Eight of the 50 states in the United States have had weather temperature readings of minus 60 degrees or colder. How many of these eight extreme cold temperature states can you name?
States are listed by coldest temperatures from top to bottom.
Alaska – Minus 80 degrees
OK the first state and the coldest state is easy to name. On January 23, 1971 in Prospect Creek, Alaska the temperature reading was -80 degrees. That is the coldest temperature ever recorded in the USA and 2nd coldest ever in North America. Prospect Creek is really just an airport or airstrip located in north-central Alaska along the Dalton Highway below the eastern end of the Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Montana – Minus 70 degrees
It can get pretty cold in Big Sky Country as the temperature read -70 degrees on January 20, 1954 in Rogers Pass, Montana. Though Montana ranks 2nd on this list it ranks 1st on the list of Most Extreme Hot and Cold Weather Temperature States in the USA. That is because along with extreme cold Montana can also get very hot in the summer.
Utah – Minus 69 degrees
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Utah was -69 degrees in Peter’s Sink on February 1, 1985. Peter’s Sink is a natural depression or sinkhole located in northeastern Utah in the Bear River Mountains.
Wyoming – Minus 66 degrees
Though Wyoming borders on Montana in the north the coldest temperature reading ever in the state was in Riverside which is in southern Wyoming just over the Colorado border. The date was February 9, 1933.
Colorado – Minus 61 degrees
The coldest temperature ever recorded in the Rocky Mountain State is -61 degrees which occurred on February 1, 1985 in Maybell. Utah also had its coldest temperature reading ever on that date so there must have been a severe cold snap in the west on that date. Maybell is located in northwestern Colorado a little less than 200 miles southeast of Peter’s Sink as the crow flies.
Idaho – Minus 60 degrees
On January 18, 1943 at the Island Park Dam in eastern Idaho near Yellowstone National Park the temperature was -60 degrees. The Island Park Dam is at an elevation of 6,285 feet.
Minnesota – Minus 60 degrees
If you have ever been to Minnesota in the winter you knew it would make this list. On February 2, 1996 in Tower, Minnesota it was -60 degrees. Minnesota is one beautiful place in the summer and one cold place in the winter.
North Dakota – Minus 60 degrees
On February 15, 1936 it was -60 degrees in Parshall, North Dakota. The year 1936 is easily the most extreme weather temperature year ever in the United States as 18 record temperatures were recorded that one year in the USA.
For more see:
The Coldest States in the U.S.
Most Extreme (Hot and Cold) Weather Temperature States in the United States
1936: A Year of Global Warming, Climate Change in America
National Climatic Data Center