States Where Winter Is Harsh

Fortunately for some, but unfortunately for others, winter can be both a magical and a total nightmare. It’s hard for me to grasp a season that can be both these things but if you are from Maine or Minnesota and you are reading this, you probably have a smug face right about now, and a “You have no freaking idea” crosses your mind.

However, this article does not revolve around magical winters. This piece is about horrible winters. Winters that make your fingers fall off and your nostrils get stuck together the moment you step outside. I don’t know if you have ever experienced such winters (I hope not). I haven’t. Everything I know is thanks to the mighty internet.

Top 5 coldest states

I made a little ranking among states that are the most awful in the winter. I took average temperature, weather patterns, and snow levels. This is what I got:


It may come as a ‘Doh!’ for you. For me too, but I just could not have excluded an awful winter from the United States. I am obliged to tell you that the state of Alaska is huge and it does not have the same climate everywhere, but with an all-time low of -80º F, it is worth the top of the list.

North Dakota

It’s not Alaska, but not far from it. The all-time low is -60º F. Snow can reach 38 inches in the northeast and southwest. And that’s not all. Freezing rain, ice, sleet can sometimes occur, which makes North Dakota a ‘Nope’ state to visit in the winter. Not that summer is such a warm and cozy place, but this is for another time.


Maine is a little better. After North Dakota, things start to get better. In Maine, the temperature can go as low as 0º F. The snow inches go as up as 70. It’s not bad. The snow seems to be awesome there. Maybe that is why they have the best ski resorts.


Minnesota is famous for magical winters. They have a lot of snow. It can go as up as 170 inches on the North Shore. The temperatures are below freezing, and they experience freezing rain, sleet, and black ice. However, people from Minnesota seems to have it all figured out. They never seem to complain about it.


Last, but not least, on my list, the state of Wyoming is famous for being cold throughout the year. However, winters are mild compared to numbers 1 through 4. Temperatures go down to a minimum of 12º F. As far as the snow goes, Wyoming is a dry state. They have little snow, barely 5-8 inches in the lower areas. The mountains are great in this chapter, though. There the snow can reach up to 200 inches of snow.

There you have it. The five most cold winters in the United States. I admire the people living there. I cannot withstand freezing temperatures, but they seem to have it all together.

What people do

Over the years, residents in these states (or any other country that experiences difficult winters) appear to have figured out solutions to their cold temperatures and snow issues. They invest in central heating; that’s for sure, use salt and sand for black ice (if they can see it on time), and they take nice pictures of freezing rain when this event occurs.

But what happens to the snow? That’s quite simple. You will love this. People went from the old snow shovel to heavy machinery. They were tired of pushing snow around using their back and hands and went and bought themselves snowblowers and snowplows. They even have snowblowers and snowplows for ATVs. Apparently, these states are the largest consumers when it comes to these machines. I guess business is good there.

It is amazing if you ask me. These people found a way to have fun pushing snow around (or throwing it dozens of feet away with a snowblower). I guess that’s the only thing I envy.


Leaving snowplows, snowblowers or other motorized machinery aside, people from these states are to be appreciated. They overcome the fact that nature is against them a few months per year and find a way to have fun. If you live in a cold or cold-ish state, you may not think a great deal about this, but if you are from California, for example, you may be biting your lip reading the temperatures above.

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