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10 Coldest States in the U.S. – What You Need To Know in 2022

Ketchikan Alaska

The United States is an amazing place that contains just about every type of climate that exists in the world, and it can be fun to divide the country up based on those environments. Many people want to know what states are the coldest, and that’s what we look at here. If you love to ski — or want to know what states to avoid — keep reading as we look at the ten coldest states in America.

divider 5The 10 Coldest States in the U.S.: Quick List

  1. Alaska
  2. North Dakota
  3. Maine
  4. Minnesota
  5. Wyoming
  6. Montana
  7. Vermont
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Idaho
  10. New Hampshire

A Closer Look at the 10 Coldest States in America

1. Alaska

the glacier in alaska
Image Credit: cello5, Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 26.6ºF
  • Hottest Month: July to August
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: -10ºF

\Alaska is the largest state in the United States, so it’s not surprising that the weather in one part of the state can be significantly different than in other parts and that the temperature can vary considerably. Northern Alaska lies in the Arctic Circle, and temperatures in this region only reach about -10ºF during the day in the winter months, so it’s quite unfriendly to people not accustomed to the extreme cold. However, other areas of the state can reach 70ºF or more during the summer months, and the long hours of sunshine make it feel even warmer.


2. North Dakota

abandoned church in North Dakota
Image Credit: nancygebhardt, Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 37–43ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: 2ºF

North Dakota is in the north-central United States. Like Alaska, it can experience huge temperature changes throughout the year, and it’s also quite large, so temperatures can be significantly colder in the northern part than in the southern part. Temperatures average between 37ºF and 43ºF, with wintertime temperatures staying closer to the single digits. It gets a little warmer in July, when you can see a few 70ºF days.


3. Maine

Bar Harbor Maine in autumn season
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 40–46ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: 9ºF

Maine is a beautiful state but it also has extreme weather. While there are plenty of nice days during the summer, the average temperature over most of the state is only between 40ºF and 46ºF. During the winter months of December, January, and February, the average is only 9ºF, with many days being much colder than that.


4. Minnesota

St Paul, Minnesota
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 41ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: 0ºF

Minnesota is a state that has warmer summers than many of the other states on this list, with some summertime days reaching 90ºF or more. However, polar outbreaks can dramatically reduce temperatures to close to -30ºF, so it can be one of the coldest places in America to live, especially if you live near Lake Superior.


5. Wyoming

fort laramie in wyoming
Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 47ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: 5ºF

Wyoming is an amazing state on the western side of the United States, home to several national parks, including Yellowstone. With an average temperature of about 47ºF, it’s also one of the coldest states, with wintertime temperatures averaging a little over 23ºF and some nights falling to -5ºF or colder in one of its frequent cold waves.


6. Montana

Montana
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 42.7ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: 0ºF

Montana is a great place to visit from June to September, when temperatures average about 75ºF. Still, it gets quite cold in the winter, when the average daily temperature is closer to 0ºF. On top of the cold temperatures, many areas of Montana can receive 30 to 50 inches of snow each year.


7. Vermont

Shelburne Vermont Church
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 42.9ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: 9ºF

Vermont is a state that sees plenty of cold weather, and it also gets a great deal of snowfall, making it a favorite among skiers. The average temperature for this state hovers around 42ºF, but it can be quite nice in the summer, with several 80ºF days. However, in the winter, you can expect many days in the single digits, especially in January and February, with lows averaging at about 9ºF.


8. Wisconsin

milwaukee wisconsin cityscape
Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 43.1ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: 7ºF

Wisconsin is in the upper midwestern part of the United States, and it’s a major producer of cranberries, ginseng, and snap beans. You will likely experience plenty of warm days during the summer if you live here, with highs reaching into the 80s. However, temperatures drop in the wintertime, and the average low in January and February is only about 7ºF.


9. Idaho

Idaho
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Average Temperature: 44.4ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: 7ºF

Idaho is great to visit during June, July, and August because the temperature can be quite warm with plenty of sunny days, and the wide mountain ranges welcome many tourists. However, when September ends, the weather starts to turn colder. Plenty of cold fronts move through the state that can drop temperatures below zero, and the average daily low for January and February is only 7ºF. The state also receives plenty of snow, with many areas receiving more than 20 inches, causing many trails to close and making transportation difficult.


10. New Hampshire

pretty autumn scene from Lake Sunapee beach, New Hampshire
Image Credit: Catharine Britt, Shutterstock
  • Average Temperature: 44.4ºF
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Average Low Temperature: -4–15ºF

New Hampshire is a lovely state to visit during the summer, when temperatures often reach 75ºF or even 80ºF. The southern part of the state is warmer, and there are plenty of nice beaches and walking trails. It gets much colder during the winter months, though, and you can expect average low temperatures of -4ºF in many parts of the state. Cold fronts can begin entering the state as early as October, dropping temperatures and depositing several inches of snow.

divider 5Summary

Quite a few states in the U.S. can get pretty cold, especially during the winter months. Alaska is by far the coldest state, with an average temperature of only 26ºF, but even this area experiences plenty of nice days when visitors can fish or hike to take in the amazing scenery. A quick look at a map will show you most of these states are on the northern border of the United States, where they experience frequent cold fronts coming from the Arctic Circle. Other states border the Great Lakes or the coast, and lake-effect snow and high winds can drop temperatures even more. The large amount of snowfall can make these areas more attractive to skiers and winter sports enthusiasts, but the rest of us may struggle to get to work each day.


Featured Image Credit: Steve Barker, Pixabay

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