Once again, the winter season is approaching. As the leaves fall and cold mornings greet weather-weary Americans, there is no mistaking the most unpleasant part of the year for many is right around the corner. Since not everyone can afford to spend their winters in Florida or some other tropical locale, here is a partial list of the coldest U.S. cities to avoid. Based on average winter temperatures, these 30 U.S. cities should be avoided during the winter season. Here is Part 1 of the listing of 30 coldest U.S. cities.
1. Fairbanks, Alaska–Fairbanks is the largest city in the interior region of Alaska. The population of the city proper is approximately 32,350 inhabitants, while the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough is nearly 101,000 residents, making it the second most populous metro area in Alaska (after Anchorage). Similar to other cities in the state, winters are very long and cold with significant snowfall. The average monthly minimum temperature of Fairbanks is -16.9 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 52.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The average annual snowfall of the region is 66 inches.
2. Grand Forks, North Dakota–With a population of approximately 56,000 (as of 2014), Grand Forks is the third-largest city in North Dakota (after Fargo and Bismarck). Although it is a nice city that can boast a variety of arts and cultural events, winters are extremely harsh in this region. Moreover, as a result of cold Arctic high-pressure systems, winters are very cold, long, and marked by heavy snowfalls. The average monthly minimum temperature of Grand Forks is -3.1 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 56.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Fargo, North Dakota–With a population of nearly 116,000 (as of 2014), Fargo is the largest city as well as the cultural, industrial, and educational center of North Dakota. Due to its location in the Great Plains as well as its proximity to both oceans and mountains, this city experiences very long, cold, windy, and snowy winters. The average monthly minimum temperature of Fargo is 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 59.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, while temperatures around -20 degrees Fahrenheit are not unusual in winter, summers can be as hot as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, the average annual snowfall is approximately 42.4 inches.
4. Williston, North Dakota–With a population of nearly 25,000 (as of 2014), Williston is the sixth-largest city in North Dakota. It is located in and serves as the county seat of Williams County, North Dakota. The North Dakota oil boom is a major factor in the sharp population increase among the cities throughout the state. The average monthly minimum temperature of Williston is 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 55.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The average annual snowfall is nearly 44 inches.
5. Duluth, Minnesota–With a population of approximately 86,000, Duluth is the second-largest city on Lake Superior’s shores, after Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is situated on the lake’s Canadian border. However, Duluth has the largest metropolitan area on the lake. Moreover, it is a seaport city and the county seat of Saint Louis County, Minnesota. The average monthly minimum temperature of Duluth is 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 55.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Its average annual snowfall is around 81.5 inches.
6. St. Cloud, Minnesota–Located in the Central U.S., St. Cloud is the eighth-largest city of Minnesota with its population of approximately 67,000 (as of 2014). Similar to other cities in the region, the winters are long and cold with heavy snowfall while the summers are usually hot and humid in St. Cloud. The lowest recorded temperature in the city was -43 degrees Fahrenheit. The average monthly minimum temperature of St. Cloud is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Its average annual snowfall is approximately 45 inches.
7. Bismarck, North Dakota–Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota as well as the county seat of Burleigh County. It is the second most populous city in North Dakota (after Fargo). As of 2014, the city’s population was nearly 69,000 while its metropolitan population was approximately 130,000. In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked Bismarck as the seventh fastest-growing small city in the U.S. The average monthly minimum temperature of Bismarck is 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 57.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Its average annual snowfall is nearly 45 inches.
8. Brooklyn Park, Minnesota–Located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, Brooklyn Park is the sixth-largest city in Minnesota with its population of nearly 79,000. It is nicknamed “Tree City USA” because it is home to 67 award-winning parks and 47 miles of trails, which makes it a popular summer vacation location but the winters are harsh and require endurance.
9. Blaine, Minnesota–Situated 13 miles from Minneapolis, Blaine is a major city in Anoka County, Minnesota. As of 2014, the population was around 61,000 residents who are used to very cold winters with freezing temperatures that can reach as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, which was recorded in 1977.
10. Eau Claire, Wisconsin–Located in the western part of Wisconsin, Eau Claire is the ninth-largest city in the state with its population of approximately 67,000 (as of 2012). The city serves as a major tourist destination of the region in the summertime with its many parks, picnic areas, trails, and lakes. However, similar to other cities in the state, the winters are extremely cold and snowy there. While the average winter temperature is 12 degrees Fahrenheit, temperatures can reach extreme lows of -45 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the lowest recorded temperature in the city.
11. Rochester, Minnesota–With a population of nearly 112,000 (as of 2014), Rochester is the third-largest city in Minnesota. Much like other cities in the region, Rochester is also marked by warm summers and very cold winters with an average annual snowfall of almost 50 inches. The lowest recorded temperature for the city was -42 degrees Fahrenheit. The average monthly minimum temperature of Rochester is 7.7 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 61.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
12. Coon Rapids, Minnesota–Covering an area of approximately 23 square miles, Coon Rapids is the thirteenth largest city and seventh-largest Twin Cities suburb in Minnesota with its population of just over 62,000 inhabitants (as of 2014). It is also the largest city in Anoka County, Minnesota. During the winter, Coon Rapids is an ideal spot for skiers who embrace freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall.
13. Sioux City, Iowa–With a population of nearly 83,000 (as of 2013), Sioux City is the fourth-largest city in Iowa. Similar to other cities in the state, the summers can be extremely hot (the highest recorded temperature of 111 degrees Fahrenheit was measured in 1939), while winters are typically very cold and dry with freezing temperatures that last 6 months of the year or longer (from October to May). The average annual snowfall is approximately 35 inches per season.
14. Sioux Falls, South Dakota–With a population of nearly 170,000 (as of 2014), Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota. It also serves as the county seat of Minnehaha County and is the 47th fastest-growing city in the U.S. Moreover, Sioux Falls is also the fastest-growing metro area in South Dakota, with a total population increase of 22 percent since 2000. The average monthly minimum temperature of Sioux Falls is 6.9 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 61.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Its average annual snowfall is nearly 42 inches.
15. Marquette, Michigan–Marquette is a city in Michigan and the county seat of Marquette County. As of 2012, the population was nearly 22,000, making it the most populated city in the Upper Peninsula. Marquette also serves as a major port on Lake Superior, which is primarily known for shipping iron ore. Moreover, it is the home of Northern Michigan University. Furthermore, Marquette was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS Money Watch in 2012. The average monthly minimum temperature of Marquette is 5.2 degrees Fahrenheit while the average monthly maximum temperature is 54.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Its average annual snowfall is approximately 149 inches.
As the nation engages in winter weather preparation, these cities represent Part 1 of the 30 coldest cities in America. While this listing is not complete, it is a fair representation of some of the coldest regions in the nation. Stay tuned to Guardian Liberty Voice for Part 2 of the 30 coldest U.S. cities to avoid during the winter season.
Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh
USA TODAY–Brrrr: America’s 50 Coldest Cities
Huffington Post–The 50 Coldest Cities in America
List 25–25 Coldest Large American Cities You Should Avoid This Winter
24/7 Wall St–America’s 50 Coldest Cities
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