Coldest City in the United States

Coldest City in the United States

For coldest weather, Minneapolis tops the list of America's 51 largest urban centers. The metropolitan region, which also takes in St Paul, Minnesota, has the most days a year of below-zero weather and the lowest average annual temperature.

The next coldest city, Milwaukee, lags a long ways behind Minneapolis on all measures. The only city to surpass Minneapolis in cold is Denver, which averages ten more days a year of freezing weather. But Denver has far fewer days of extreme cold, and has a much higher mean temperature.

These rankings of coldest cities use long-term temperature averages, based on weather data collected from 1981 to 2010 for the NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

The major cities included in the weather rankings below represent the 51 metropolitan areas in the United States with the most people, all those with over one million residents in 2010, according to the US Census Bureau.

Lowest Temperatures

Large US cities where the temperature usually drops to 0 °F (-18 °C) or below each year
City Days a Year
Minneapolis, Minnesota 23
Chicago, Illinois   7
Denver, Colorado   7
Milwaukee, Wisconsin   7
Detroit, Michigan   4
Indianapolis, Indiana   4
Rochester, New York   4
Buffalo, New York   3
Cleveland, Ohio   3
Hartford, Connecticut   3
Cincinnati, Ohio   2
Columbus, Ohio   2
Kansas City, Missouri   2
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   2
St. Louis, Missouri   2
Boston, Massachusetts   1
Louisville, Kentucky   1
Nashville, Tennessee   1
Providence, Rhode Island   1
Salt Lake City, Utah   1

Most Freezing Days

Major US cities that normally have freezing temperatures, of 32 °F (0 °C) or less, on over 100 days each year
City Freezing Days
per Year
Denver, Colorado 157
Minneapolis, Minnesota 148
Rochester, New York 129
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 126
Hartford, Connecticut 125
Buffalo, New York 124
Chicago, Illinois 122
Detroit, Michigan 115
Salt Lake City, Utah 113
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 112
Providence, Rhode Island 107
Cleveland, Ohio 104
Cincinnati, Ohio 104
Indianapolis, Indiana 104

Coolest Weather

Large cities in America with a daily mean temperature for the year of less than 52 °F (11 °C)
City Daily Average
  °F °C
Minneapolis, Minnesota 46.3   7.9
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 47.9   8.8
Rochester, New York 48.3   9.0
Buffalo, New York 48.4   9.1
Chicago, Illinois 50.0 10.0
Denver, Colorado 50.3 10.1
Detroit, Michigan 50.4 10.2
Hartford, Connecticut 50.6 10.3
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 51.4 10.8
Cleveland, Ohio 51.5 10.8
Boston, Massachusetts 51.5 10.8
Providence, Rhode Island 51.7 10.9
Reference

National Climatic Data Center. NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals.

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AMERICAN WEATHER