The Coldest Cities in the Country from The 10 Coldest and 10 Warmest Cities in the Country Slideshow
The 10 Coldest and 10 Warmest Cities in the Country Slideshow
10. Sheridan, Wyo.
With an average daily low temperature of 30.9 degrees, Sheridan, Wyo., gets an average of 73.1 inches of snow, ice and sleet a year. The town of almost 18,000 sits on the eastern edge of the snow-capped Bighorn Mountains. Area oil and coal workers better be ready to bundle up as the lowest temperature to hit Sheridan in the last 30 years was -37 F.
9. Duluth, Minn.
Bridget Bennett/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS
It gets just a hair colder on average in Duluth, Minn., where the 30-year-average daily low temperature is 30.5 degrees. Hovering around freezing for most of the year doesn’t stop residents from enjoying outdoor activities such as ice fishing, ice kiting and even wintertime surfing. Surfers can be spotted on Lake Superior in sub-zero temperatures so cold that icicles form on their wetsuits.
8. Anchorage, Alaska
Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News/MCT
Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, boasting almost 300,000 residents who contend with an average daily low temperature of 30.4 degrees. Almost freezing daily temperatures and an average snowfall of 73.7 inches a year don’t seem to bother the town’s wildlife or the sled dogs that gather there for the ceremonial kickoff of the famous annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
7. Marquette, Mich.
Marquette is located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or the U.P. to Midwesterners, and is one of the best locations from the continental U.S. to see the Northern Lights. But there’s a tradeoff for seeing a natural light show from your backyard: an average daily low temperature of 30.4 degrees and the title of snowiest city in the nation after almost 150 feet of snow dropped on the town in 2015.
6. Grand Forks, ND
John Stennes/Grand Forks Herald/MCT
The first city on the list where the yearly average low dips below 30, Grand Forks is home to the University of North Dakota and an Air Force base and sits along the Red River, which flooded the town in 1997. The town rebounded despite the nippy temps and 41.6 inches of snow on average each year. The lowest temperature on record is -46.
5. Ely, Nev.
The Midwest certainly doesn’t have an exclusive claim to the coldest temps. The former railroad hub of Ely is what you might call the polar opposite of Las Vegas. Its high elevation is the cause of its prolonged cold spells, with a normal daily low of 28.5 degrees. The small town is a destination for winter sports enthusiasts in the region who only have to travel a short ways to access skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing and more.
4. International Falls, Minn.
Brian Peterson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT
Known as the “Icebox of the Nation,” International Falls, Minn., is a frosty place to live. With a record low of -55 degrees and a normal daily minimum temperature of 26.2, residents are used to bundling up big time. The cold doesn’t stop them from enjoying outdoor pursuits, and many extreme runners come to the city in the winter to participate in the Arrowhead 135, a 135-mile ultramarathon that’s considered one of the 50 toughest races in the world.
2. Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks is both the country’s coldest and northernmost city with a population of more than 20,000 and with public road access. Fairbanks celebrates its unique location and climate with events like the World Ice Art Festival and the Midnight Sun Festival, where the sun is out for almost 24 hours during the summer solstice.
1. Barrow, Alaska
Although it only has a population of about 4,000, Barrow, which reverted to its Inupiat name, Utqiagvik, in 2016, is notorious for being both the coldest city in the country and the northernmost town in all U.S. territory. The average daily low for the past 30 years was a bone-chilling 6.3 degrees. Many scientists and oil workers live in the Arctic town, which doesn’t see sunlight for 65 straight days during the winter.
10. Tucson, Ariz.
Jim Buchta/Mineapolis Star Tribune/MCT
The heat is no joke in this Old West town in the Sonoran Desert, where the highest temperature on record is 117. It’s sunny in Tucson an average 350 days a year and the normal daily high throughout the year is 82.9 degrees.
9. Key West, Fla.
Florida is home to many of the hottest cities in the country, but beating out sunny Tampa and Orlando is Key West, where the average daily high is 83 degrees. As Florida’s southernmost point, it offers gorgeous, unrestricted sunset views of sunset; visitors flock to Mallory Square to get a glimpse every day despite the heat.
8. Brownsville, Texas
Everything’s bigger in Texas, often including the number in the weather forecast. And the hottest city of them all in the Lone Star State is the border town of Brownsville, located at the southernmost tip right along the Rio Grande. Its climate is semi-tropical, and it doesn’t drop below freezing most years.
7. Miami, Fla.
Miami lies at roughly the same latitude as Brownsville, but its climate is fully tropical, meaning more humidity. Even in the dead of winter, its temperatures don’t dip below the upper 70s, and its highest record temperature is 98, which might explain why it's such a popular vacation destination year-round.
6. Honolulu, Hawaii
MICHAEL GOULDING/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
The only island state in the union lives up to its reputation as an always-warm paradise. Most of Hawaii really only experiences two seasons: wet and dry. Its capital, located on the island of Oahu, has an average daily high of 84.4 degrees. The different Hawaiian islands vary in climate and temperature, with the Big Island housing 11 different climates zones.
5. Fort Myers, Fla.
Slightly hotter than Key West and Miami is Fort Myers, located on the Gulf Coast side of the boot along the Caloosahatchee River. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford both bought winter estates in the town to soak up the sun. With an average daily high of 84.7, the city rarely experiences triple-digits temperatures or winters below freezing.
Guam is a Micronesian unincorporated territory in the Pacific that’s closer to the Philippines than to Hawaii and just 30 miles long. Despite its distance from the U.S., it attracts more than 1.5 million visitors a year to enjoy its consistently warm tropical weather, which is tempered by northeast trade winds.
3. Phoenix, Ariz.
Though the hottest recorded temperature in the U.S. was 134 degrees in Death Valley, Phoenix holds the record for the highest temperature in a city with a scalding 122 degrees. Throughout the year, it has an average daily high of 86.6, and roughly 169 days a year are above 90 degrees. Despite the extreme heat, the city’s metro area population is more than 4 million and it’s the fastest growing U.S. city ahead of Los Angeles and New York.
2. San Juan, Puerto Rico
The only way to get warmer weather than Texas or Florida is to travel even further south to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The Caribbean island’s capital enjoys a year-round tropical climate with an average maximum daily temperature of 86.6. Unlike Arizona, it experiences a monsoon season, but 2/3 of the year is still sunny.
1. Yuma, Ariz.
Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS
Yuma, Ariz., has more than one claim to fame. On top of being featured in the name of a classic Western, it also holds the title as the consistently hottest city in the U.S. Though it has an average daily high of 87, more than 116 days a year reach over 100 degrees, the most in the contiguous 48 states. It also has the least annual rainfall, receiving an average of just 3.3 inches. Despite this, farming is possible along the Colorado River thanks to strategic irrigation.