There are many ways to define the snowiest place on earth. Is it the snowiest city? The snowiest town? The snowiest single location anywhere? Unfortunately, the snowiest place on earth is probably not exactly known because it is most likely in a remote mountainous area that doesn’t have an easy way to measure snow by human standards. However, there are some strong likely candidates to be explored in the article below.
The Snowiest City in the World
Aomori, Japan is the snowiest city in the world. It gets an average of 312 inches, or 26 feet, of snow per year. The city gets so much snow because parts of the city are at least 5,000 feet up. Aomori is high in the Hakkoda Mountains, and like most mountainous areas, the winters are pretty snowy. It is a pretty populated place for having such extreme weather. Just fewer than 300,000 people live in Aomori, and must navigate the harsh winters each year. Most of the residents of the city must enjoy the snow!
The Snowiest Country in the World
Japan is also the snowiest country in the world. Over half of the country is blanketed in white each winter. The top 3 snowiest cities (with populations of over 100,000 people) are all in Japan. The country is very mountainous, but even low-lying areas can receive plenty of snow in the winter. Because of its tendency to receive heavy snow, especially in the northwestern areas of the country, Japan has unique snow-related cultural trends. The snowiest part of Japan is referred to as “Snow Country” or “yukiguni” in Japanese. Japan has also designated 10 of its snowiest prefectures, and parts of 14 others, as “heavy snowfall areas” so that they can receive special treatment in the winter.
The snow does cause some problems. Some homes have a special door on the second floor so that when the snow is too deep, residents can still find a way in. Residents also take care to clean snow off trees to avoid damaging them and brush snow off roofs to prevent them from caving in. Some of the snowiest towns use special tunnels or covered sidewalks to travel in the winter. In other cities, sprinklers put warm water into the road to melt snow and ice and keep driving conditions safe.
The Snowiest Town at Sea Level
The snowiest places are usually somewhere high up in the mountains where weather conditions are perfect each winter for extreme snowfall. However, there are some places at sea level that get coated in snow each year. The snowiest town located at sea level is Valdez, Alaska. It is a small city with a population of just under 4,000. They get an average of 320 inches of snow each year.
In the harbor at Valdez, each year, a few boats sink due to the sheer weight of the snow. Snow plow operators must wear avalanche beacons because the snowfall can accumulate so quickly that they can easily get buried in the snow. The town has huge snow storage areas for the massive amounts of snow that get cleared in the winter. However, the town is so used to snowfall that the schools rarely close for snow days.
The Snowiest Places on Earth
As mentioned, the snowiest places on earth are likely in remote mountain areas without snow tracking. However, we have some good ideas of where they may be.
Snowiest Seasons Ever
Thompson Pass, in Alaska, used to have snow tracking but doesn’t any longer. However, when it did, the most snow that fell there in one season was 974.1 inches in the winter of 1952-1953. That’s over 80 feet of snow!
A close second is Mount Copeland in British Columbia, Canada. In the winter of 1971-1972, 963 inches of snow fell, which is still more than 80 feet.
Crater Lake in Oregon has also had some banner years for snowfall. In the winter of 1949-1950, the weather station there recorded 903 inches, or over 75 feet, of snow!
Snowiest Places by Average Snowfall
Tateyama is a snowy mountain in the snowiest country on earth – Japan. It gets so much snow that each spring a snow canyon is carved onto the mountain so that tourists can drive up for summer activities like hiking. This mountain gets up to 125 feet of snow each year – or around 1,500 inches.
Other places that get a lot of snow around the world don’t come close to that level of snow, but they are still worth mentioning!
The Paradise Ranger Station in Washington State’s Mount Rainier National Park gets an average of 680 inches of snow each year. That’s over 55 feet. It is considered the snowiest place in the United States.
Thompson Pass, which was previously mentioned for its banner year in the 1950s, also gets an incredible amount of snow each year, with an average of 552 inches each season.
- Discover The Snowiest Cities in The United States
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- Discover the Snowiest Place in Alaska
- First Snow in Montana: The Earliest & Latest First Snows on Record
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/imagenavi
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the snowiest city in the world?
Aomori, Japan is the snowiest city in the world.
How much snow does Aomori, Japan receive each year?
Aomori, Japan gets an average of 312 inches, or 26 feet, of snow per year
What is the snowiest country in the world?
Japan in the snowiest country in the world.
What is the snowiest town at sea level in the world?
The snowiest town at sea level in the world is Valdez, Alaska.
How much snow does Valdez, Alaska receive each year?
Valdez, Alaska receives an average of 320 inches of snow each year.
What is the snowiest place on earth?
Tateyama, a mountain in Japan, may be the snowiest place on earth. In some winters it receives up to 1,500 inches of snow.
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