The weather outside might be frightful, but students at these colleges still find their campuses delightful. If you’re the type who dreams of layers of white lasting well beyond Christmas, check out these institutions located in the four cities (with at least 50,000 residents) that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lists as receiving the most snowfall.
While this New York school’s athletic teams are called The Orange, white becomes the standout color each winter. The city of Syracuse averages a whopping 123.8 inches of snow per year! The weather certainly doesn’t stop thousands of fans from crowding into the huge Carrier Dome to cheer on the school’s powerhouse men’s basketball team. And Winter Carnival, a tradition dating back to 1930, offers outdoor and indoor fun such as glow in the dark ice skating and a chili cook-off.
Yes, a school in a state known for sun makes its home in a city that averages 101.7 inches of snow yearly. In fact, Flagstaff – which rests roughly 7,000 feet above sea level — saw about 6 inches of snow this year during the first week of October, a time when leaves hadn’t even changed color yet in much of the country. Impromptu snowball fights and snowman building liven up campus. And for those interested in more formal activities, the university offers a course in downhill skiing and snowboarding – with students who earn a passing grade receiving a season pass to the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort!
Talk about a white Christmas: On December 25, 2017, Erie, Pa., received 34 inches of snow. This set a new record for snow in any single day in Erie, easily surpassing the previous 20-inch record from 1956. With a yearly average of 100.9 inches, dealing with the white stuff is a way of life for students at this public institution. And while trudging in boots to a 9:00 a.m. class has its drawbacks, at least later you can sign out a sled from the student union and speed down one of the campus’s many hills. Instant stress relief!
Finally, leave it to the smart folks at this well-regarded New York school to develop a tunnel system that gets students from class to class with minimal exposure to the elements. Murals on the walls help with navigation as well as provide interesting scenery during the journey. But Rochester is a city that averages 99.5 inches of snow, so sometimes you also need to just embrace the conditions. Enter FreezeFest, an annual winter celebration started in 2010 that gets everyone out of hibernation for snowboarding and snow-sculpting competitions, cozy carriage rides, and even a 5K race.