Meet the coldest cities in America

coldest cities americaFeeling chilly? Chances are, if you’re not a resident of the following five cities, you really don’t have it that bad. The Weather Channel recently released a list of the coldest cities in America, according to NOAA National Climatic Data Center average annual temperature data from the last 30 years.

Caribou, Maine, came in fifth on the list. Dubbed the “Most Northeastern City in America”, Caribou’s average annual temperature of 39.7 degrees is partially due to a “polar vortex” over the Hudson Bay, which directs cold air from Canada into northern Maine. It gets more than 9 feet of snow each winter – youch.

Fourth was Jackson, Wyoming, with an average annual temperature of 39.4 degrees. Because of its proximity to Grand Teton, Yellowstone National Park, and Jackson Hole, Jackson is a popular tourist spot, but visitors should pack warm. Since Jackson is surrounded by mountains on three sides, cold air settles into the valley at night, resulting in morning freezes approximately 250 days of the year.
Coming in third on the list was Gunnison, Colorado, located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. With an elevation of 7640 feet and an average annual temperature of 38.1 degrees, visitors can expect freezes almost every day of the year.

International Falls, Minnesota, is the second coldest city in America, with an average annual temperature of 37.8 degrees. An all-time record low of -55 degrees has earned it the nicknames “Frostbite Falls” and “Icebox of the Nation”.

For the most part, researchers limited the list to cities with more than 5,000 people. The one exception was the number one spot, which went to Barrow, Alaska, located 5 degrees north of the Arctic Circle. With an average temperature of — get this — 11.7 degrees, Barrow is in a league of its own when it comes to cold. In fact, from late November to mid January, the sun does not even rise over the horizon. Brr.

[via weather.com, Flickr image via Bob Johnston]