Does It Snow In Charlotte, NC?

Yes, it does snow in Charlotte, NC. However, the frequency of snowfall each year is highly unpredictable, with some years seeing no snowfall at all. Winters mostly lack snowfall and are relatively mild, with average daytime temperatures ranging from the 50s to the 60s Fahrenheit.

Snowy landscapes may not immediately come to mind when people think of North Carolina. However, in the heart of the state lies Charlotte, a city known for its vibrant culture, bustling economy, and mild climate. But does it snow in Charlotte, NC

Does It Snow In Charlotte, NC?

In this article, we will delve into the wintertime climate of Charlotte, North Carolina. While exploring its historical snowfall records, weather patterns, and the likelihood of experiencing snowfall in winter.

Location Overview

Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina. It is located in the southern part of the state in Mecklenburg County. Situated in the Piedmont region, Charlotte is approximately 150 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The city covers an area of approximately 305 square miles and sits at an elevation of around 760 feet above sea level.

Charlotte is bisected by the Catawba River, which flows through the city from the northwest to the southeast. The river and surrounding green spaces provide recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

The city is strategically situated as a transportation hub. It is served by Charlotte Douglas International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the United States. Several major highways converge in Charlotte, including Interstates 85 and 77, making it easily accessible by road.

Geography and Climate Of Charlotte

Before we delve into the specifics of snowfall, let’s first understand the general climate of Charlotte. Charlotte experiences a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild winters.

Summers are typically long and hot, with temperatures reaching the 90s Fahrenheit. Winters are relatively mild, with average daytime temperatures ranging from the 50s to the 60s Fahrenheit. Spring and fall are generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to the 70s Fahrenheit.

Geographically, Charlotte is positioned between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Appalachian Mountains to the west. While the city is not directly located on the coast, it is within driving distance of popular coastal destinations such as Wilmington and Myrtle Beach

On the other hand, the Appalachian Mountains are a few hours’ drive to the west of Charlotte, offering outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing opportunities.

Historical Snowfall Record

Charlotte’s historical snowfall data reveals a somewhat unpredictable nature when it comes to winter weather. While the city experiences some snowfall, the amounts can vary significantly each year. 

On average, Charlotte receives around 6.5 inches of snow annually. However, it is important to note that this is an average, and some years may see significantly more or less snow.

Factors Influencing Snowfall in Charlotte

Several factors influence the occurrence and intensity of snowfall in Charlotte. One key factor is the city’s latitude and proximity to the coast. 

At approximately 35 degrees north latitude, Charlotte’s location places it in a region where warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico can interact with cold air masses originating from the north.

Charlotte’s elevation plays a role in snowfall patterns. While the city sits at a relatively low elevation, the nearby Appalachian Mountains can influence the weather and enhance snowfall amounts in certain situations. However, the city’s distance from the mountains generally limits the impact of this elevation effect.

Winter Season & Snowfall Pattern

Climate change is a significant factor that affects weather patterns worldwide. Charlotte’s snowfall frequency can be sporadic, with some winters seeing little to no snow and others experiencing more substantial accumulations. 

The region typically sees its first snowfall in December or January, with February being the month that typically receives the highest snowfall amounts. However, it is not uncommon for snowfall to occur as late as March.

The intensity of snowfall events in Charlotte tends to be light to moderate, with occasional heavy snowfalls during significant weather events. Due to the city’s milder climate and its location in the southeastern United States, snowstorms with heavy accumulations are relatively rare.

In recent years, Charlotte has experienced a few notable winter weather events, including heavier snowfalls than the historical average. While these events may not necessarily be directly caused by climate change, they highlight the region’s variability and unpredictability of weather patterns.

Locations To Enjoy Snow

While Charlotte, NC, doesn’t typically experience heavy snowfall, there are nearby locations where you can enjoy snow-related activities during the winter months. Here are a few options:

  • Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachian Mountains, located west of Charlotte, offer opportunities for winter sports and snow-related fun. Popular destinations in this region include Boone, Blowing Rock, and Beech Mountain. 

These areas often receive more significant snowfall than Charlotte, making them ideal for activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing.

  • Sugar Mountain Resort

Situated near Banner Elk, about a two-hour drive from Charlotte, Sugar Mountain Resort is a popular destination for winter activities. The resort features ski slopes, snowboarding terrain, ice skating, and tubing, providing an enjoyable experience for individuals and families.

  • Hawksnest Snow Tubing

Located near Seven Devils, about two hours northwest of Charlotte, Hawksnest offers the largest snow tubing park on the East Coast. It features over 30 lanes for tubing, making it a thrilling and enjoyable winter activity.

  • Grandfather Mountain

About two hours northwest of Charlotte, Grandfather Mountain offers stunning winter vistas and outdoor recreation opportunities. You can enjoy scenic drives, hike along snowy trails, and take in breathtaking views from various vantage points.

  • Mount Mitchell State Park

Situated approximately two and a half hours northwest of Charlotte, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak in the Eastern United States. During winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, providing opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter photography.

While these locations are not within the immediate vicinity of Charlotte, they are easily accessible for a day trip or a weekend getaway, allowing you to experience the joys of winter and snow in the region.


Snowfall in Charlotte, NC, can be an exciting but somewhat unpredictable occurrence. While the city typically experiences light to moderate snowfall during the winter months, the amounts can vary significantly from year to year. 

The combination of Charlotte’s latitude, proximity to the coast, and elevation contribute to its unique winter climate. However, it is essential to stay informed through local weather forecasts and be prepared for the occasional snowfall that can transform Charlotte into a winter wonderland.