Special Report

The 22 Coldest Towns in North America

Spring is now underway across most of the United States. In the northern part of the country, snows are melting, and average high temperatures are above 60 degrees. In the south, temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, not yet reaching unbearable summer heat levels. However, the United States is vast and North America even larger, and not all areas in North America are now experiencing anything like what would be considered by many the typical spring weather. 

Temperature variations by area can be the result of proximity to major bodies of water and elevation, but mostly they are due to distance from the equator. The further north, the lower the temperature, and heading north on the map reveals some towns and cities where hundreds and even thousands of residents live most of the year in below-freezing temperatures.

To determine the coldest towns in North America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed average temperature data from the Global Historical Climate Network of the National Centers for Environmental Information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Towns were ranked based on the average year-round temperature from 2011 to 2020 of the nearest weather station, and only places with populations of at least 1,000 residents were included.

In many of the 22 places on this list, average April temperatures are still well below freezing, and in a few places, even still below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, during the winter, these towns get even colder. In Pond Inlet, Canada, temperatures in the month of February 2011 averaged almost -25°F. The hottest month in Pond Inlet in the past decade was August 2019, when the average recorded temperature reached 48.5°F. 

The majority of the places on this list are in Canada, and there are a few in Greenland. As might be expected, the American cities that make this list are all in Alaska. While they do not make this list, there are still plenty of places in the lower 48 states that get shockingly cold in the Winter. These are the coldest towns in every U.S. state.

Click here to see the 22 coldest towns in North America.
Click here to read our detailed methodology.