughly 500 inches of snow. Did you know that in central Greenland the sun doesn’t set during all of June and July? This is due to its location north of the Arctic Circle creating what they call “Midnight Sun.”

7. Nepal

Group of climbers reaching the Everest summit in Nepal.

Roughly 800 people try to summit Mount Everest each year.

©Vixit/Shutterstock.com

Those living in Nepal, residents still get to enjoy plenty of summer heat despite being one of the snowiest countries in the world. Because this portion of Asia has a lot of mountains, it receives plenty of snowfall. 

Seven of the 10 highest mountain peaks on the planet are within Nepal, including part of Mount Everest. Records show that more than 550 inches have fallen over the grounds of Nepal throughout the years. 

As you can assume, the higher in elevation you are, the colder it will be. 14 degrees Fahrenheit is a typical winter day in Nepal.

6. China

Beijing summer palace

China has the second largest economy in the world as of 2014.

©JIWEI QU/iStock via Getty Images

Because of the sheer size of China, some parts of the country receive shocking amounts of snow, while others barely see a flake. The northern part of China has a “dry” winter. In fact, Beijing sees less than two inches of snow a year. 

Why is China one of the snowiest countries in the world? Well, if you look at the region as a whole, it has seen over 600 inches of snow in total. Not only is it snowy here, it can get quite blustery as well, adding to the misery of winter. 

5. North Korea

Blizzard

Winter is from December to March in North Korea.

©Mark Payne/Shutterstock.com

Next up is North Korea. While the rest of the world doesn’t know a lot about this country, we do know that it’s snowy. The majority of North Korea experiences frigid and blizzard-like winters. 

In the last 100 years, this country has seen over 700 inches of blanket on the landscape. It’s consistently cold enough to snow, with the average winter temperature in Pyongyang about 17 degrees Fahrenheit. North Korea is one of the snowiest countries in the world with an average of 37 snow days per year.

4. Norway

Norway, Svalbard, Spitsbergen, Alkefjellet. Thick-billed murres perched on glacial ice.

Many animals thrive in the freezing temperatures of Norway.

©Danita Delimont/Shutterstock.com

Did you know that Norway’s records show 900 inches of snowfall? That’s a lot of powder! While the country is full of lush foliage in the summer, winter covers Norway with snow. It lasts about four months and the snow is known to be relatively continuous. 

The average temperature is about 19 degrees Fahrenheit. Oslo sees many below-zero days throughout the chilly season. This is great for locals and tourists alike as snow is a major aspect of the culture here.

Norway is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. There are plenty of ski resorts to choose from where you can ski down slopes or enjoy a toasty cup of cocoa from the lodge. Riding a toboggan, going dog sledding, and snowshoeing are also common activities.

3. The United States of America

Mount Washington

Mount Washington is a popular destination in New Hampshire during winter.

©David Boutin/Shutterstock.com

Another one of the snowiest countries in the world is the United States. One reason the U.S. makes the list is because of the sheer size. While some portions never see snow, other states such as Minnesota are known for harsh winters. 

In the 21st Century alone, the United States has a record of 1,500 inches of snow. If that’s not enough, Mount Baker in Washington received 1,140 inches of snow in just one year. The snowiest states in the country include New Hampshire, Maine, Minnesota, Alaska, and Wyoming. 

New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Alaska, Wyoming, Michigan, New York, Utah, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. New Hampshire averages about 174 inches of snow each winter.

2. Canada

Residential street with snowed in cars and snow covered street.

Canada consistently beats the previous records in terms of snowfall and chilly temperatures.

©Petra Richli/iStock via Getty Images

Similar to the United States, Canada is also one of the snowiest countries in the world. Some records state that Canada is the coldest country on the planet. Winter here lasts six to eight months each year.

People in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary say that they may night see the sun for up to three months at a time. Five degrees Fahrenheit is a warm winter day in this country. A lot of the region experiences days that are a dangerous 76 degrees below zero.

In terms of snowfall, 2,200 inches of snow has blanketed the country since the beginning of the 21st Century.

1. Japan

Japan snow

The Japan Alps receive more snowfall than most of the region.

©iStock.com/vichie81

There is no country that knows snowfall quite like Japan. Higher elevations in this country see nearly 600 inches of snow per winter season. The majority of snow falls in Japan in January and February. 

Skiers love heading to Niseko to enjoy the fresh powder at the array of ski resorts. The snowfall here is from the cold air that flows from China over the Sea of Japan. 

When the chilly air temperature mixes with moisture from the sea, it can pour heavy snow on the mountains. With the Sea of Japan always creating moisture in the environment, the country is going to have a lot of snow. If this water had the ability to freeze, Japan would likely not be one of the snowiest countries in the world.

Summary of the Snowiest Countries in the World 

RankCountryRecorded Snowfall
1.Japan3,000 inches
2.Canada2,200 inches
3.United States1,500 inches
4.Norway900 inches
5.North Korea700 inches
6.China600 inches 
7.Nepal550 inches 
8.Greenland500 inches 
9.South Korea400 inches 
10.Russia100 inches 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © justoomm/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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