Does It Snow In Wilmington – Snowfall Information

Does It Snow In Wilmington

As winter approaches, many people wonder if Wilmington, one of North Carolina’s most populous cities, is likely to experience snowfall. In this section, we will explore the question does it snow in Wilmington and dive into the snowfall information for Wilmington. We’ll look at the average snowfall per year, the possibility of snow, and any significant snowfall events in the city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wilmington does experience snowfall in the winter months.
  • The average snowfall per year in Wilmington is around 13.2 inches.
  • Snowfall amounts can vary widely from year to year.
  • The winter season in Wilmington is generally mild, but temperatures can drop below freezing.
  • Residents of Wilmington are often prepared for winter weather, and the city has measures in place to manage snow and ice on roads.

Weather Patterns in Wilmington

Wilmington experiences a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature in winter ranges between 33°F to 52°F. The climate is influenced by the city’s location between a warm Gulf Stream and a cool ocean current.

Wilmington, being a coastal city, experiences more moderate temperatures than inland areas. The city’s regions can influence temperature variation. The northern region of Wilmington tends to have slightly cooler temperatures than the south, averaging in the low 70s °F during summers and high 40s °F during winters. The southern region has more moderate temperatures, averaging in the mid-70s °F during summers and low 50s °F during winters.

The average annual temperature in Wilmington is around 68°F, with highs reaching into the 80s °F during summer months. Humidity is also relatively high, ranging from 75–85% during the summer months and 60-70% during winter months.

Snowfall History in Wilmington

Wilmington experiences snowfall, although it is not as frequent as in other parts of the United States. The city’s winter season typically runs from December to March, with the majority of snowfall occurring during this time.

Average Annual Snowfall

The average annual snowfall in Wilmington is approximately 13.2 inches. This amount is relatively low compared to other cities in the Northeastern United States. However, the city is still susceptible to snowstorms and significant snowfall events, especially during the winter months.

The Snowiest Month

The snowiest month in Wilmington is typically January, with an average of 2.8 inches of snowfall. February and December follow closely behind, with average snowfalls of 2.5 inches and 2.4 inches, respectively.

Snowfall Records

The record for the heaviest snowfall in a single day in Wilmington is 18.0 inches, which occurred on January 23, 2016. The snowiest month on record was February 1996, when the city received 31.7 inches of snowfall. These events caused significant disruption to the city, with schools and businesses forced to close and travel severely impacted.

Preparing for Winter Weather

Wilmington’s Department of Public Works is responsible for snow and ice removal on roads and sidewalks during the winter season. The city has a snow emergency plan in place, which outlines procedures for snow removal and parking restrictions during snowstorms. Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts to stay informed about severe weather and any necessary precautions.

Adapting to Winter in Wilmington

In Wilmington, a city that sees an average annual snowfall of about 4.5 inches, residents are well-versed in adapting to winter weather. While this may seem like a small amount of snow compared to other regions in the United States, the city still takes measures to manage snow and ice on roads.

During the winter months, temperatures in Wilmington can drop to around 32°F, and snow can accumulate on the ground. This can impact daily life in the city, as residents may need to adjust their commute or errands. However, the city is equipped with tools such as snowplows and salt trucks to help mitigate the effects of winter weather.

Despite these challenges, winter in Wilmington can also be a time for festivities and traditions. Residents may partake in seasonal activities such as ice skating or visiting holiday markets. Additionally, the city’s historic district can provide a picturesque backdrop for winter events.

Snowfall in Northern and Southern Wilmington

Although Wilmington is a relatively small city, weather patterns can vary between the northern and southern regions. Typically, the northern part of Wilmington experiences more snowfall than the southern part. This is largely due to the city’s proximity to the coast and the Atlantic Ocean, which can affect weather patterns.

During winter months, northern Wilmington can see an average of around 6-7 inches of snow per year, while southern Wilmington typically receives around 2-3 inches. However, it’s important to note that these are just rough estimates and that snowfall amounts can vary widely from year to year.

The difference in snowfall between northern and southern Wilmington can impact how residents prepare for and adapt to winter weather. While northern residents may be more equipped to handle snow and ice on roads and sidewalks, southern residents may need to take extra precautions to stay safe on slippery surfaces.

Winter Activities in Northern and Southern Wilmington

Despite these differences in snowfall, many winter activities can be enjoyed in both northern and southern Wilmington. Residents across the city can look forward to ice skating, skiing, and other winter sports. Additionally, many parks and outdoor areas offer picturesque winter scenery for those who enjoy hiking or photography.

In conclusion, while the northern and southern regions of Wilmington do experience variations in snowfall, both areas offer unique winter experiences for residents. Whether you’re a fan of snow sports or simply enjoy the beauty of a winter landscape, there are plenty of ways to embrace the season in both parts of the city.

See the facts about snow in South Carolina!

Possibility of Snow in Wilmington

While Wilmington does not typically experience heavy snowfall, it is still possible for the city to see some accumulation of snow each winter. The amount of snow that falls in Wilmington each year can vary depending on a number of factors, including temperature, precipitation patterns, and weather systems.

Predicting Snowfall in Wilmington

The likelihood of snow in Wilmington also varies depending on the temperature. Generally, temperatures need to be at or below freezing for snow to accumulate. While average winter temperatures in Wilmington typically do not fall below freezing, it is still possible for the city to experience cold snaps that could lead to snow. Factors such as wind chill, humidity, and barometric pressure can also influence the possibility of snowfall.

Snow Accumulation in Wilmington

When snow does fall in Wilmington, it typically does not accumulate for long periods of time. Because the city is located in the Southern United States, temperatures generally warm up quickly after a snowfall, causing any accumulation to melt. Occasionally, however, heavier snowfalls may lead to more significant accumulation that lasts for several days.

Winter Temperatures in Wilmington

While Wilmington may not experience significant snowfall each year, temperatures can still drop to below freezing during the winter months. Average winter temperatures in Wilmington range from the mid-30s to the mid-50s, with occasional dips into the 20s. These colder temperatures can make it difficult to travel and may require residents to take extra precautions to stay warm and safe.

Overall, while Wilmington does not typically see heavy snowfall, it is still possible for the city to accumulate some snow each winter. Winter temperatures can also be quite cold, making it important for residents to stay prepared and take precautions during the colder months.

Snowstorms and Significant Snowfall Events

The city of Wilmington has experienced its fair share of significant snowfall events over the years. The snowiest month in Wilmington is typically January, with an average of 3.5 inches of snow per year. However, there have been cases where the city has experienced far more snow than usual.

The Great Blizzard of 1899

The Great Blizzard of 1899 is one such event. From February 11 – 14, the city was hit with a massive snowstorm that left 17 inches of snow on the ground and caused widespread damage. The storm caused power outages and stopped trains from running, making it difficult for residents to leave their homes.

The Snowstorm of 1989

Another notable snowstorm took place in December 1989. Over the course of two days, the city received 22 inches of snow, causing major disruptions to daily life and travel. The storm was considered one of the worst in the city’s history and required significant cleanup efforts.

While Wilmington may not experience snow on a regular basis, when it does, it can have a significant impact on the city and its residents. It is important for residents to be prepared for the possibility of snow and to take necessary precautions during winter weather events.


Overall, Wilmington experiences an average annual snowfall of around 13.2 inches, with the snowiest month typically being January. The winter months can see temperatures drop to around 30°F, though this can vary depending on the region within the city.

Residents of Wilmington are no strangers to winter weather, and the city takes measures to manage snow and ice on roads during the colder months. Despite this, winter weather can still impact daily life and routines, and some winter activities or traditions may be adapted to accommodate the colder temperatures.

While the possibility of significant snowfall events is always present, they are relatively uncommon and tend to be more of a rarity than a typical occurrence. Regardless, Wilmington residents are well equipped to handle winter weather, with local authorities and businesses taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in the city.

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