The Coldest Day in Every State

January 30, 2019 by Mike Sauter

A devastating cold front, complete with extreme low temperatures, wind, and precipitation, is expected to hit much of the United States this week. The phenomenon, known popularly as a “polar vortex,” will move across the Midwest and Northeast, keeping temperatures in many places well below freezing for an extended period of time — and wind chill levels at life-threatening lows.

In parts of Minnesota, the wind chill factor could reach as low at -65°F. Chicago might break its record low for temperature excluding wind chill, -27°F, set on Jan 20, 1985. But even if temperatures fall below that level, it will likely not come close to Illinois’ all-time low temperature, a staggering -36°F set in Bloomington in 1999.

Based on records from the State Climate Extremes Committee, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the coldest temperature on record in every state. Most state record lows have lasted for decades, in some cases over a century, and as U.S. average temperatures continue to rise, record high temperatures being set are exceeding record low temperatures by a ratio of 2:1. Only two states’ record low temperatures have been set in the 21st century. The vast majority of states’ record lows have stood unbroken for well over 50 years.

In a few cases, records have been tied but remained unbroken. In Massachusetts, the record low temperature of -35°F has been recorded at weather stations within the state three times: first in 1904, then in 1943, and finally 1981. In a few states, the record low was recorded on separate days. In Wisconsin, the state’s record of -55°F was set in Stone Lake on Friday, Feb. 2, 1996, and then in the same place two days later.

To identify the coldest days in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the State Climate Extremes Committee’s (SCEC) records of extreme cold temperatures in every state, then listed the city / location closest to the weather station that recorded the extreme weather event. Data was sourced from the Nautical Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

Click here to see the coldest day in every state.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Alabama
> Record low temperature: -27°F
> Place and time: Huntsville, 1/30/1966

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Source: Oksana_Gracheva / Getty Images

Alaska
> Record low temperature: -80°F
> Place and time: Bettles, 1/23/1971

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Source: alexeys / Getty Images

Arizona
> Record low temperature: -40°F
> Place and time: Springerville, 1/7/1971

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Source: GracedByTheLight / Getty Images

Arkansas
> Record low temperature: -29°F
> Place and time: Bentonville, 2/13/1905

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Source: Natalie Ruffing / Getty Images

California
> Record low temperature: -45°F
> Place and time: Truckee, 1/20/1937

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Source: Adventure_Photo / Getty Images

Colorado
> Record low temperature: -61°F
> Place and time: Craig, 2/1/1985

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Source: danlogan / Getty Images

Connecticut
> Record low temperature: -32°F
> Place and time: Salisbury, 2/16/1943
> Place and time: Mansfield, 1/22/1961

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Source: Ultima_Gaina / Getty Images

Delaware
> Record low temperature: -17°F
> Place and time: Georgetown, 1/17/1893

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Source: 119886413@N05 / Flickr

Florida
> Record low temperature: -2°F
> Place and time: Tallahassee, 2/13/1899

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Source: Marilyn Nieves / Getty Images

Georgia
> Record low temperature: -17°F
> Place and time: LaFayette, 1/27/1940

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Source: dexxus / Flickr

Hawaii
> Record low temperature: 12°F
> Place and time: Hilo, 5/17/1979

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Source: CodyHaskell / Getty Images

Idaho
> Record low temperature: -60°F
> Place and time: Ashton, 1/18/1943

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Source: 20435888@N02 / Flickr

Illinois
> Record low temperature: -36°F
> Place and time: Bloomington, 1/5/1999

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Indiana
> Record low temperature: -36°F
> Place and time: Whiteland, 1/19/1994

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Source: DarcyMaulsby / Getty Images

Iowa
> Record low temperature: -47°F
> Place and time: Elkader, 2/3/1996
> Place and time: Sioux City, 1/12/2019

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Source: gacooksey / Getty Images

Kansas
> Record low temperature: -40°F
> Place and time: Lebanon, 2/13/1905

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Source: alexeys / Getty Images

Kentucky
> Record low temperature: -37°F
> Place and time: Shelbyville, 1/19/1994

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Source: John-Kelly / Getty Images

Louisiana
> Record low temperature: -16°F
> Place and time: Minden, 2/13/1899

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Source: pavdw / Flickr

Maine
> Record low temperature: -50°F
> Place and time: northern border, 1/16/2009

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Source: flownaksala / Getty Images

Maryland
> Record low temperature: -40°F
> Place and time: Oakland, 1/13/1912

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Massachusetts
> Record low temperature: -35°F
> Place and time: Taunton, 1/5/1904
> Place and time: Worcester, 2/15/1943
> Place and time: Pittsfield, 1/12/1981

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Source: ladydragonflyherworld / Flickr

Michigan
> Record low temperature: -51°F
> Place and time: Vanderbilt, 2/9/1934

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Source: Cynthia Shirk / Getty Images

Minnesota
> Record low temperature: -60°F
> Place and time: Tower, 2/2/1996

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Source: nataliemaynor / Flickr

Mississippi
> Record low temperature: -19°F
> Place and time: Corinth, 1/30/1966

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Source: Shoemcfly / Getty Images

Missouri
> Record low temperature: -40°F
> Place and time: Warsaw, 2/13/1905

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Source: catwendt / Flickr

Montana
> Record low temperature: -70°F
> Place and time: Fairfield, 1/20/1954

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Source: DarcyMaulsby / Getty Images

Nebraska
> Record low temperature: -47°F
> Place and time: Bridgeport, 2/12/1899
> Place and time: Oshkosh, 12/22/1989

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Source: NeilLockhart / Getty Images

Nevada
> Record low temperature: -50°F
> Place and time: San Jacinto, 1/8/1937

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Source: johnandersonphoto / Getty Images

New Hampshire
> Record low temperature: -50°F
> Place and time: Jackson, 1/22/1885

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Source: Ultima_Gaina / Getty Images

New Jersey
> Record low temperature: -34°F
> Place and time: River Vale, 1/5/1904

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Source: ikewinski / Flickr

New Mexico
> Record low temperature: -50°F
> Place and time: Farmington, 2/1/1951

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Source: stefano60 / Flickr

New York
> Record low temperature: -52°F
> Place and time: Old Forge, 2/18/1979

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Source: wbritten / Getty Images

North Carolina
> Record low temperature: -34°F
> Place and time: Black Mountain, 1/21/1985

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Source: Christopher Cagney / Getty Images

North Dakota
> Record low temperature: -60°F
> Place and time: Parshall, 2/15/1936

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Source: Mshake / Getty Images

Ohio
> Record low temperature: -39°F
> Place and time: Crooksville, 2/10/1889

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Source: ~UserGI15632746 / Getty Images

Oklahoma
> Record low temperature: -31°F
> Place and time: Nowata, 2/10/2011

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Source: ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

Oregon
> Record low temperature: -54°F
> Place and time: Ukiah, 2/9/1933
> Place and time: Seneca, 2/10/1933

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Source: Jakec / Wikimedia Commons

Pennsylvania
> Record low temperature: -42°F
> Place and time: Port Allegany, 1/5/1904

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Source: wgmi2003 / Getty Images

Rhode Island
> Record low temperature: -28°F
> Place and time: Charlestown, 1/11/1942

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Source: golfbress / Getty Images

South Carolina
> Record low temperature: -19°F
> Place and time: Rosman, 1/21/1985

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Source: jaypetersen / Getty Images

South Dakota
> Record low temperature: -58°F
> Place and time: McIntosh, 2/17/1936

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Source: rogertrentham / Getty Images

Tennessee
> Record low temperature: -32°F
> Place and time: Ashland, 12/30/1917

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Source: Wildnerdpix / Getty Images

Texas
> Record low temperature: -23°F
> Place and time: Tulia, 2/12/1899
> Place and time: Seminole, 2/8/1933

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Source: Pureradiancephoto / Getty Images

Utah
> Record low temperature: -50°F
> Place and time: Provo, 1/5/1913

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Source: Ron_Thomas / Getty Images

Vermont
> Record low temperature: -50°F
> Place and time: Bloomfield, 12/30/1933

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Source: GDollyhite / Getty Images

Virginia
> Record low temperature: -30°F
> Place and time: Pembroke, 1/21/1985

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Source: RyanCSlimakPhoto / Getty Images

Washington
> Record low temperature: -48°F
> Place and time: Winthrop, 12/30/1968

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Source: dszc / Getty Images

West Virginia
> Record low temperature: -37°F
> Place and time: Lewisburg, 12/30/1917

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Source: AMCImages / Getty Images

Wisconsin
> Record low temperature: -55°F
> Place and time: Stone Lake, 2/4/1996
> Place and time: Stone Lake, 2/6/1996

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Source: KenCanning / Getty Images

Wyoming
> Record low temperature: -66°F
> Place and time: Yellowstone National Park, 2/9/1933

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