Snowiest places on earth
21st August, 2015
If you are a fan of the snow, you probably do not see enough of it living here in the UK as you would like. Met Office statistics show that on average we receive around 24 days of snowfall every year, though this varies from just a few centimetres along the south coast to around 87 centimetres as you move further north.
As we all know, on most occasions even a light dusting of snow is enough to bring the country to a standstill. When you consider that there are cities around the world which receive considerably more snow than we do, it makes you wonder how they manage to survive!
To give you an indication of what other parts of the world experience, we have listed the five snowiest locations on the planet.
Situated just outside Anchorage in Alaska, Alyeska is an alpine ski resort which was developed during the 1960s and has grown to become the largest skiing resort in the state of Alaska. The town is surrounded on all sides by the Chugach State Park and sits close to the states southern shoreline. Each year it is estimated that the area receives an average 42.75ft (13 metres) of snow.
Alta Ski Area, USA
Staying in the United States, we move to the Alta Ski Area in Utah - one of the oldest skier areas in the country. The town of Alta can be found situated in the Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake County and its high altitude ensures that the town receives more snow than many of the other resorts in the area. On average it receives 43.5ft (13.3 metres) of snowfall each year.
Mt. Fidelity, Canada
Measuring 6,165ft at its summit, Mount Fidelity is located in the Glacier National Park in British Colombia, Canada. Unlike the other snowy regions, Mount Fidelity is not located close to the large areas of open water that often help to boost snowfall. Despite this, the local weather station still manages to record an impressive annual snowfall of 48ft (14.71 metres).
Although examples of skiing having been found to date back as far as 5000BC, the idea of it becoming a recreational activity is actually relatively recent - starting around the mid-19th Century. However, in Japan, legend says it is even more recent than that. In 2012, the town of Niseko on Japan's northern most island celebrated 100 years of skiing in the resort. Despite receiving up to 49.5ft (15 metres) of snow annually, the sport was not commonplace in the country until Austrian Major General Theodor Edler von Lerch introduced it to locals in 1912.
Mt. Rainier, USA
And so to our winner and it is back across The Pacific to the Paradise Ranger Station at Mount Rainier in the United States. Mount Rainier is the highest peak in the state of Washington, measuring 14,411ft and is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes anywhere in the world. To cap off this impressive piece of geology, it has the honour of being the snowiest spot on Earth, with an annual snowfall of 56.3ft (17 metres).
So the next time you think we have experienced heavy snowfall, think again!