Top 5 Coldest Places in America.
Everyone that has experienced winter in their hometown states that their city is the coldest. You may be right, but that temperature is dependent on a person or how cold it actually gets there. Instead of asking people, let’s see what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came up with their top 5 coldest cities in America.
#5 – Caribou, Maine
Caribou, Maine is the most Northeastern city in the United States, right under the Canadian and US borders. Caribou is known to stay at an average of 39 degrees. Subzero temperatures have been measured as early as November 21 and as late as April 2. Caribou’s all-time recorded low is -41 degrees!
The reason why it gets so called in Caribou is due to two factors. One, it’s in close proximity to a reservoir of cold air in eastern Canada. Repeated bouts of frigid air is sent southward into Maine due to the polar vortex. Two, the city sits on the Aroostook River Valley. Cold air is dense causing it to settle in river valleys.
With all the cold air in Caribou, it piles up to 9 feet of snow during the winter.
#4 – Jackson, Wyoming
Roughly 250 days each year, Jackson, Wyoming, experiences a morning freeze. The city of Jackson is surrounded by mountains on three sides situated at about a mile high (6230 feet). Cold air settles in the valley mornings and nights. Add in the arctic blasts coming southward from Canada and it’s a sign of one of the coldest spots in America.
Jackson is known to stay at around 39 degrees, with an all-time recorded low at -50 degrees.
#3 – Gunnison, Colorado
The city of Gunnison sits in a high mountain valley at an elevation of 7640 feet. Cold air from the surrounding mountains sits in the valley at night, leading to freezing temperatures. Don’t forget the snow cover to the valley. The low temperature in this city could be the coldest in the lower 48 states, keeping you in shiver from early October to mid-April.
At this altitude, freezes have been documented almost every day of the year, even in summer. All-time recorded low is -47 degrees. However, it’s not always cold. Average highs rise to 70s/80s in summer.
#2 – International Falls, Minnesota
This place was officially nicknamed by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office in January 2008 as “Icebox of the Nation”.
Subzero cold has been observed as early as November 2nd and as late as April 7th. There was once a freeze after the week of July 4th. The place has an average of 197 days of freezing temperatures. with an average temperature of 37 degrees and an all-time low of -55 degrees.
#1 – Barrow, Alaska
Barrow, Alaska’s population may be under 5000 but it’s the coldest place in America, recording an average of 11 degrees!
Unlike other cities, Barrow experiences “polar nights“, during which the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon for about 60 days. That occurs from mid-late November through the first three weeks of January, a period of 60 consecutive days.
Clouds are prevalent in this city, keeping the temperature low. The wind direction is easterly, off the Arctic Ocean. As a result, more than half the year is dominated by overcast skies. Ice fog can occur in the winter months but is more common in the summer where the Arctic Ocean is ice-free.
There are many cities in the United States that are considered cold or may be even colder. But regarding to weather.com, these 5 cities make the list as Top 5 coldest cities in America. Lucky for me, I’m in Southern California. I don’t know if I’d be able to handle subzero temperatures. Know of a place in America that is colder than the top 5 we had listed above? Tell us about it on the comments below.