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U.S. States by Coldest Recorded Temperature

Name the U.S. states that have the lowest ever recorded temperatures.
Note: Locations at very high altitude do not typically have weather stations
Opposite quiz here
Quiz by Jarl5
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Last updated: August 16, 2021
First submittedJuly 12, 2017
Times taken31,895
Average score80.0%
Rating4.48
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° F
State
° C
-80
Alaska
-62.2
-70
Montana
-56.7
-63
Wyoming
-52.8
-61
Colorado
-51.7
-60
Idaho
-51.1
° F
State
° C
-60
Minnesota
-51.1
-60
North Dakota
-51.1
-58
South Dakota
-50.0
-55
Wisconsin
-48.3
-54
Oregon
-47.8
+2
Level 74
Jul 17, 2017
Check out my quiz on the most climatologically diverse states. There's one for countries too!
+6
Level 63
Jul 17, 2017
Whoa, that might be the fastest I ever completed a quiz.
+5
Level 67
Jul 17, 2017
Well that's five points for you!
+7
Level 76
Jul 18, 2017
So South Dakota has both the 6th hottest and the 9th coldest recorded temperature in the US. Interesting.
+10
Level 81
Jul 18, 2017
The presence of oceans or other large bodies of water (the great lakes) usually helps regulate the temperature and it weeds out extremes. Both the hottest and the coldest temperatures are usually measured in the middle of the continental landmasses.
+1
Level 89
Jul 18, 2017
Still doesn't explain how a place called Ice Harbor, Washington ended up on the highest temperatures list.
+2
Level 75
Jul 17, 2019
The Ice Harbour Dam is inland actually, amongst the mountains. It's a lot drier in eastern Washington, and the climate is different from the coastal rainforest.
+20
Level 76
Jul 18, 2017
South Dakota is weird...check out Spearfish, South Dakota. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Spearfish holds the world record for the fastest recorded temperature change. On January 22, 1943 at about 7:30 a.m. MST, the temperature in Spearfish was −4°F (−20°C). The Chinook wind picked up speed rapidly, and two minutes later (7:32 a.m.) the temperature was +45 °F (+7 °C) above zero. The 49 °F or 27 °C rise in two minutes set a world record that still holds. By 9:00 a.m., the temperature had risen to 54 °F (12 °C). Suddenly, the chinook died down and the temperature tumbled back to −4 °F or −20 °C. The 58 °F or 32.2 °C drop took only 27 minutes. The sudden change in temperatures caused glass windows to crack and windshields to instantly frost over.

+1
Level 67
Jul 18, 2017
I'm actually familiar with that story! It's really crazy
+3
Level 77
Dec 8, 2017
I'd never heard of the Chinook until I read Laura Ingalls Wilder's book _The Long Winter_. They were buried in snow one day, the Chinook began blowing in the night, and by next day they were buried in mud.
+2
Level 83
Dec 8, 2017
Sounds fishy to me.
+1
Level 87
Jul 6, 2018
@postwaste Sounds like you've been watching the first season of Fargo.
+2
Level 48
Feb 2, 2018
Heck yeah! As I and from South Dakota I can say that the temperatures do very a lot, as South Dakota is on the states with the highest and lowest recorded temperatures quizzes
+3
Level 77
Oct 17, 2017
yes - who would have thought that all that could be caused by a helicopter?
+6
Level 52
Dec 10, 2017
Missed Alaska, lemme see what crappy excuse I can pull out...
+2
Level 76
Dec 31, 2020
You were focusing on the contiguous United States
+1
Level 87
Jul 6, 2018
Blame Canada!
+2
Level 63
Aug 27, 2019
“The friend zone” was my first guess. Then Alaska
+2
Level 28
Dec 31, 2020
Just got Wisconsin in under the wire. The Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field !!!
+1
Level 37
Dec 31, 2020
COLORADO ?!?
+2
Level 35
Jan 4, 2021
LOL, why is that a surprise? rockies go through colorado as well.
+3
Level 87
Aug 17, 2021
Who'd have thought that it gets really cold at 14000+ feet?
+1
Level 24
Dec 31, 2020
Interesting that my guessed states and not guessed states percentage actually lined up. Weird.
+2
Level 43
Jan 4, 2021
Honestly surprised that Michigan wasn't on there considering the insane amount of lake effect snow that we get.
+1
Level 87
Aug 17, 2021
Snow does not necessarily mean the coldest temps.
+2
Level 83
Aug 16, 2021
Utah has been ripped off!

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Sinks

+1
Level ∞
Aug 16, 2021
Here's what the NOAA says:

"The previously reported record of -69 degrees F set at Peter's Sink on Feb 1, 1985 is widely considered an accurate observation, but no information concerning the observation or the station could be identified, and the value is heavily affected by the local terrain. The -50 degrees F at Strawberry Tunnel is the coldest temperature observation that can be verified from publicly available observations at established observation stations in Utah."

+1
Level 56
Nov 18, 2021
I live in oregon and that’s the only one i missed. Washington didn’t work so i assumed oregon wouldn’t