The United States can experience extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Many Americans can attest to the sweltering heat this past summer – the fourth hottest on record in the country. And while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a relatively mild winter this year, certain areas of the country will undoubtedly endure lower temperatures than others.
Of course, states like Alaska, home to the lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States – 80 degrees below zero in 1971, just north of Fairbanks – are generally colder than states like Arizona and Florida. Yet temperatures vary drastically within states, even the warmer ones.
24/7 Wall St. has determined the coldest town in each state by identifying those places with the lowest average annual temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Many of the coldest towns are found in more rural areas of their respective states. Urban areas are filled with concrete and asphalt, which absorb thermal and solar energy at much higher rates than natural landscapes. Other factors like the concentration of industry and automobiles also help explain why temperatures tend to be higher in cities.
There are also a number of geographic features that can cause one town to be colder than another. These include elevation, proximity to bodies of water, and distance from the equator.