What states have the most winter storms? (2024)

Vermont holds the top spot for the most snowfall, though other states along the East Coast and in the Midwest get their fair share of blizzards and freezing temps.

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Rachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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Winter storms caused a record amount of damage in 2021, resulting in over $15 billion in insured losses. [1] Very few states along the East Coast and in the Midwest were spared from the severe winter storms that plagued the country — even Texas saw record-breaking snowfall and freezing temperatures. 

Fortunately, your homeowners insurance policy covers wind, snow, and ice damage caused by winter storms — whether your roof collapses from snow or your pipes burst in your properly heated home.

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States that experience the most winter storms

Snowfall and blizzards vary by region. The Great Plains region and upper Midwestern states that make up the so-called “Blizzard Alley” area of the U.S. — Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota — all experience frequent, severe winter storms. 

But snow and other winter weather aren’t exclusive to northern states. One of the costliest winter storms in recent history actually happened in Texas in February 2021, when an arctic cold front and snowstorm hit a large area of the Lone Star State and other parts of the U.S. 

States along the East Coast also suffer from winter storm damage, with nor’easters affecting everywhere from Georgia all the way up to Maine.

What are the different winter storm categories?

Because winter storms can hit multiple states at once, they’re typically categorized by region. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) uses the Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) to calculate the severity of a winter storm based on a 1 to 5 rating system. 

The index takes into account the amount of snow, the spatial extent of the storm, and the population of the affected area. [2]  

RSI storm category descriptions

  • 1: Noticeable

  • 2: Significant

  • 3: Major

  • 4: Crippling

  • 5: Extreme

Major snow storms in 2023

Below are a few of the biggest snow storms to hit the country in 2023.

January/February 2023 winter storm

An ice storm hit much of the southern United States, blanketing multiple states with ice, sleet, and freezing rain from January 31 through February 2. Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri saw the worst of the storm, with 11 deaths and more than 250,000 people left without power. [3]

While the storms were limited to predominantly southern states, frigid temperatures were felt across the entire continental U.S., with a record low temperature of -47 degrees Fahrenheit (and a windchill of -108 degrees Fahrenheit) at Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

Winter storm Sage

In March of 2023 a low pressure system developed on the West Coast and quickly spread across the country, causing significant snow and winds across the Great Plains and the Northeast. Sage ran from March 9 to March 15, with blizzard conditions causing upwards of 40 inches of snow in certain states, as well as serious flooding in some lower elevations as snow piled up in the Sierra Nevada mountains. [4]

November 2023 winter storm

A series of winter storms around Thanksgiving (dubbed Winter Storm Cait) brought snow, freezing rain, and other severe weather that caused significant travel delays along with hundreds of car crashes, including 43 accidents in New Hampshire and 125 accidents in Wyoming. [5]   [6] [7]

December 2023 nor’easter

On December 16, 2023, a low pressure system began to develop in the Gulf of Mexico. That low got stronger overnight, spreading to Florida on December 17 and moving north through Georgia and the Carolinas on December 17 and 18. The storm caused significant damage, including record coastal flooding and tornadoes in South Carolina and sending hurricane-force wind gusts north through New England. [8]

December 2023 winter storm

A blizzard formed over Christmas in the midwest U.S., dropping more than a foot of snow that impacted a large part of the country, including Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Dakota. Highways were closed due to accidents and severe weather across multiple states. [9] [10]    

Top 10 states with the most snowfall

Here are the top ten states with the most snowfall, along with their average temperature from December 2020 to February 2021, according to data from the NOAA. [11] Keep in mind that these are the estimated inches of snowfall, and the amount of snow can vary greatly within a state.  



Estimated average annual snowfall

Average winter temperature










New Hampshire
















New York















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Does it snow less every year?

Many places have seen a decline in the amount of snow they receive each year. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that in many states, winter precipitation is now falling in the form of rain instead of snow. But there are a few exceptions — areas near the Great Lakes are seeing a slight increase in snowfall. [12]

The places that have seen the biggest decline in the amount of snow they receive are southern cities and states, specifically sitting between 33 and 38 degrees longitude, which includes parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

But these aren’t the only areas that have seen a significant reduction in annual snowfall. Northwest states like Washington and Oregon are getting less snow every year, especially along the Pacific coast.  [13]

Does homeowners insurance cover winter storm damage?

Yes, your homeowners insurance policy covers damage caused by winter storms. This might include: 

  • Roof collapse from snow or ice. If an ice dam forms on your roof or the weight of snow causes it to cave in, your policy should cover the damage.

  • Frozen pipes that burst. If freezing temperatures cause your pipes to freeze, you might be covered, but only if your home was properly heated at the time.

  • Fallen trees due to severe winds. If a blizzard or nor’easter causes hurricane-force winds that knock trees down on your property, your home insurance policy should cover the damage.

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What winter storm damage is NOT covered by my home insurance policy?

There are two main types of damage that likely aren’t covered by your home insurance policy — even if they’re the result of winter storm damage. These include:

  • Damage caused by lack of upkeep. If you left for vacation and forgot to turn the water off, or if your pipes burst due to lack of upkeep, you likely won’t be able to file a claim.

  • Damage caused by flooding. Standard home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage — you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy to ensure you’re fully protected.


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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. III.org

    . "

    Facts + Statistics: Winter storms

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  2. NOAA National Center for Environmental Information

    . "

    Regional Snowfall Index (RSI)

    ." Accessed January 13, 2022.

  3. BBC

    . "

    Coldest wind chill ever recorded in continental US, say forecasters

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  4. Weather.com

    . "

    Winter Storm Sage Dumped Heavy Snow In The West, Plains, Midwest And Northeast

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  5. Thehill.com

    . "

    Winds, rain and snow hit Northeast amid Thanksgiving travel rush

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  6. WMUR.com

    . "

    Snow, wintry mix make for messy road conditions in parts of New Hampshire

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  7. Weather.com

    . "

    Deadly Winter Storm Treks East On Busy Thanksgiving Travel Weekend

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  8. National Weather Service

    . "

    December Nor'easter 2023

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  9. NBC News

    . "

    Post-holiday storms will create travel troubles for millions with rain, snow and icy mix

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  10. Fox9.com

    . "

    I-90 in South Dakota closed due to blizzard conditions

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.

  11. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

    . "

    Climate at a glance - statewide mapping

    ." Accessed January 13, 2022.

  12. EPA.gov

    . "

    Climate Change Indicators: Snowfall

    ." Accessed February 20, 2024.


Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.


Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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