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5 Coldest Cities in America

By Jon Erdman
Published: October 29, 2013

#3: Gunnison, Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir west of Gunnison from iWitness Weather contributor Michael Brown

The city of Gunnison is situated in a high mountain valley of southwest Colorado, with an elevation of 7640 feet.

Average annual temperature:38.1 degrees
Subzero days/year:59 days
All-time record low:-47 degrees
Average last freeze:June 24
Average first freeze:September 5
Population (2010 census):5854

Refrigerated air from the surrounding mountains pools in the valley at night, leading to some bone-chilling low temperatures. Add snow cover to the valley and you merely accentuate the cold. Occasionally, these lows will be the coldest in the Lower 48 States! From late October through the second week of April, you may shiver in morning subzero cold.

At this altitude, freezes have been documented almost every calendar day of the year, even in mid-summer.

So, whether it's nearby skiing or a summer escape to the mountains, with apologies to Phil Collins, a jacket is required.

It's not all cold here, however. Average highs rise to the 70s/low 80s in summer.

Let's head to the "Nation's Ice Box" for second coldest city in America.


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