Does it snow in Atlanta? My friends have been asking this question as they plan to visit Atlanta.
The answer is YES, it does snow in Atlanta.
Atlanta, Georgia‘s capital city, is the 38th most-populated city in the United States.
The city is well recognized for its musical legacy, hospitality, sports team, exquisite peaches, road racing, varied biking, horseback riding, skateboarding, and other tourist attractions and restaurants.
Despite the city’s milder climate and preference for precipitation and ice over snow, it does experience snow.
Because locals are unfamiliar with this type of weather, even a few inches of snow on the ground in Atlanta can cause significant disruptions.
In this article, I will answer in detail the question “does it snow in Atlanta?”
Let’s dive in straight away.
Does it Snow in Atlanta?
Does it snow in Atlanta? The answer is YES.
Snow in Atlanta is neither assured nor uncommon in the winter.
On an annual basis, it snows roughly 1 inch in the city, although the average snowfall in the United States is about 28 inches.
Overview of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. capital (1868), and headquarters of Fulton County (1853).
It is located in the northern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just southeast of the Chattahoochee River.
Atlanta is Georgia’s largest city and the southeastern United States’ primary economic and transportation hub.
It is the hub of a sprawling metropolitan area that comprises 20 counties and communities like Decatur, East Point, and Marietta.
Climate of Atlanta
Atlanta has a subtropical climate with four seasons that are different, including hot and humid summers and cool winters.
If you are considering relocating to Atlanta or visiting the city, you must be wondering whether it snows in Atlanta.
Summers in Atlanta are hot and muggy, winters are short, chilly, and wet, and it is partly cloudy all year.
Throughout the year, the temperature typically ranges from 35°F to 89°F, with temperatures rarely falling below 22°F or rising above 95°F.
The warm season lasts close to months, from late May to mid-September, with daily high temperatures averaging more than 81°F.
July is the hottest month in Atlanta, with average highs of 88°F and lows of 71°F.
From late November through the end of February, the chilly season lasts 2.9 months, with daily mean temperatures of less than 60°F.
January is the coldest month in Atlanta, with a mean low of 35°F and high of 53°F.
The likelihood of rainy days in Atlanta differs throughout the year.
The rainier period lasts over 2 months, from early May to late August, with a greater than 30% chance of rain on any given day.
July has the rainiest days in Atlanta, with a mean of 13 days with at least 0.05 inches of rain.
The dry season lasts 8.2 months, from the end of August to the start of May.
October has the smallest amount of precipitation in Atlanta, with a mean of over 6 days with at least 0.04 inches of rain.
Monthly snowfall in Atlanta varies seasonally.
The snowy season lasts four weeks, from the beginning of January to the end of the same month, with a minimum 31-day snowfall of at least 1.0 inch. January has the most snowfall in Atlanta, with an average of 1.2 inches.
The snowless season lasts 11 months, from the end of January to the conclusion of the year.
So, Why Does it Snow in Atlanta?
There are two factors that play an important role in Atlanta experiencing snow.
Atlanta, Georgia is located in the southeastern region of the United States.
Although it is known for its hot summers, it is not immune to colder temperatures during the winter months.
Snow in Atlanta is typically caused by cold air masses from the North and West colliding with warmer, moist air from the South.
This collision can result in precipitation that falls as snow when temperatures are low enough.
Atlanta’s elevation is around 1,000 feet above sea level.
Higher elevations tend to receive more snowfall than lower elevations because colder temperatures are more likely to persist at higher elevations.
How Often Does it Snow in Atlanta?
Winters are chilly and varied, and the elevation allows for snowfall, though not in large quantities.
Considering January average temperatures of 44.8F (7.1C), snow is unlikely to occur frequently, and lows at or below freezing can be expected 36 nights each year.
Given the fact that the higher and lower atmospheric temperatures must be below freezing for snow to form, snow is uncommon in this region.
Atlanta, on the other hand, experiences considerable amounts of rain through the year.
While snowfall amounts to 2.2 inches per winter if it falls, the average annual precipitation is 50.43 inches.
When Does it Snow in Atlanta?
Atlanta, located in the southeastern United States, has a humid subtropical climate.
This indicates that the city usually has mild winters with a few snowfalls.
Atlanta’s peak snowfall season typically occurs in January and, in some occasions, early February.
However, it is crucial to note that the amount of snowfall varies from year to year, and some winters may see no snow at all.
Furthermore, due to its low latitude, snowfall in Atlanta is lighter and less frequent than in northern cities.
History of Snowstorms in Atlanta
The 1993 Storm of the Century
A noteworthy snowfall in Atlanta occurred on March 13, 1993, when various neighborhoods received multiple inches of snow (mostly 4 inches, with some receiving over 7- 8 inches.
This blizzard caught the Southeast off guard, with 4.5 inches of snow falling at Atlanta International Airport.
This storm dumped 17.5 inches of rain on Dallas, a neighborhood to the northwest.
Furthermore, thunder and lightning woke people up.
Over 15 inches of snow fell in northern Cobb County, causing snowdrifts.
The only comparable event in recorded history was the Great Blizzard of 1899, which resulted in ice-covered roadways and more than a foot of snow in most urban centers and beyond.
Snowmageddon in 2014
In 2014, a crippling January storm swept across the Atlanta area, taking many residents and government off surprise.
It was dubbed the Snowpocalypse.
On January 28, about 12:30 p.m., snow began to fall.
As a result, individuals were stuck in traffic for hours, and some even spent the night on motorways.
The storm caused extensive damage and disruption, leaving many inhabitants stranded at home or unable to get to work or school.
How Do You Prepare to Cope with Snow in Atlanta?
After learning about snow in Atlanta, let’s look at the preparations you need to cope with snow in this city.
When there is a snowfall, Atlanteans are perplexed not only by the absence of snow, but also by the infrastructure and lack of familiarity with this type of weather.
Without easy availability of snowplows, snow shovels, or winter tires, cars become stuck, schools close, and people may get trapped even in little snowfall.
Snow could fall in Atlanta at any time between December and March if temperatures dip sufficiently low and there is enough precipitation.
On average, Atlanta receives roughly 0.12 inches of rain in December.
Even still, Atlanteans continue to suffer from being unable to get home and being seriously impacted by snow when it does fall.
Winter storms and freezing temperatures can be hazardous.
Plan ahead of time to stay safe and healthy.
Prepare your residence and vehicles.
Prepare for power interruptions as well as outdoor activities.
Although winter is unavoidable, many of us may be unprepared for its arrival.
When temperatures begin to drop, you are more likely to stay safe and healthy if you prepare yourself for the hazards of winter.
Ensure Your Car is Ready for the Winter
The tires should be properly inflated, and you can purchase a screen wash additive to put with your regular screen wash liquid to keep it from freezing.
Many people recommend keeping a winter car kit in your car in case you get stuck on the road: a sleeping bag, a shovel, extra food, water, and torches.
Ensure You Have Enough Stock Non-Perishable Foods
Keep some canned food in your pantry so you don’t run out of food when the roads are closed due to snow.
Prepare for Emergencies
Be ready for power outages.
Check that your phone is completely charged.
When making travel plans, keep current and forecast weather conditions in mind.
Maintain an up-to-date emergency kit, which should include battery-powered devices such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps, extra batteries are required, first-aid supplies and additional medication.
Other essentials include Items for babies and cat litter or sand for ice walks.
Where Do You Enjoy Winter Activities in Atlanta
Having answered the question “does it snow in Atlanta?”, let’s look at some of the places where you can have fun during the winter.
While snow is not always a part of wintertime attractions in this part of Georgia, there is plenty to do in and around Atlanta by hiking, walking, and biking to top destinations.
Here are some of my personal favorites.
Stone Mountain Park
Travel about 20 minutes east of Atlanta and you’ll discover 3200 acres of breathtaking natural beauty.
There are nature trails to hike on, and you can climb Snow Mountain to see the entire area.
Of course, a sprinkling of snow will make things much more lovely.
There’s also golf, a 363-acre lake, and historic structures like the 732-bell Carillon, the gorgeous Grist Mill, the old Washington W. King covered bridge, and more.
You don’t have to leave Atlanta to spend time in a beautiful park.
This one is popular with the locals, and it’s a great place for picnics in the sun or to play in the snow.
You can also visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden next door for an interactive botanical experience.
Arabia peak is a dome-shaped peak in the eastern area of Georgia, USA.
It is part of the wider Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, riding, and rock climbing.
The mountain is commonly referred to as a “granite moonscape” because of its remarkable rock formations and peculiar environment.
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
Heading into southwest Atlanta, you’ll discover a wonderful natural running and hiking spot with stunning panoramas.
The Cascade Springs Nature Preserve is about 120 acres in size and is not just for nature lovers.
There are Civil War relics and a historic springhouse here, as well as a climbable waterfall.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
The Chattahoochee River is another fantastic attraction inside Atlanta’s boundaries, and it’s a great place to go for a walk on bright winter days. Depending on the weather, you can kayak, canoe, or even go fishing on its waters.
If it’s snowing, the environment will light up around you, making for some amazing photographs and hiking backdrops.
Final Thoughts on the Question: “Does it Snow in Atlanta?”
Does it snow in Atlanta? The answer is YES.
Despite the climate of Atlanta being subtropical with four seasons that are different, including hot and humid summers and cool winters, the city still experiences snow.
Snow is mostly experienced in the month of January and there are many activities that you can take part in despite snow being a rare spectacle.
So, pack your bags and experience a unique kind of winter in Atlanta.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Atlanta have a cold winter?
It is now difficult to forecast if Atlanta will experience a frigid winter. However, National Weather Service meteorologists and weather experts have noted that certain weather patterns, such as the possibility of a La Nia event, could contribute to colder temperatures in the southeastern United States, including Atlanta. Furthermore, long-term climate trends indicate that winters in the southeastern United States are generally milder than in other regions, but individual winters can still see temperature and precipitation fluctuations. Even yet, Atlanta's winter weather may be unpredictable. It's not uncommon for a December or January night to be no colder than 50 °F. From November through March, cold temperatures occur on average 36 nights every year.
How warm is Atlanta in December?
Temperatures in Atlanta are normally pleasant in December. In December, the average high temperature in Atlanta is roughly 52°F. In December, the average low temperature in Atlanta is around 37°F. While temperatures may vary throughout the month, extreme cold or hot weather is unlikely in Atlanta during December.
Does Atlanta get tornadoes?
YES, Atlanta does get tornadoes. While the city is not located in the traditional Tornado Alley of the Midwest, it is still susceptible to tornadoes due to its location in a region known as the southeastern tornado zone. This area is often hit by severe weather systems that can spawn tornadoes, especially in the spring and summer months. In recent years, Atlanta has experienced several tornado outbreaks, including one in 2008 that caused significant damage to areas of the city.
What was the coldest day in Atlanta GA?
The coldest temperature in Atlanta, Georgia history is -8 °F which happened on Monday, January 21, 1985.
Does Atlanta snow on Christmas?
Because the weather in Atlanta varies from year to year, there is no definitive answer. While Atlanta is known for its mild winters, due to the city's location and weather patterns, a white Christmas may occur on occasion. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that it has snowed in Atlanta only once in the last ten years, on Christmas Day in 2010, with a total snowfall of one inch. However, due to its proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, Atlanta may experience colder temperatures and more snowfall.
Has Atlanta ever had a blizzard?
YES, Atlanta has experienced blizzards in the past. The city of Atlanta in the state of Georgia in the United States is not usually known for severe winter weather because of its milder climate compared to other parts of the country. However, there have been instances when Atlanta has been hit by winter storms that brought significant amounts of snowfall. Perhaps, none were more memorable than the Blizzard of 1993. Monday marks 30 years since “The Storm of the Century.” While Atlanta saw ice and snow storms before, including Snow Jam 82, this was the first time a blizzard ever hit Atlanta.