Does It Snow In Anacortes, WA? All About Anacortes Climate

Yes, it does snow in Anacortes, Washington, but the amount of snowfall is generally limited compared to other regions in Washington state. Anacortes experiences a mild and temperate climate due to its proximity to the coast and the moderating effects of the Pacific Ocean. 

The city’s location shields it from extreme temperature variations, resulting in relatively moderate weather throughout the year. While Anacortes does have colder temperatures during the winter months, heavy snowstorms are rare. The city typically receives light and infrequent snowfall. 

It is important to note that weather patterns can vary from year to year, and occasionally, Anacortes may experience more substantial snowfall. However, overall, the city’s snowfall is relatively light compared to other areas in the state.

Anacortes, Washington, is a charming city located on Fidalgo Island, surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The region is known for its mild and temperate climate, characterized by cool winters and mild summers. 

However, one question that often arises is whether Anacortes receives snowfall during the winter months. In this article, we will explore the snowfall patterns in Anacortes and understand the climatic conditions that contribute to its seasonal weather.

Location Overview of Anacortes

Anacortes is a picturesque city located on Fidalgo Island in Skagit County. Situated in the northwestern part of Washington, Anacortes is approximately 80 miles north of Seattle and 90 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia, making it a convenient gateway to both metropolitan areas.

Anacortes is nestled between the waters of the Salish Sea and the forested hills of the Pacific Northwest. It occupies a strategic position on the eastern edge of Fidalgo Island, which is connected to the mainland by the picturesque Deception Pass Bridge. 

The island’s diverse topography includes rugged coastlines, scenic bays, and lush forests, creating a stunning natural backdrop for the city.

The primary access point to Anacortes is via State Route 20, which connects the city to Interstate 5, the main north-south highway of the region. Anacortes also serves as a major hub for ferry transportation, with the Washington State Ferries operating routes to the nearby San Juan Islands and Victoria, British Columbia.

Anacortes, Washington, is a captivating city situated amidst stunning natural surroundings. With its maritime heritage, outdoor recreational opportunities, vibrant arts scene, and a strong sense of community, Anacortes offers a unique and idyllic Pacific Northwest experience. 

Whether you are drawn to the scenic landscapes, tranquil waters, or rich cultural offerings, Anacortes has something to offer everyone.

Geography and Climate of Anacortes

The geographical features surrounding Anacortes play a crucial role in the city’s snowfall patterns. Its coastal location on the Salish Sea moderates temperatures and prevents extreme variations. The presence of the ocean brings relatively mild winters to Anacortes, making heavy snowfall rare. 

The city’s proximity to the coast and low elevation contribute to limited snow accumulation. While Anacortes may experience occasional light snow events, the overall snowfall is typically light compared to other areas in Washington state.

Anacortes experiences a Mediterranean climate with maritime influences due to its proximity to the Salish Sea. Winters are relatively cool and moist, while summers are typically dry and mild. The city’s location shields it from extreme temperature variations, resulting in moderate weather throughout the year.

Historical Snowfall Record of Anacortes

While heavy snowstorms are rare in Anacortes, the city does experience occasional light snow events. These snowfalls are typically brief and tend to melt quickly due to the moderate temperatures. 

It is not uncommon for residents to wake up to a light dusting of snow that disappears within a day or two. Here are a few examples of past snow events that have occurred in Anacortes based on historical records:

  • February 12, 2019

Anacortes experienced a light snowfall event, with a dusting of snow accumulating on the ground for a brief period.

  • January 15, 2012

A winter storm brought snow to Anacortes, resulting in several inches of accumulation in the area.

  • December 20, 2008

Anacortes had a significant snowfall event, with several inches of snow covering the city and impacting local transportation.

It is important to note that these examples are just a few instances of snow events in Anacortes, and the frequency and intensity of snowfall can vary from year to year. 

Winter Season & Snowfall Pattern of Anacortes

While Anacortes does experience colder temperatures during the winter, the city typically receives minimal snowfall. The mild climate and proximity to the coast create conditions that are not conducive to heavy snow accumulation. 

On average, Anacortes receives around 5 inches of snowfall per year. This is significantly lower than the statewide average of 10.7 inches. The relatively low elevation of the area, coupled with the warming effects of the Pacific Ocean, prevents substantial snow accumulation.

Locations to Enjoy Snow in Anacortes

While Anacortes itself may not receive significant snowfall, there are nearby locations where you can enjoy snow-related activities. Here are a few destinations in and around Anacortes where you can embrace the winter season:

  • Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Located east of Anacortes, this expansive national forest offers stunning winter landscapes and ample opportunities for snow-based activities. The Mount Baker Ski Area is a popular spot for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, with a range of trails suitable for different skill levels.

  • North Cascades National Park

Just a short drive from Anacortes, North Cascades National Park is a winter wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts. The park features breathtaking mountains, frozen lakes, and pristine snow-covered trails. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking are popular activities in this beautiful wilderness area.

  • Deception Pass State Park

Although not primarily known for snow activities, Deception Pass State Park offers scenic winter landscapes and opportunities for exploring. The park’s trails provide peaceful winter walks, and if conditions permit, you may even find some areas suitable for snowshoeing or sledding.

  • Cypress Island

Cypress Island, located in the San Juan Islands archipelago, is accessible by boat or ferry from Anacortes. During winter, the island’s trails offer a serene winter hiking experience through forests and along the shoreline. You can enjoy the island’s natural beauty while surrounded by a peaceful winter atmosphere.

  • Snowy Beaches

Anacortes has several picturesque beaches along the Salish Sea. While they may not always have snow, visiting these beaches during winter can still provide a unique experience. The combination of snow-capped mountains in the distance, and the rhythmic crashing of winter waves can create a serene ambiance.

Remember to check weather conditions, trail accessibility, and safety guidelines before venturing into these locations. Enjoy the beauty of the snow and embrace the outdoor adventures available in and around Anacortes during the winter months.

Factors Influencing Snowfall of Anacortes

Several factors influence the snowfall patterns in Anacortes, Washington. The city’s coastal location along the Salish Sea brings a maritime influence that moderates temperatures and leads to milder winters compared to inland areas. 

Anacortes’ relatively low elevation and topography can affect localized snow accumulation. The city’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean exposes it to weather systems, with storms bringing precipitation that may manifest as rain or snow depending on temperature conditions. 

The movement of air masses, prevailing weather patterns, and localized effects such as microclimates further contribute to snowfall variability. While these factors generally impact snowfall in Anacortes, variations can occur, making it important to rely on weather forecasts.


While Anacortes, Washington, may not experience substantial snowfall like other regions in Washington state, it offers its own distinct winter charm. With mild temperatures and occasional light snow, the city provides a peaceful winter setting for residents and visitors alike. 

And for those seeking more extensive snow-related activities, nearby national parks and forests offer opportunities to embrace the winter season. Whether you prefer a serene coastal ambiance or an adventurous snow-filled getaway, Anacortes has something to offer during the winter months.