does it snow in the ozarks

Does it snow in the Ozarks? A lot can be said about the pleasant weather in the Ozarks, a stunning region in the middle of the United States.

Rolling hills, verdant valleys, and breathtaking panoramas characterize the environment of the Ozarks.

With the changing seasons comes the inevitable question, “Does it snow in Lake of the Ozarks or the area?” The winters in the Ozarks are usually mild, but is there snow in the Ozarks?

Yes, it does snow in the Ozarks, but it is usually rare or very little, and whatever snow it gets melts quite quickly as well. 

Let’s find out in detail!

More about the Climate in the Ozarks

climate in the ozarks

Located in the middle of the Ozark Plateau, the town of Ozark, Missouri has a humid subtropical climate.

Temperatures in Ozark fluctuate from about 32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (zero to 10 degrees Celsius) during the winter.

This is one of the wettest areas of Missouri, with an annual rainfall of 43 inches.

From its lowest point at 400 feet above sea level to its highest point at 1,200 feet, the area features dramatic changes in height and breathtaking panoramas. 

An Important Consideration

In addition to the rain, the spring and summer months in Ozark also bring frequent, sometimes violent, thunderstorms.

Fact: Data shows that on average, 100 out of 365 days in Ozark will see rain.  

Does It Snow in the Ozarks or Not?

does it snow in the ozarks

Okay, so the question is, “Does the Ozarks get snow?” Well, yes, it does snow in the Ozarks, but it is relatively rare as compared to other areas in the state.

Here is a bit more about the weather in the area:

Weather HighlightsAverage Value
Winter lowJanuary: 20°F
Summer highJuly: 88°F
RainAnnual average: 46 inches
SnowAnnual average: 13 inches

Frequency and Typical Amount of Snowfall in the Ozarks

frequency of snowfall in the ozarks

Ozark’s average monthly snowfall varies little with the seasons.

From November 16th through March 25th, snow is likely. On average, Ozark receives 3.6 inches of snow in the month of February.

The average low on January nights in Ozark is about 20.2 degrees Fahrenheit. When compared to other locations in Missouri, this falls somewhat in the middle. 

How are Winters in the Ozarks?

The Ozarks have colder winters than much of Missouri, with an average of 114.0 below-freezing days each year.

Ozark receives an average amount of snow per year, 13.3 inches, compared to other Missouri locations.

With an average of 4.5 inches of snowfall, January is the snowiest month in Ozark.

Here is how the climate of the Ozarks compared to the rest of the United States:

Climate AveragesOzark, MissouriUnited States
Precipitation99.5 days106.2 days
Sunny209 days205 days
Comfort Index7.37

How Much Does It Snow in Ozarks?

how much does it snow in ozarks

The Ozarks span a vast area of approximately 50,000 square miles, resulting in significant variations in the amount of snowfall received across different regions.

The average annual snowfall in the Ozarks can vary between 10 and 20 inches, depending on the location.

However, the majority of snowfall tends to be light and melts relatively fast. Interestingly, Ozarks has experienced winters with over 50 inches of snow on the peaks in the past.

But, such heavy snowfall is uncommon now.

Fact: The average mountain height and southern latitude of the region have a combined effect on the amount of snowfall it receives. 

Reasons Why the Ozarks Get Little Snow

why the ozarks get little snow

 The Ozarks of Missouri are known for their stunning natural beauty, including rugged landscapes and breathtaking views.

However, during the winter season, an interesting phenomenon becomes apparent in the region – there is a relatively low amount of snowfall.

The mysterious lack of snow in the Ozarks has left both locals and meteorologists perplexed.

Although the Ozarks have a picturesque appeal with their snow-covered scenery, the region’s specific geography and climate make snowfall rare.

Here are some possible explanations as to why you witness so little snow in the Ozarks: 

Geographical Considerations

The topography of the Ozarks greatly influences the limited amount of snowfall in the region. The area has beautiful rolling hills, valleys, and steep slopes.

Unlike flat landscapes, undulating terrains have fewer areas where cold air masses can settle and accumulate, which hinders the conditions needed for significant snowfall.

The Ozarks have a relatively gentle slope, with Taum Sauk Mountain being the highest point at approximately 1,772 feet (540 meters).

This makes it less likely for snow to accumulate for long periods of time. 

Climatic Factors

climatic factors in the ozarks

The Ozarks are located in a region with a mix of humid subtropical and humid continental climates, resulting in a transitional climatic zone.

The region experiences significant changes in temperature from one season to another.

The winters in the Ozarks are usually milder than those in the northern regions of the United States, thanks to the moderating effect of the Gulf of Mexico.

Fact: The Gulf's proximity results in the arrival of moist, warm air masses that frequently clash with the colder, drier air needed for snow to form. 

Snow Shadow Effect

ozarks snow shadow effect

The topography of the Ozarks creates a phenomenon called the “snow shadow effect.”

This happens when the prevailing winds, typically coming from the northwest, carry air full of moisture. This causes it to release precipitation on the side of the mountains that face the wind.

When the air moves upwards across the mountains, it becomes cooler and releases moisture, leading to precipitation.

When the air reaches the leeward side of the mountains, such as the Ozarks, it becomes drier and less likely to cause heavy snowfall. 

Rain-Snow Line

rain-snow line climate in ozarks

The rain-snow line, which marks the transition between rain and snow, determines how much snowfall the Ozarks receive.

Due to the region’s diverse climate, this line often experiences frequent shifts over a small area.

The variability can cause different snowfall patterns in regions north or south of the Ozarks. 

An Important Consideration

The phenomenon highlights how temperature changes, wind patterns, and moisture levels work together to define the line between rain and snow. And this ultimately affects how snowfall occurs in the region.

Fact: In the Ozarks, it is more common to have rain instead of snow during the winter months, which is influenced by meteorological dynamics. 

Impact of snow on the landscape and local communities

snow impact on the local communities

Although the Ozarks of Missouri are not typically known for heavy snowfall, even occasional snow events have a significant impact on the region’s landscape and local communities.

The occasional accumulation of snow can turn the beautiful hills and valleys into a magical winter scene, making it even more visually appealing for both residents and visitors.

On the other hand, snowfall can also cause disruptions that affect transportation, commerce, and daily routines.

Even a small amount of snow can cause poor visibility and dangerous road conditions, which can have an impact on travel and commerce. 

Popular Winter Activities in the Ozarks

winter activities in the ozarks

While you may not get enough snow for skiing and other winter activities, the Ozarks are still a stunning destination throughout the year.

However, the region has a certain charm during the winter months.

The Ozarks transform into a vibrant landscape as the temperature drops, with snow-capped peaks and forests covered in a blanket of white. 

What to Do in the Ozarks

If you are searching for a winter escape that offers both stunning scenery and thrilling activities, then this is the perfect destination for you.

Here is what you must try when visiting the Ozarks in winter:

Winter Activities in the OzarksDescription
The Ice at Old KinderhookSkate and warm up by the fire pits on chilly evenings. Enjoy hot chocolate and nibbles from the local snack shop.  
Crappie fishingContrary to predictions, December crappie fishing is great. Baitfish often lead to crappies, making it a good fishing time.
Holiday lightsCelebrate the holidays with Lake’s east and west holiday lights. Many displays can brighten your family’s holidays.
Ha Ha Tonka HikingThe famed Ha Ha Tonka hiking site is beautiful in winter. Dress appropriately for thrilling winter hikes in a beautiful environment.
Jetz Trampoline ParkThis facility is great for youngsters and people with energy. You can jump, play, and have fun there Fridays through Mondays.


Does it snow in the Ozarks? It is not much, but the Ozarks still get some snow in the winter.

The Ozarks are a stunning destination throughout the year, but there is a certain charm to the area during the winter months.

It is perfect for those searching for a winter escape that offers both stunning scenery and thrilling activities, including snow tubing, hiking, ice skating, and fireside chats.

Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable experience.