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25 Coldest Cities in the US

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·10 min read
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In this article, we are going to take a look at the 25 coldest cities in the US. You can skip our detailed analysis of the cold weather in these American cities, and go directly to the 5 Coldest Cities in the US.

When we think of cold weather, a steaming cup of coffee, long coats, puffy jackets, and outdoor activities like skiing come to mind. Unfortunately, it might not be the same for people living in the northern side of the country. People in this region are often subjected to below-freezing temperatures, extreme amounts of snowfall, and storms that affect everyday life greatly. The freezing weather may seem magical in the movies but many cities spend half of the year with record low temperatures, falling below -45 °F, and experience more than 60 in. of snow every year.

Many cities experiencing cold weather in the US are situated in the Midwest, with the top ten found in the states of Minnesota and the Dakotas. These do not only have the lowest temperature but also experience the longest winters. Not only this, while the winter season has a duration of about 90 days, all of the cities on our list have at least 120 days where the temperature falls below the freezing point.

However, another very important determinant that has changed the course of weather in the US is climate change. While the northern part of the country still experiences cold weather, there have been massive and unexpected changes in the temperature as evidenced by the fact that this year Alaska, a state that is known for its cold weather, experienced record heat in July.

Our Methodology

For this list, we used the lowest recorded temperature data for US cities to find out the coldest cities in the country. However, the data is not completely uniform as different cities faced their lowest ever temperatures in different time periods. In addition to these factors, it was made sure that the area being considered had a population of over 10,000 and was classified as a city.

We used data on the lowest temperature recorded and the minimum average temperature for each city from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Comparative Climatic Data report 2019. All other information regarding the annual snowfall, population, and the mean monthly temperatures was taken from the Climate Data Online (CDO and certified weather websites like Accu weather.

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

With this context in mind, let's now discuss our list of the 25 coldest cities in the US.

25 Coldest Cities in the US

25. St. Albans, Vermont

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -4.4F Annual Average Snowfall: 82.4 in.

With a rich history and an even richer culture, St. Albans is a relatively small city famous for its Victorian and craftsman-style architecture. It is also a research target for genealogists and is known for its annual Maple Festival. Considered colder than most places in Vermont, St. Albans experiences the coldest nighttime temperatures in January. Furthermore, the lowest recorded temperature for this city has fallen to -4.4F.

24. Reno, Nevada

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -16F Annual Average Snowfall: 21.9 in

Known as 'the biggest little city in the world, Reno is known for its flamboyant casinos and bubbling tourism industry. Experiencing a cold semi-arid climate, Reno lies in the rain shadow area of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and has the lowest recorded temperature of -16F. Not only this, the city has an annual average snowfall of 21.9 in. As the weather becomes harsher in the US, the demand for services of HVAC and climate control companies like Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE: JCI), Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII), Trane Technologies PLC (NYSE: TT), Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Watsco, Inc. (NYSE: WSO) is increasing.

23. Buffalo, New York

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -20F Annual Average Snowfall: 84.8 in.

The second-largest city in the US state of New York, Buffalo is known for its snowy winters. With a humid continental climate, the city often experiences harsh winters. Characterized with snow bands, intense snowfall in the city, winters are often accompanied by chilly air.

22. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -28F Annual Average Snowfall: 40.6 in.

Known as the ‘stone shatter city’, Sioux Falls is considered the healthiest city in America. Experiencing a humid continental climate, this city has cold dry winters. With, even thunderstorms in its summer one can imagine the chilly weather in the winters. With an average snowfall of 40.6 in and the lowest temperature on the record being -28F, Sioux Falls can certainly be deemed as one of the colder cities in the United States.

21. Sioux City, Iowa

Lowest Recorded Temperature; -28F Annual Average Snowfall: 33.4 in.

Home to a number of cultural points including the Sioux city public museum, Sioux art center, and the Sergeant Floyd Monument, the city is said to be the navigational head for cargo ships.

20. Burlington, Vermont

Lowest Recorded Temperature:-30F Annual Average Snowfall: 80.4 in.

Making history as being the first city in the US to run entirely on renewable energy, Burlington has a well-established educational system. It is also home to the largest hospital in Vermont: the UVM Medical center. Having an estimated population of 42,570, this city is said to have cold winters with an annual average snowfall of 80.4 in.

19. Dubuque, Iowa

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -31F Annual Average Snowfall: 41.3 in.

Located in the tri-state area, Dubuque serves as the main industrial, cultural and financial hub. With a population of 58,409, the city has the lowest recorded temperature of -31F.

As the weather becomes harsher in the US, the demand for services of HVAC and climate control companies like Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE: JCI), Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII), Trane Technologies PLC (NYSE: TT), Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Watsco, Inc. (NYSE: WSO) is increasing.

18. Waterloo, Iowa

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -34F Annual Average Snowfall: 33.3 in.

Considered among the coldest cities in America, Waterloo is a city located in Black Hawk County. With a population of 68, 432, waterloo experiences its coldest nighttime temperature in January, which is considered chillier than most places in Iowa. Not only this, the annual average snowfall is recorded to be 33.3 in, with the annual precipitation spreading over 112 days.

17. Marquette Michigan

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -34F Annual Average Snowfall: 154.7 in.

Located on the shores of Lake Superior, this city is also in the USDA Plant hardiness zone. With long cold winters, the lowest temperature recorded in the city is -34F, and experiences an abundance of snow every year making life a little difficult as evidenced by its population of only 21,697.

16. Sheridan, Wyoming

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -35F Annual Average Snowfall: 73.1 in

Located between Yellowstone Park and the famous Mount Rushmore, is the city of Sheridan. With a population of 17, 775, the city has a semi-arid climate with cold winters and an annual average snowfall of 73.1 in.

As the weather becomes harsher in the US, the demand for services of HVAC and climate control companies like Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE: JCI), Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII), Trane Technologies PLC (NYSE: TT), Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Watsco Inc (NYSE: WSO) is increasing.

15. La Crosse, Wisconsin

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -37F Annual Average Snowfall: 42.4 in.

A technology, medical, education, and manufacturing hub, La Crosse is considered a college town with over 200,00 students. Due to its natural landscape, the area is considered a bike-friendly destination with challenging trails, paddling adventures and is the host to the Oktoberfest in the US.

14. Green Bay, Wisconsin

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -36F Annual Average Snowfall: 49.2 in.

Located in Brown County, this beautiful city is at the head of the green bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan. Home to the Green Bay Packers of the NFL, Green Bay is the third-largest city in the state of Wisconsin. The climate of this area is considered to be a humid continental one with precipitation mostly in form of rainfall from thunderstorms and dry cold winters. The lowest temperature on record is -36 F and with a population of 104, 847, the city is among the coldest in the United States

13. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Lowest Recorded Temperature:-36F Annual Average Snowfall: 118.3 in.

Among the oldest cities in the United States, this city is known to be the coldest in the state of Michigan. Not only this, there are about 177.2 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, with January and December deemed as the most uncomfortable months because of the extreme weather. With a population of about 14,048 and the annual average snowfall amount to 118.3, Salut Fte. Marie is undoubtedly one of the coldest cities in America.

12. Concord, New Hampshire

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -37F Annual Average Snowfall: 65.1 in.

With an estimated population of 43,924, Concord experiences a humid continental climate with long, chilly, snowy winters, making it one of the coldest cities in America.

As the weather becomes harsher in the US, the demand for services of HVAC and climate control companies like Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE: JCI), Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII), Trane Technologies PLC (NYSE: TT), Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Watsco Inc (NYSE: WSO) is increasing.

11. Anchorage, Alaska

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -34F Annual Average Snowfall: 73.7 in.

Home to the Chugach State Park, a joint military base and the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, a famous refueling station for international cargo flights, this city has its own charm.

10. Rochester, Minnesota

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -40F Annual Average Snowfall: 44.8 in.

Located in the state of Minnesota, Rochester hails the esteemed Mayo clinic and is home to a major IBM International Business Machines Corporation ( NASDAQ: IBM) facility. Known to be the second windiest city in the United States, Rochester, with its slightly higher altitude, witnesses an average snowfall of 44.8 in.

9. Huron, South Dakota

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -43F Annual Average Snowfall: 36.8 in.

Huron is known for its cold dry winters and wide temperature extremes. It also falls under the USDA hardiness zone.

The lack of mountains and trees roughly translates to harsher winters as cold winds directly come down from Canada and there is nothing to block their path. Not only this, the minimum average temperature can drop to almost -14 C in the winters.

8. St. Cloud, Minnesota

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -43F Annual Average Snowfall: 47 in.

With moderate to heavy snowfall, the lowest recorded temperature here is -43F, signifying the harsh winter climate this city experiences.

As the weather becomes harsher in the US, the demand for services of HVAC and climate control companies like Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE: JCI), Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII), Trane Technologies PLC (NYSE: TT), Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Watsco Inc (NYSE: WSO) is increasing.

7. Bismarck, North Dakota

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -44F Annual Average Snowfall: 46.2 in.

Located in Burleigh County, the city of Bismarck is located in the coldest state in the continental US during winter and fall: North Dakota. The reason North Dakota experiences such harsh winters is because of its location at the extreme north end of the Midwest.

6. Aberdeen, South Dakota

Lowest Recorded Temperature: -46F Annual Average Snowfall: 38.4 in.

Located in Brown County, the city falls under the USDA Plant Hardiness zone, evidencing its harsh weather. With the minimum average temperature falling to -16C in the winters, the city experiences long cold winners due to its geographical position. The absence of mountains and trees makes it easier for the cold winds coming from Canada to flow easily as they face no blockage.

As the weather becomes harsher in the US, the demand for services of HVAC and climate control companies like Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE: JCI), Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII), Trane Technologies PLC (NYSE: TT), Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Watsco Inc (NYSE: WSO) is increasing.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Coldest Cities in the US.

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Disclosure: None. 25 Coldest Cities in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.