My question is simple. Which is the place closest to Equator, in any country, where has snowfall occured? By that I mean snowfall only at sea level - mountains are excluded.

I can't find anything myself on the internet with reliable sources. In fact, I have found only 1 topic about that which is from year 2001 and it's just somebody's personal record.

And second option is that if mountains are excluded but it does not be on sea level. According to Wikipedia definition, mountains height starts from 1,000 m (3,281 ft)

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    You'll need to be more specific about the 'mountains are excluded' bit. For example, Tajikistan is pretty much ALL mountains. Do we rule it out? Or is there a certain altitude you'll accept as being 'ground level'? – Mark Mayo Dec 13 '11 at 9:10
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    also, when? Because during various ice-ages it certainly would have had snow at much lower altitudes and closer to the equator. (And arguably we're in an ice-age now) – Mark Mayo Dec 13 '11 at 9:17
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    @MarkMayo, i edited my question. By ground level i meant sea level. When? Well, after Last Glacial Maximum period, when the snowfall was recorded by humans and not from examining the layers of Earth. – Skyzer Dec 13 '11 at 9:25
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about travel. – LessPop_MoreFizz Oct 2 '16 at 22:44
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's still a geography trivia question with no travel content. – user90371 Aug 30 '19 at 3:27

OK some success with answers:

  • Nanning, China: latitude 21°29'N and longitude 108°21'E, 1654.
  • Hong Kong - 22º 15' N, 114º 10' E, January 1893.
  • Tampico, Mexico lat 22.2965°, long -97.8659 - Feb 1895.

The 1654 Chinese snowfall, near the present-day coastal city of Beihai, was nearest to the equator, at 21 degrees, 29 minutes north latitude. Several centimeters of snow were recorded there.

References: USAToday, SnowPlowNews.

  • Hi. I'll accept your answer, because Nanning is even closer to Equator than Hong Kong. – Skyzer Dec 17 '11 at 16:45

Here's one pretty good candidate: It snowed in Hong Kong on December 14th 1975. Hong Kong lies at a latitude of 22 degrees north, nearly the same as Havana or the United Arab Emirates.

  • Thank you. in.news.yahoo.com/photos/… I found this also. Quito lies on Equator but the city's elevation is 2,850 m (9,350 ft). – Skyzer Dec 13 '11 at 13:44
  • usatoday.com/weather/resources/askjack/wasnow.htm even closer than your "The 1654 Chinese snowfall, near the present-day coastal city of Beihai, was nearest to the equator, at 21 degrees, 29 minutes north latitude. Several centimeters of snow were recorded there." – Skyzer Dec 14 '11 at 11:48

Judging on the map of oceanic currents, I would say your best chances are close the Andes, West Africa, and Australia/Indonesia (see map below)

These currents have huge influence on the temperatures. Southern Europe is known as having much warmer winters then nova scotia for example that lies on the same latitude. oceanic currents (source: Creative Commons)


Taiwan in January 2016 received snow near sea level, at 300-400 meters altitude, during the historical cold wave of that month. It is at 23°N.

Hanoi futher south but slightly inland, also got snow in some mountains south of the city.

During arctic blasts, Havana in Cuba can also receive near freeing temperatures, but its very rare. Snow is unheard as far as I know.

In south hemisphere snow has been known to fall north of Buenos Aires or in Sydney, but these are at 33 S.

  • In 1857 there was snow at sea level in Cuba! 23°N! – Paulo Bessa Oct 2 '16 at 22:24
  • I’m finding it hard to equate 300 to 400 metres of altitude with ‘sea level’ … But of course, it’s way less than mountains. – Jan Oct 2 '16 at 22:50

It was in February 1899 in the Mexican Coast, just south of Tampico. Don t to be confused with the Feb 1895 snow which reached just Tampico (few flakes indeed) through Texas. The 1899 event crossed the Gulf of Mexico and skipped the southern Texan coast.

During the little ice age it was in 1654 when snow at sea level covered great part of the island of Hainan in China. This is the lowest latitude ever since the end of the ice age.

Note: DECEMBER 1975 HONG KONG SNOW WAS NOT AT SEA LEVEL, but flakes at sea level were recorded in January 1893 (correct) and also Macao.

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    Hi Maximiliano, welcome to travel.se. As per my answer above, it's best to include sources in your answer, if it's not anecdotal (which I'm sure it's not, as you weren't around in 1893). So thanks for answering, but if you could add some sources for your statement, it'll make your answer even better! :) – Mark Mayo Aug 29 '12 at 22:19
  • According to the Hong Kong Observatory, in 1967 snow was reported at Cape Collinson Training Centre (now Cape Collinson Correctional Institution), which is at sea level. – Toby Mak Jul 30 '19 at 11:20

During the extreme weather events of 535–536, snow fell in China in the summer, see here:


In 2010, it was recorded that it snowed in the southern Sahara Desert. This is most likely due to climate change, and will happen as it gets worse.

  • Welcome to Travel.SE. Would you have some kind of reference/source for this? – lambshaanxy Aug 30 '19 at 6:09

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