When we think of cities in the United States, we know that they can vary greatly in terms of climate. Cities such as Honolulu, San Diego, and Miami are known for turning up the heat, while there are also cities that offer the other end of the spectrum. Some might wonder how hundreds of thousands of people can flock to these cities, but they get by.
Out of all of the major US cities, which ones have the harshest and most frigid winters? Here’s a look at the five that have the lowest winter temperatures, making them winter wonderlands for people who love skiing and snowmobiling more than hitting the beach.
Fairbanks Alaska is notorious for being the coldest US city. Known as The Golden Heart of Alaska, the frigid town plummets to -17F° in the winter months, with an average low of 18F° year round. The lowest recorded temperature in the city of 33,000 was -66F° back in January of 1934.
Alaskans make good use of the harsh winters by ice fishing, ice sculpting, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and riding snowmobiles. They’ve learned to stay warm using layers of clothing, thermals, various methods to heat their homes, and knowing when it’s safe to venture outside.
Fargo, North Dakota
The Midwest is home to some of the coldest cities in the US and Fargo North Dakota is one of them. The historic city features sights like the Red River Zoo, the Fargo Theatre, and the Fargo Air Museum.
Fargo reached an icy cold temp of -39F° in February of 1996, with average yearly lows ranging from 3F°-8F°. North Dakota has a large Northern European population, so locals have the luxury of warming up to cozy, hearty meals like Spaetzle, Schnitzel, Kuchen, Bavarian Pretzels, and Pierogies.
Duluth Minnesota is best known for being home to the world’s only entirely freshwater aquarium, Duluth Superior Harbor, and gorgeous Midwest scenery. Besides the attractions and picturesque nature that bring people to the city, Duluth experiences harsh winters and some of the coldest temps in the US. The lowest recorded temperature in Duluth was an ice cold -41F° that occurred in January of 1885.
Nowadays, during the winter months Duluth drops down to an average low of 2F°. Helpful tips for staying warm in the frigid city include bundling up when you go out to keep your core temperature at safe levels, ensuring little to no skin is bare to the elements, and putting together a survival kit that holds alternate methods for providing warmth.
Anchorage is another popular Alaskan city that bears the title of one of the coldest cities in the US. It’s no surprise the state features more than one bitterly cold city. Ironically known as the Land of the Midnight Sun, the breathtakingly beautiful land experiences average winter lows of 13F° and a record low of -38F° that occurred in February of 1947. Although the city deals with harsh winters, locals and tourists alike enjoy glacier cruises, state parks, wildlife tours, and taking in the work of local artists that make up a good amount of the city’s population.
Madison Wisconsin, also known as Mad Town, has attractions like the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Henry Vilas Zoo, and Memorial Union Terrace. As well as a stable economy, great cheese curds, and Midwest charm.
As one of the coldest cities in the country, locals deal with average winter lows of 14F°, with a record low of -37F° in January of 1951. When temps get too frigid, the best things to do in Madison include making use of skating on the frozen lakes, viewing amazing holiday light displays like the huge Christmas tree at the state capitol, or visiting one of many sledding hills in the city.