Does it snow in Georgia? We wanted to know the answer to this question when deciding on where to go for our family Christmas trip. We’ve always loved visiting Georgia in the past but had never been there this time of year.
The idea of experiencing all of that Georgian charm around the holiday season sounded very appealing. But we also wanted to experience a classic Winter Wonderland style Christmas. So we weren’t sure if Georgia would have what we’re looking for.
After all, the American South is known for having a much warmer climate than the North. It always makes us think more of baking in the summer sun rather than building snowmen. We set off to do some research!
So, does it snow in Georgia? The answer may surprise you! This article will answer the question and reveal the best things to do in Georgia in the winter.
Does It Snow in Georgia?
It would be more than reasonable to expect that the “Does it snow in Georgia?” answer would be definitively “no”. Being located in the South of the United States, Georgia is known for hot summers and generally milder winters. That isn’t usually the sort of recipe you’d think would lead to snow.
Visiting Georgia, however, you’ll find out that it has a lot of surprises up its sleeve. And one of them is that, yes, it does indeed snow in Georgia. Any given winter you visit, there is a good chance that you’ll experience some snowfall.
With that said, most of Georgia will not deliver the sort of Winter Wonderland you might be hoping for. Snow in most of the state is extremely light, and there’s rarely much if any build-up on the ground in most places. Their average annual snowfall is under 1 inch, which is shockingly low!
For comparison, New York gets 100 inches each year. So just be aware that this may be a more subdued winter experience than you’re accustomed to!
When Does It Snow in Georgia?
Throughout much of the United States, particularly the Midwest, winter can last many months. In some places, it starts in October and runs through April! But, being situated in the South, Georgia’s winters are much shorter.
On most years, winter begins in December and runs through February. So those three months are your best chance of seeing snow in Georgia. What’s unusual about Georgia, though, is that you’re actually more likely to see snow in February than December or January.
Here is the month-by-month breakdown:
Winter officially begins in December in Georgia. The highs tend to be an average of 55F (13C), with the lows falling to 36F (2C). Most places in Georgia get their first snowfall of the year this month. It’s not much at all, however. The build-up is usually only about 0.12 inches.
On a regular year, January is Georgia’s coldest month. Lows will sometimes actually go below freezing, which is not a common thing for the South! Mostly, however, you’re looking at highs of 52F (11C) and lows of 34F (1C). Close to freezing but not quite!
Due to the cold, however, you are more likely to see snow. With that said, the build-up is an average of 0.16 inches. So, more than December, but not by much!
February is generally Georgia’s last hurrah for winter. The temperature tends to rise a bit, with highs of 57F (14C) and lows of 36F (2C) in the north. The south gets warmer, however, with highs of 64F (17.8C) and lows of 41F (5C).
Despite this, however, it’s actually the month you’re most likely to get snow in Georgia. Again, it’s all relative, as the snowfall tends to amount to 0.2 inches. But that is still slightly more!
The majority of Georgia has what is referred to as a humid subtropical climate. This means that it’s often warm with a lot of moisture in the air. That’s the reason that it’s so hot in the summer and why the winters are relatively mild.
With that said, in the north of the state, where there’s a higher elevation, it’s generally colder.
Georgia also does get a great deal of precipitation throughout the year. This is largely the result of moist winds blowing there from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. This means lots of rain during other parts of the year, and when it’s cold enough in the winter, snow.
Where Does It Snow in Georgia?
As just mentioned, due to the higher elevations, the northern areas of Georgia are cooler. That’s why, when it does snow in Georgia, those are the places it’s most likely to happen. Snow in the southern parts of the state is exceedingly rare, if ever.
Does It Snow in Atlanta, Georgia?
Surely the question of whether they get snow in Atlanta is on the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to winter in Georgia. And the answer is that it can indeed happen, although it doesn’t happen often, and little sticks when it does.
Its elevation certainly means it’s possible. Its average high temperature even in the height of winter is 44.8F (7.1C), however, so it’s not common. When it does happen, though, they can get 2.2 inches for the year, which is relatively high for Georgia. By contrast, they get 50.43 inches of rain per year!
There have also been some freak occurrences throughout the years. On January 23, 1940, Atlanta was hit with a snowstorm that led to 10 inches of snow on the ground! There have also been ice storms at certain times, one of the most infamous having happened in 1973.
Randomly, in March 1993, several areas of Atlanta got 4 inches of snow, while others actually got up to 8! In 2010, Atlanta was hit with 4 snowstorms, including a White Christmas!
In January 2014, Atlanta received what became known as “Snowmageddon”. Interestingly, the snow remained light but it happened so unexpectedly it caused major havoc to the roads. People were stuck in traffic for hours!
As we’ve mentioned before, you’re most likely to see snow in Georgia in the mountains. And Rabun Gap is a perfect place to experience it. Located within the Blue Ridge Mountain range, they get approximately half a foot of snow annually.
And if you choose to visit here, you should check out the Hambridge Center. It’s a lovely retreat for writers and artists spared over 600 acres of woodland with breathtaking snowy waterfalls. Also home to the historic Rock House, which is also a fully working mill, it’s a sight to behold!
Another great place in the mountains to check out is Mountain City. Located by the Little Tennessee River, Mountain City is a charming town that gets 5 inches of snow every year. If Winter Wonderland is what you’re looking for in Georgia, this is the place for you! It’s particularly magical at Christmas.
While there, you also must visit the Foxfire Museum. It’s a lovely institution that celebrates Appalachian heritage and culture, featuring 20 historic structures. They also have exhibits on broom-making, sewing, weaving, woodworking, and metalworking.
And Mountain City is also very close to Black Rock Mountain State Park, which is Georgia’s mostly highly elevated park. You will get some breathtaking snowy views. And if the day is clear enough, you’ll be able to see over 80 miles into 3 adjoining states. Namely, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee!
If snow in Georgia is what you seek, you absolutely can’t skip Dahlonega. It’s even known as Georgia’s snowiest city! They get an average of half an inch of snow annually, and provide that magical experience you’re hoping for.
The town has a huge focus on winter and holiday activities and festivals. There’s also a great deal of culture there, including theatre, live music, museums, and historic tours. They also have some fantastic restaurants and local shops.
Possibly the best way to experience the winter atmosphere, though, is at the Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard. There you can rent a cabin and take in the beautiful wintry views and chill while relaxing in front of fireplace or in a hot tub with a good book.
Another lovely mountain city to visit, Dillard has all of the snowy, wintry charm you’re hoping for. This quaint, charming place gets about 5 inches annually, and offers the perfect Christmas getaway.
For such a seemingly modest place, they also have a thriving theatre and live music scene. There are plenty of areas for fine dining and great shopping for local souvenirs. And they have a number of breweries for a romantic evening drinking wine in the winter chill.
Best Things to Do in Georgia in the Winter
A lot of the best things to do to see snow in Georgia are in the Atlanta area. The following are some of our favorites!
Chattahooche River National Recreation Area
If you want to take in some lovely nature on a nice refreshing winter walk, the Chattahoochee River is ideal. Because even a cold winter’s day in Georgia is still relatively mild, you can have a brisk walk without freezing.
During it, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery by the river. It’s particularly picturesque when it’s snowed, providing some breathtaking photo opps. And if the weather is good, you can canoe, kayak, or fish there even in the “height” of winter!
It’s a perfect mix of winter scenery that doesn’t infringe on doing some fun activities usually associated with warmer weather.
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
Continuing our nature theme, the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve in southwest Atlanta is fantastic. Spreading out over about 120 acres, it’s a gorgeous spot for walking, hiking, and running. It provides gorgeous views, which are particularly beautiful in the snow.
We highly recommend checking out their unusual waterfall, which is climbable, and historic springhouse. It was also an area where many famous Civil War battles were fought. If you’re interested in history, you can discover many remnants of those events here as an added bonus.
If you want even more of a hiking challenge, you need to try Arabia Mountain. Any time of year, it’s a gorgeous hike, but in the winter, it’s truly magical. The snow on its peak makes an already beautiful view absolutely sparkle with wonder.
To visit, begin at the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. Here, you can get your maps as well as learn about the area’s geological history. Bicycling up the mountain is also a possibility via the PATH bike trail. Make sure to double check the weather first, though!
Within Atlanta, Georgia is located the beautiful and charming Piedmont Park. Full of lovely nature and all sorts of opportunities for outdoor, it’s a great place to visit in all weather. However, when it has snowed, it’s a particularly fantastic place to enjoy the winter atmosphere. People flock there in wintry weather.
And while you’re there, you should definitely check out the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Located adjacent to the park, this iconic spot is an enchanting place to wander amongst their gorgeous flowers.
Stone Mountain Park
Approximately 20 minutes by car outside of Atlanta and to the east is the breathtaking Stone Mountain Park. Encompassing an impressive 3200 acres, your jaw will drop at these beautiful views. There’s a gorgeous 363-acre lake, and on a snowy winter’s day, it’s all absolutely dazzling.
Around Christmas, they also hold an annual festival here called Snow Mountain. Come here for all the festive winter magic you can possibly imagine!
The park also has a great deal of history to discover. This includes a historic covered bridge, Grist Mill, and a 732-bell Carillon!
So there’s your answer! Does it snow in Georgia? The answer is a surprising yes! And there’s actually a lot of fun winter things to do in the Peach State! So if a more off-the-beaten path winter destination is what you wish for Christmas, book your holiday vacation there today!