Let’s get something straight. Buffalo is neither that cold nor that snowy. With the recent signing of Terrell Owens by my beloved Bills, my equally beloved hometown has received quite a bit of press in recent days. Nearly all the articles mention something about how cold and/or snowy Buffalo is. But let’s look at some actual weather statistics. Of all of these top ten lists, Buffalo appears on only one. It is, oddly enough, the sixth rainiest city in the US, but is not in the top ten snowiest (though Syracuse is, as I often tell people) or coldest (has no one ever been to freakin’ Minnesota before?).
Buffalo isn’t the only place whose weather gets misrepresented in the national media, however. As it turns out, New York and Miami both have a higher annual rainfall total on average than Seattle. And check this out: the average annual temperatures of New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco differ by only 1.8ºF.
Oh, and where exactly is the snowiest place in the United States? It would be in California, to be exact. Blue Canyon, California, down the road a ways from Lake Tahoe. Blue Canyon averages 240 inches of snow per year. The runner-up is Marquette, Michigan with 128 inches. As for the coldest place, well, it’s no surprise it’s International Falls, Minnesota, a place that is actually colder on average than Fairbanks, Alaska (which doesn’t even make the list).
Update: Apparently it is debated whether Fairbanks is colder or not. Anchorage certainly isn’t since it is warmed by the Pacific. In any case, here are some more stats that include some more remote areas. Technically, there really isn’t one place that holds the title to any of these, actually. See this journal article. Here’s yet another list with considerably more cities from New York State showing up – but not Buffalo.