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A common winter scene at Fairbanks, Alaska, America's coldest city. Image credit: Gary Whitton/Shutterstock.com Fairbanks, Alaska is the coldest city in the united States. Huron, south Dakota is the southern-most of the coldest urban in the US. Grand Forks, phibìc Dakota is the coldest city in the Continental joined States.


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The start of winter in the United claims inevitably way cold weather, or at the very least cooler weather. For part Americans, winter can bring record-breaking cold temperatures. This is an especially true because that Americans that live in the country’s coldest cities, which space all located in the northern US. Yet as we will see, latitude is not the only aspect that makes cities prefer Fairbanks, Alaska and also Grand Forks, north Dakota the coldest in the U.S. Other factors, prefer the currents of surrounding bodies of water, wind patterns, and landscapes can also contribute come cold temperatures.

Fairbanks, Alaska - The Coldest In The country

It need to be no surprised that the coldest city in the US with 10,000 or much more residents is situated in America’s many northern state, Alaska. Fairbanks, which calls itself “the gold Heart of Alaska,” is the united state city with the coldest recorded temperature, a chilly -66 levels Fahrenheit (-54 Celsius). The minimum mean temperature of Fairbanks in the coldest month is -16.9 degrees Fahrenheit (-27 Celsius). Fairbanks is located in the central interior the Alaska, and has a populace of about 32,000, making that the state’s second-largest city.

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Downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. Image credit: FloridaStock/Shutterstock
conversely, the climate the the Alaskan coasts, on i beg your pardon other large cities in the state room located, is greatly influenced through the ocean currents, the climate in Fairbanks is more dependent on wind patterns. Throughout the winter, cold wait originating from north Canada and Siberia enter the Alaskan interior, resulting in very frigid temperatures. Another factor that provides Fairbanks the coldest city in the us is the sheer absence of daylight that the city receives during details months. Between November and March, the city just receives in between ten to four hours of sunshine per day. This absence of sunlight, coupled v the response of the area’s landmass to far-ranging changes in solar warm contributes to the very cold winters that human being living in Fairbanks have become accustomed to.

Why north Dakota"s Cities space So Cold

Four of America’s other ten coldest cities are situated in north Dakota. In fact, north Dakota itself is the coldest state in the continent US during the winter and fall. Why is this? The very first reason is north Dakota’s location at the excessive northern end of the Midwest. The continental climate in this area is known to produce extreme temperatures. Another reason because that the excessive cold felt in north Dakota’s cities is the solid winds that characterize the state’s climate. These winds space very solid due come the reality that north Dakota is largely flat and arid, with few trees, making it much easier for the wind to pick up speed. The level land additionally makes it simple for cold arctic air to move south into North Dakota, result in very cold temperatures.


Grand Forks, i m sorry is the coldest city in phibìc Dakota and also the second-coldest in the US, has recorded temperatures as low together -43 degrees Fahrenheit (-41 Celsius). The minimum typical temperature in grand Forks during the coldest month is -3.1 degrees Fahrenheit (-19.5 Celsius). Williston, Fargo, and also Bismarck, the resources of north Dakota, room the 3rd, 4th, and 8th coldest cities in the US, respectively.

South Dakota"s Cities room Freezing also

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Winter morning in rural southern Dakota. Photo credit: Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock
The urban of Aberdeen and Huron, located in the state of southern Dakota, are the 6th and 10th coldest urban in the US, respectively. Favor North Dakota, southern Dakota has a comparable landscape and also climate. The lack of mountains and also trees way that cold winds coming under from Canada can get in South Dakota with ease, as there is nothing come block your path. At the exact same time, however, southern Dakota also gets warm, moist air comes up indigenous Texas or the Gulf of Mexico, i m sorry can an outcome in warmer temperatures. For this reason, southern Dakota"s weather can be erratic.

Nevertheless, the mercury no rise much in the cities of Aberdeen or Huron during the coldest months. In both cities, a temperature together low as -46 levels Fahrenheit (-43 Celsius) has actually been recorded. Aberdeen’s minimum average temperature in the coldest month is just 1.5 levels Fahrenheit (-16 Celsius), in comparison to Huron’s, i m sorry is 6.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-14 Celsius). That should likewise be detailed that Huron is the most southern of every the cities on our top ten list, which may explain, at least in part, why it is the warmest of America’s coldest cities.


Minnesota"s and also Michigan"s urban Are additionally Among The Coldest

Minnesota, the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," is house to the cities of Duluth and St. Cloud, the 5th and 7th coldest cities in the US, respectively. Favor North and South Dakota, Minnesota has a continent climate, i m sorry usually results in an extremely cold winters and also hot summers. Unequal North and also South Dakota, however, Minnesota boundaries one of the an excellent Lakes, Lake Superior. Lake Superior has actually the impact of moderating temperature in Minnesota, specifically northern Minnesota, where winters space cold and long-lasting, and frost can occur also in the summer.

The 9th coldest city in the US with 10,000 or much more residents is referred to as Marquette and is located in northern Michigan. Favor Duluth, MN, it likewise sits ~ above the shores of Lake Superior. Winter in Marquette space long and cold. The shortest temperatures recorded in the city is a frigid -34 levels Fahrenheit (-36 Celsius). One more commonality that Duluth and also Marquette re-publishing is an abundance of snow, owed in component to your proximity come Lake Superior. Far better have her shovels ready!

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Having the right equipment is an important to stay warmth in this cold cities. Picture credit: WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

Braving the Cold

it is plainly evident that life in among America’s coldest cities method dealing with very frigid temperatures. It means wearing numerous layers and keeping yourself as warmth as possible, especially specific parts of her body, including your hands, feet, and also head. For her hands, use mittens instead of gloves so the your fingers remain close together and trap heat an ext effectively. For her head, undertake a warm hat. You can want to get one v ear flaps so the your ears continue to be warm, or friend can get ear flaps separately. Make certain you undertake a an excellent pair of warm boots and try to store snow from getting inside them. In ~ the exact same time, however, girlfriend don’t want to dress so warm that you overheat, start to sweat, and also dampen your apparel so that they begin to feel chilly. Indeed, maintaining dry is crucial to staying warmth in America"s coldest cities.

The Coldest cities in the joined States




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RankCityStateMinimum median TemperatureLowest tape-recorded Temperature
1FairbanksAlaska-16.9 °F-66 °F
2Grand ForksNorth Dakota-3.1 °F-43 °F
3WillistonNorth Dakota0.1 °F-50 °F
3FargoNorth Dakota0.1 °F-39 °F
5DuluthMinnesota1.5 °F-39 °F
5AberdeenSouth Dakota1.5 °F-46 °F
7St. CloudMinnesota1.8 °F-43 °F
8BismarckNorth Dakota2.2 °F-44 °F
9MarquetteMichigan5.2 °F-34 °F
10HuronSouth Dakota6.6 °F-43 °F