We all know that the US is a big place, but it’s hard to appreciate just how much variation there is in climate and temperature between different parts of the country.
The US has everything from hot deserts to frozen tundras, and everywhere in between. But what is the coldest state in the US?
The reason for this huge range of different temperatures throughout the US is that there are two main climate zones:
- The Continental Zone (which stretches across most of the country).
- The Maritime Zone (which covers the east coast).
This zone difference is due to a combination of latitude and prevailing winds.
The Continental Zone has a more extreme temperature range because winds coming from the west tend to travel overland rather than water, which leads to hotter summers and colder winters.
So where can you find the coldest weather in the US? If you’re looking for somewhere with really low temperatures, you need to go north.
What is the Coldest State in the United States?
Alaska is the coldest state in the United States, with an average temperature of about 27 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alaska also has the lowest average annual temperatures of any state. Alaska also receives very little sunshine throughout the year, which contributes to its low temperatures.
Most of Alaska is so far north that it is in the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is a region surrounding the North Pole where there are parts of the year in which the sun never rises above the horizon.
Alaska is home to several large cities, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, but much of its land is undeveloped as it is very difficult to live there because of its extreme weather conditions.
While you might think of Alaska as being pretty cold, this article will show you which state is the coldest.
We’ll also look at some other metrics for states’ “coldness,” such as their average winter and summer temperatures.
Here are some places where you can expect cold weather all year round in the US:
Alaska is the coldest state in the United States. It has such extreme weather that, in some areas, people have to dig tunnels to get from one building to another, and sometimes even from their cars to their houses.
The average winter temperature ranges from 0°F/-18°C to -30°F/-35°C. In the summertime, it’s warm enough for most of the state to be livable.
But when winter comes, you need a good coat and a lot of layers. Even then, you’ll still freeze.
Alaska’s climate varies widely by region, and it can be difficult to generalize about its weather patterns.
Overall, however, Alaska has a relatively cool climate because it lies so far north — its southernmost point is at 54 degrees latitude, while its northernmost point reaches 71 degrees latitude.
Alaska is also one of the most mountainous and seismically active states in the country due to its location on two tectonic plates.
The state has more than 3,000 earthquakes each year and contains 17 of the 20 highest peaks in North America.
Related: The 10 Best Places To Live In Alaska
2. North Dakota
North Dakota is one of the coldest states, receiving only about 14 inches of rain per year.
The state has a continental weather type, which means that its seasons are very distinct. Summers are warm and winters are very cold.
The temperature in summer is around 37 to 43 degrees Fahrenheit in North Dakota, but the winter temperature drops to around -3 degrees Fahrenheit (-19 degrees Celsius).
The average temperature for North Dakota is about 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
The record low is -60 degrees Fahrenheit (-51 degrees Celsius) and the record high is 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius).
The average annual rainfall for North Dakota is about 14 inches (35 centimeters), with most of it falling during the spring and summer months.
There is almost no measurable snow or rainfall from October to April.
Maine is a northern state, commonly associated with snow and cold weather.
It’s not as cold as Alaska, but it’s colder than Minnesota and North Dakota. Maine has a climate that can be described as “humid continental.”
Maine’s average annual temperature (49°F) is cooler than most other states, but not at all close to being one of the coldest states in terms of average annual temperature.
The average annual temperature for Maine is only 0.3 degrees cooler than neighboring New Hampshire and 2.5 degrees warmer than Vermont.
Maine’s climate is the result of its being surrounded by water on three sides: the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Maine, and the Bay of Fundy.
This produces a moderating effect on Maine’s climate, which is not as extreme as other states’ climates at similar latitudes. As a result, Maine has relatively mild winters for a state so far north.
The average annual temperature in Caribou, the northernmost city in New England, is 35 °F (2 °C).
Winter temperatures are often higher along the coast than further inland, especially in the thickly settled area from Portland through Augusta to Waterville.
Coastal areas are also somewhat milder during summer than inland. Frost can occur in any month in much of Maine; however, freezing temperatures occur only during the winter months at lower elevations along the coast.
Minnesota is known for its extreme temperatures, extremely cold winters, and hot and humid summers.
Average winter temperatures range from 20 to 35 degrees below zero, with the record low being -60 degrees below zero.
In January, average temperatures range from 24 degrees below zero to 16 degrees above zero.
Minnesota has a humid continental climate. It also has four distinct seasons: summer, autumn, winter, and spring.
The climate of Minnesota is characterized by warm summers and cold winters.
The average temperature in July is 69 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), while the average temperature in January is 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
The growing season lasts an average of 115 days per year.
The average annual rainfall is 28 inches (71 centimeters). Minnesota’s climate is influenced by its location in the middle of North America and its proximity to water on three sides: Lake Superior to the north, the Mississippi River to the south, and Lake Michigan to the east.
Wyoming is one of the coldest states in the US, with average temperatures ranging from 10 to 17 degrees Fahrenheit.
The coldest is normally in December and January, but the weather can shift dramatically.
Summer temperatures can reach 90 degrees during the day and drop to 40 degrees at night.
Snow is common across Wyoming from early fall through spring, with heavy snowfall often occurring in October and November.
Several factors can influence how cool or warm certain areas of Wyoming feel.
The altitude has a significant impact on climate conditions, as does the proximity to large bodies of water and mountains.
Wyoming lies in a region of the country known as the Mountain West, which is subject to extreme weather conditions.
The colder temperatures make for a more pleasant summer climate in Wyoming than in other parts of the country.
It is known as one of the best places to live in America because it has such low temperatures during this season.
Montana, located at the border of Canada, is one of the coldest states in the US.
The average temperature across the state during July, the hottest month of the year, is only 73 degrees Fahrenheit — and it can get much colder.
The state’s record low temperature of -70 degrees Fahrenheit was set in 1954 in a remote area called Rogers Pass.
That’s not just colder than anywhere else in America — it’s one of the coldest temperatures ever recorded on Earth.
Rogers Pass is not an especially high-altitude location. At 5,610 feet above sea level, it’s far below the height at which you might expect such extreme temperatures (on Earth’s surface, the temperature gets colder as altitude increases).
Vermont is one of the coldest states in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not also one of the most beautiful.
The primary reason behind the cold winters in Vermont is its location. It lies in the New England region of the northeastern United States and is known to experience colder temperatures than its southern neighbors.
The state is located near the Canadian border, which also causes it to be quite cold during winter.
Its proximity to Lake Champlain is an added factor that brings down its temperature from time to time.
Vermont has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. It receives abundant rainfall throughout the year, which further contributes to its cold climate.
The temperature during summer in Vermont ranges from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas during winter, the temperature can go as low as minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
In regions like Burlington, Stowe, and Montpelier, the temperature can even fall below minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit!
Wisconsin is one of the coldest states in the United States. It is also one of the snowiest and windiest, too.
During the winter, cold air from Canada pushes down into Wisconsin regularly, bringing with it frigid temperatures.
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was -55 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in both Couderay and Danbury on February 4th, 1996.
The winter months are typically the snowiest in Wisconsin. One of the reasons for this is because Lake Michigan pumps warm moisture into the air over land during the winter months, which falls as snow over Northern Wisconsin.
This phenomenon is known as lake effect snow and can be very heavy at times. Northern Wisconsin can receive up to 200 inches of snow per year during some winters.
The average January high temperature in Wisconsin is 27 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
The average July high temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 57 degrees Fahrenheit.
Idaho is one of the Coldest states in the US, with a Climate that varies widely between its two main regions.
The Northern Rocky Mountain region experiences long, cold winters and short, cool summers, while the Southern Region sees shorter winters and hot summers.
The state is home to the Continental Divide, where water flows either to the Pacific Ocean or to the Atlantic Ocean.
Idaho’s position along the Continental Divide means that it is often subject to Pacific storms that bring heavy snowfall to the northern part of the state.
This area also receives significant amounts of precipitation during the spring and summer months, although it is less common than in winter.
Snowstorms are common throughout Idaho during the winter months, with most places receiving over 6 inches per month from November through March.
During this period, temperatures drop below freezing on average only 4 days each year and do not dip below -15 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 5 nights annually.
The southern part of Idaho does not receive as much snowfall as other parts of the country due to its lower elevation and more frequent warm weather patterns.
From May through September, this area sees an average monthly temperature above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for about three weeks per month.
10. New Hampshire
New Hampshire is one of the coldest states in the country, with a climate that has been described as “New England-like”.
The summer temperatures are warm, while the winters are very cold and snowy.
New Hampshire has four distinct seasons with a wide range of temperatures.
New Hampshire is home to Mount Washington, which is the tallest mountain in the Eastern United States (New England).
The weather in New Hampshire changes quickly and can vary dramatically from day to day, even during the same season.
The warmest months are July and August when temperatures can reach the 80’s F (27 C).
The winter months of December, January, and February have average temperatures in the 20’s F (-6 C) or colder.