Snow Stats

Seattle averages just 5.9 inches of snow a winter, although several winters—especially during the 1950s and 60s—have seen much more. Seattle’s official snowfall records were taken at Sea-Tac Airport from 1945 through the winter of 1995-96, and again from the winter of 2004-05 onward. Unfortunately, from 1996 to 2004, snowfall was not measured at the airport. The one-day record for snowfall at Sea-Tac is 20 inches on Jan. 13, 1950—although the city’s overall snowiest 24-hour period occurred from Feb. 1-2, 1916, when 21.5 inches was measured at the Federal Building in downtown Seattle.

The winter of 1968-69 stands as Sea-Tac's snowiest, with a whopping 67.5 inches. Of course, the legendary winter of 1949-50—which featured a 20-inch snowfall on Jan. 13, 1950—didn't do so bad either, coming in second with 63.6 inches
The winter of 1968-69 stands as Sea-Tac’s snowiest, with a whopping 67.5 inches. Of course, the legendary winter of 1949-50—which featured a 20-inch snowfall on Jan. 13, 1950—didn’t do so bad either, coming in second with 63.6 inches

 

Seattle snow, 2004-05 to 2017-18

 

It's no coincedence that Seattle's top four snowiest days--and five of the top ten--were recorded in the legendary winters of 1949-50 and 1968-69. Notably, the city hasn't seen a top-ten snowfall since the infamous snowstorms of November 1985. 2012 did come close, however, with 6.8 inches falling at Sea-Tac on Jan. 18--good for 11th place on the list.
It’s no coincidence that Seattle’s four snowiest days—and five of the top ten—were recorded in the winters of 1949-50 and 1968-69. Notably, the city hasn’t seen a top-ten snowfall since the infamous snowstorms of November 1985. 2012 did come close, however, with 6.8 inches falling at Sea-Tac on Jan. 18—good for 11th place overall.

Note: Data in all charts from records taken at Sea-Tac Airport.