How Much Snow It Typically Takes to Cancel School in Washinton

At the time of this writing, we are exactly 3 months away from Christmas Day. The cooler temps with the cold showers have already arrived - just as we officially moved into Fall. (The Autumn Equinox formally arrived on the West Coast at 11:50 pm, this past Friday night September 22nd.)

Soon, we’ll see snow in the mountains, that will hopefully stamp out that pesky Airplane Lake fire, northwest of Lake Wenatchee.

The first snow of the season typically shows up in the lower elevations around Thanksgiving.

So how much snow does it typically take to have a snow day in Washington state?

The answer obviously varies. 

Many school districts across the state of Washington have varied amounts of snowfall - depending on elevation. Most towns and counties east of the Cascades put forward more resources to remove snow on the streets. The plows and trucks that lay down the salty de-icing brine mixture - mean more snow and ice are needed to cancel school.

A Reddit user named Alexandr Trubetskoy (a.k.a. atrubetskoy) produced a map of the entire US - that shows how much snow usually cancels school. Let's look at his info for counties in Washington state. 


Snow of at least 1” usually cancels snow in the following counties

KING - Seattle, Bellevue

PIERCE - Tacoma, Puyallup

KITSAP - Bremerton, Silverdale,  Poulsbo

THURSTON - Olympia

LEWIS - Centralia, Chehalis

COWLITZ - Longview, Kelso

WAHKIAKUM - Cathlamet (along the Columbia River)


Snow of at least 3” usually cancels snow in the following

CLARK - Vancouver, WA

SKAMANIA - Stevenson

PACIFIC - Illwaco, Raymond

GRAYS HARBOR - Aberdeen, Hoquiam

JEFFERSON - Quilcene, Brinnon

CLALLAM - Forks, Port Angeles, Sequim

MASON - Belfair, Shelton

SNOHOMISH - Everett, Lake Stevens, Marysville

FRANKLIN - Pasco, Connell, Richland

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla

BENTON - Kennewick


Snow of at least 6” usually cancels snow in the following

SKAGIT - Mount Vernon, Burlington

YAKIMA - Yakima, Moxee (home of Cascade Hops)

KLICKITAT - Goldendale, Maryhill

DOUGLAS - Waterville, Bridgeport, East Wenatchee…The 24” of snow (READ: Three Feet) that fell in January of 2022, resulted in the ONLY time I’ve known the Eastmont School District to cancel school for the day. Grit…The Red Zone has lots of grit.

GRANT - Quincy, Moses Lake, George, Ephrata, Royal City

ADAMS - Othello, Ritzville

SPOKANE - Spokane, Medical Lake, Liberty Lake, Cheney

GARFIELD - Pomeroy

ASOTIN - Clarkson, Asotin

LINCOLN - Wilbur, Almira, Creston, Davenport

COLUMBIA - Dayton, Starbuck


Snow of at least 12” usually cancels snow in the following

WHATCOM - Bellingham, Blaine, Lynden (The only county west of the Cascades with the resources to handle large amounts of snow.)

CHELAN - Wenatchee, Chelan, Leavenworth, Cashmere

OKANOGAN - Brewster, the Methow Valley, Omak, Okanogan

FERRY - Curlew, Republic, Inchelium

STEVENS - Chewelah, Colville, Springdale, Kettle Falls
PEND OREILLE - Newport, Metaline Falls, Ione


NOTE: No data shown for Island or San Juan Counties

INFO SOURCE: Alexandr Trubetskoy (also known as atrubetskoy on Reddit) check out his story: How much snow it typically takes to cancel school in the U.S.

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