A pipeline of Arctic air in recent weeks led to one of the coldest two-week periods on record in the central and eastern United States. Wind chills reached minus 50 degrees and lower in some areas, and a handful of cities reported record low temperatures. The cold front hit cities from the northern Rockies to Texas to the Great Lakes and East Coast. From Christmas Day to Jan. 7, temperatures in New York City remained below 32 degrees — one of the longest cold stretches on record for the Big Apple.
While nearly two weeks of freezing temperatures may have been new to some New Yorkers, there are dozens of cities that spend more than half the year in sub 32-degree weather. A majority of these cities have record low temperatures below minus 45 degrees, and receive more than 60 inches of snow every year.
Using daily temperatures tracked over a 30-year period, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines the normal high and low temperatures for every month for over 250 cities. To identify America’s 50 coldest cities, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the minimum average temperature for the coldest month from 1981 to 2010 for every city with at least 10,000 residents with data from the NOAA.