Here’s Where Idaho Ranks Among Coldest States
If you live here, you’re not surprised by the ranking. If you only visit in summer, you would be surprised. If you took a look at an old-fashioned map, you would get the idea. America’s top ten coldest states have some features in common. Clearly, they aren’t along the Gulf Coast!
Most are northern and aside from some located in the northern plains, most have some high peaks. While Boise has recorded more days than any year on record with temperatures above 100 degrees, you can bet there will be some frosty days in just a couple of months.
I’ve seen some extremes. I was driving my car with the windows down in December 2016. The next month, I drove to work one morning when it was 15 below zero. That’s cold for the Magic Valley, but a buddy in Camas County always has it much worse.
I believe it was 2019 when we had some mornings in October when temperatures were in the single digits. When winter arrived, it was milder than October. In this part of the world, we prepare for all contingencies.
Idaho ranks eighth in the latest survey. It’s no surprise Alaska is first, and by a wide margin over number two, North Dakota, where the wind blows in from Canada and there’s nothing to block it as it sweeps across the land.
We have company in the top 10 with two close neighbors. Wyoming is fifth and Montana places sixth. I have a vague memory of buying gas one cold morning at sunrise in Wyoming. I was on a mountain top and watched my breath crystallize as I pumped fuel. It’s exhilarating as long as it lasts only a few minutes.