16 American Cities That Have Never Seen Snow
There are quite a few U. S. locations that haven't seen snow (or haven't seen it in a very long time!). Explore the American locales where you’re least likely to need a snow shovel.
As climate change continues to reshape weather patterns, some American towns find themselves experiencing a decrease in snowfall. In fact, records document dwindling snowpack throughout the western United States due to dramatic changes in temperature and precipitation. What’s more, earlier this year many traditionally wintry cities across the Northeast witnessed an alarming decline in snowfall compared to previous years.
While snow isn’t going away any time soon, there have always been places in the United States that never or rarely see the frozen fluff. From the balmy shores of Florida to the majestic landscapes of Hawaii, these essentially snow-free U.S. towns may serve as warnings of dryer, warmer times to come.
Florida tops our list of states with the greatest number of cities and towns that have never seen snow. The state’s combination of low latitude and low elevation serve to keep the fluffy stuff away, for the most part. This is definitely true of Miami, which has had no official snow accumulation since records began in the 1800s. That said, snowflakes were sighted in the region once, during a cold wave in January 1977.
According to research from the National Weather Service and NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency), there has been no snow in Hilo for 150 to 200 years. This small town, located in a crescent bay on the Big Island, is known for lush scenery, waterfalls, and a rainforest zoo.
Don’t be fooled by the 2018 headlines that proclaimed, “Yes, it’s snowing in Hawaii.” In fact, snow touched only the volcano summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. The lowlands, including the city of Honolulu, remained mild, with forecasts in the low 70s.
While snow does fall in the Sunshine State, Jacksonville has escaped truly wintry weather for more than 100 years. That said, the town has experienced a few freak snowfalls: February 12, 1899, when a mere 1.9 inches fell, as well as 1.5 inches in 1958 and accumulations of less than an inch in 1986 and 1989.
Long Beach, California
In Long Beach, which has an average annual snowfall of 0 inches, temperatures rarely dip below 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, the sun shines 287 days of the year.
Snow can be seen in the upper mountain regions surrounding Phoenix, but the white stuff is rare to nonexistent within the city limits. The greatest amount of snow recorded near Phoenix was just an inch, on January 20, 1933, and then again on January 21 and 22, 1937.
Freezing temps are rare in Sacramento, and the city averages 0 inches of snow per year. Although “traces” of freezing precipitation have been recorded as recently as 2009, the last significant accumulation was 2 inches on February 5, 1976. And way back in 1888, a whopping 3.5 inches of snow fell on the city on January 4 and 5.
San Diego, California
With its balmy Mediterranean climate—dry summers and wet, temperate winters—you can expect 60-plus-degree weather in San Diego 344 days of the year. Only five sightings of snow flurries have been recorded in 125 years. The last flurries were seen on February 14, 2008, and the last measurable snowfall hit neighborhoods surrounding the city on December 13, 1967. Snow and ice don’t touch the coastal areas at all.
San Jose, California
Snow may dust Bay Area mountains, but lower lying San Jose is protected from the worst of winter’s wrath. Climate change is impacting California in other ways, however, as evidenced by an increase in wildfires, droughts, and flooding. The most recent accumulation of snow—roughly a half inch—hit the region on February 5, 1976.
Key West, Florida
It’s official. According to the National Weather Service, no snow has fallen in Key West or the Florida Keys since weather recording began in 1872. Thanks to Florida’s subtropical climate and low elevation, snow is rare throughout the state and almost unheard of in its southern regions.
According to local meteorologists, no snow has ever fallen in Naples, officially. Snowflake sightings? Perhaps. But no serious snow or wintry accumulation has been reported in Naples for at least 70 years.
Everglades City, Florida
With no official recorded snowfall over the last 150 to 200 years, Everglades City, Florida, is one of the most snow-free places in the United States. Located right on the Gulf Coast, the area is known for its swamps and small-town charm.
Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands
Charlotte Amalie is the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, situated on the island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. Temperatures rarely dip below 75 degrees, although hurricanes are a significant risk from June to November.
Guam, an island midway between Japan and Australia, is known for warm, humid weather all year round. You can forget skiing. This tropical island is a U.S. territory that is geographically part of Micronesia, and it has plenty of beaches, waterfalls, and dive sites—but no snow.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is yet another U.S. territory with a snow-free climate. The lowest temperature ever recorded on the island was 39 degrees Fahrenheit, high in the central mountains. While snow is obviously not an attraction, the city of San Juan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with colonial fortresses and cobblestone streets galore. The island is also famous for beautiful sandy beaches.
You can tell that snow is a rarity when the local newspaper has to ask, “Have You Seen Snow?” But while the mean annual snowfall in Brownsville is holding steady at 0 inches per year, some residents did report seeing flakes during a big winter storm in 2017.