Share

America's 20 Coldest Major Cities

By Jon Erdman
Published: January 27, 2014

#20: Boston (Avg. Dec-Feb Temp: 31.8 degrees)

Boston's all-time record low was -18 degrees set on Feb. 9, 1934. Once every 1-2 years the city shivers in subzero cold. Subfreezing temperatures occur 94 days a year, there. (Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Some cities just sound cold.  

Despite their best attempts to promote their pleasant summer weather, Chicago and Buffalo, for example, may be a couple U.S. cities that first come to mind when the word cold is mentioned.

But do statistics back their shivering reputation? What really are America's coldest major cities?

There are many ways to quantify this. 

Using 30-year average temperatures from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center during the months of December, January and February, we compiled the 20 coldest major U.S. cities. We didn't rank cities based on their record coldest temperatures, but rather which cities are persistently the coldest in those three core winter months.

By large cities, we considered the 100 most populous U.S. cities, according to City-Data.com.

Click through this gallery to count down the 20 coldest major U.S. cities.

  


Featured Blogs

The Rains of May and the Science of Recurrence Intervals

By Dr. Jeff Masters
May 30, 2015



As this memorable month sloshes toward its final weekend, rainfall records have continued to accumulate across the Southern Plains. May is already the wettest month on record in the statewide averages for both Oklahoma and Texas. When an event like this happens, it’s human nature to wonder just how unusual it is. Climate change has added urgency to such questions, but even in a constant (“stationary”) climate, precise answers on the rarity of heavy rain at a given location can be hard to come by.

Hottest Summers, Coldest Winters for Contiguous U.S.: A Few Years Loom Large

By Christopher C. Burt
May 28, 2015

Keeping track of all-time warmest/coldest daily maximum temperatures and all-time warmest/coldest months on record for any given site is a fairly easy task. However, very few NWS sites provide data concerning what their respective coldest climatological winters (December-February) or hottest climatological summers (June-August) have been. Researching 300 sites in the contiguous U.S. I have put together this summary for such. Below are the methods I used and some of the results, which proved quite interesting.

Please check out the new homepage and tell us what you think!

By Shaun Tanner
April 2, 2015

The development team here at Weather Underground has been hard at work producing a new homepage! Please take a look at the sneak peek and tell us what you think!

Meteorological images of the year - 2014

By Stu Ostro
December 30, 2014

My 9th annual edition.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.