The 10 Snowiest Cities On Earth

Although the shadow of climate change hangs darkly over the future of the environment, some cities on earth appear to inevitably see a large amount of snow. This might seem paradoxical, considering th

Although the shadow of climate change hangs darkly over the future of the environment, some cities on earth appear to inevitably see a large amount of snow. This might seem paradoxical, considering the 'warming' aspect of global warming, but most scientists link a rise in temperature with all aspects of extreme and unusual weather in the past years. The results of climate change will differ depending on geographical location.

Some cities will experience less precipitation and warmer weather, while other regions will witness more extreme and unmanageable versions of the cold weather patterns they've historically experienced.

All of the snowiest cities with populations of 100,000 or greater exist in the northern hemisphere, including locales in the United States, Japan and Canada. These places are far enough north to experience consistent, seasonal cold and close to sources of moisture that drive the frozen precipitation in these cities. Lakes, seas and other large bodies of water also drive blizzard activity, occasionally burying these cities in feet of snow. This may cause serious issues for the inhabitants of these cities, but it does result in some stunning views.

10 Buffalo, United States - 95 inches

via wikimedia

Located just east of Lake Erie, which borders the winter wonderland known as Canada, Buffalo experiences more snow than most major Canadian cities, which tend to be known for long, snowy winters.

9 Rochester, United States - 99 inches


Rochester gets on average four more inches of snow than its New York neighbour. Also located fairly close to Canada, south of Lake Ontario, Rochester deals with large amounts of lake-effect snow that occasionally leads to blizzards. Rochester was part of the Great Blizzard of 1977, which took place between January 29th and February 1st.

8 Akita, Japan - 107 inches


Home of Akita Castle, a fortification built around 733 A.D., Akita has a population of more than 320,000 residents. It achieved the designation of a "core city" of Japan in 1997, earning the ability for greater administrative autonomy from prefectural and federal governments.

7 Saguenay, Canada - 123 inches


Saguenay is located about 120 miles north of Quebec City, capital of the province of Quebec. Formed through a merger of four smaller cities - La Baie, Laterriere, Chicoutimi and Jonquiere - Saguenay has a population of more than 144,000 Francophones living close to the Saguenay River and Lac Saint-Jean.

6 Syracuse, United States - 124 inches


Syracuse University is in the snowiest city in the United States and has the second snowiest college in the country, behind only Michigan Technological University, which is close to the small town of Portage Lake. Similar to the other snowiest cities in the United States, Syracuse is located in the state of New York, situated close to a lake - in this case both Lake Ontario and Onondaga Lake.

5 Quebec City, Canada - 124 inches

The second biggest city in the province of Quebec, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America and features some of the most beautiful architecture and culture inspired by the city's French and European roots.

4 St. John's, Canada - 131 inches


St. John's is located in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and receives the most snow on average than any major Canadian city. This city is believed to be the oldest in North America and sprung from some of the first wave of settlements from European interlopers.

3 Toyama, Japan - 143 inches

This area of Japan receives so much snow on an annual basis that that the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route - Yuki no Otani - features giant walls of snow on both sides that tower over all drivers, completely blocking the view.

2 Sapporo, Japan - 191 inches

Sapporo is the largest city on this list, with a population of nearly 2 million. The fourth biggest city in Japan is the second snowiest on earth, with nearly 17 feet of snow per year on average. Similar to Quebec City, Sapporo puts on an annual festival, known as the Sapporo Snow Festival, welcoming about two million tourists during the event.

1 Aomori City, Japan - 312 inches

By far the snowiest city on earth is Aomori City in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. This location averages a whopping 26 feet of snow per year, more than a 100 inches more than Sapporo, the next snowiest city. The reason Aomori City receives an incredible amount of snow is its location in high elevation among the Hakkoda Mountains, Aomori Bay and Mutsu Bay, combining cold northern air with snow production aided by adjacent bodies of water.

The wind that blows from around the city swirls the precipitation into dense clouds that result in an unusual amount of snow, thick fog and the occasional cool summer. The wind also causes snow to settle into strange formations, known as 'snow monsters', as pictured above.

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The 10 Snowiest Cities On Earth