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Worst Winter Weather Cities

Mansfield, Ohio winter storm 2010. The soldier is almost buried.

However you feel about snow, there are some U.S. cities that can boast the "worst winter weather" —or "best" if you love the cold.

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

The major cities listed below share some common traits to different degrees, no pun intended: cold average temperatures during the winter months, more days that stay below freezing, ample rain, and heavy snowfall.

We looked at historical data from NOAA but also used some plain old common sense. Rankings can be mighty subjective. Note that the cities below are in no particular order; they're all guaranteed to deliver the "worst" weather!

To see each city's long-range weather prediction, just click on its name below; we provide the current and next month forecast for free. To get the full year, pick up a copy of The Old Farmer's Almanac!

Boston, Massachusetts

Nor'easter storms translate to heavy rainfall, snow, and freezing temperatures.

Weather History Note: One of our editors recalls the storm of 1978. That February, over 30 inches of snow fell around Boston with two-story drifts, impassable roads, and school closings up to a week long. This blizzard has been called one of the top weather events of the 20th century.

Chicago, Illinois

The "Windy City" (which isn't actually that windy) has one of the coldest average temperatures and some of the heaviest snowfalls.

Weather History Note: Many of the worst storms in history have hit Chicago. In our archives are recorded storms such as the 1918 blizzard. Snow fell on Chicago on 22 days that January, resulting in a total of 42.5 inches—a record that still stands.

Cleveland, Ohio

Due to its location near Lake Erie, this city gets hard by lake-effect snow, winds, and subzero temperatures.

Detroit, Michigan

With over 40 inches of snow every winter, on average, Detroit also ranks as one of the coldest U.S. cities.

Weather History Note: Michigan cities have been paralyzed by many a storm, thanks to the Great Lakes. If you live in the area, you may recall the storm of January, 1978. Thirty inches of snow fell in some parts.

Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio

Both midwestern cities have many similarities, including the low normal daily mean temperatures in winter months, many frigid days, and ample snowfall.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Not only does this city rank high on snowfall and have low average winter temperatures, but it's also below freezing on your average winter day.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

It doesn't get much more extreme in the U.S. Not only does Minneapolis boast a top ranking for snowfall but it's consistently one of the very coldest of all of our cities.

What are the coldest cities you've ever been to? Share your comments below.

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By dave Johnson69

ND/EASTERN MT has Got To Be Atleast Top 3 People. unless there's A Population Requirement?


By Gerald V. Strehl

I love MARQUETTE MICHIGAN, and other Upper PEN. areas. i would love to move back there, but with disability SSD , I can not afford to relocate.

Fargo. Always colder than

By Anonymous1

Fargo. Always colder than every city on the list. Except July. In that month its hotter than any city on the list. Belongs at #1 on a "US city worst winter weather" list!

Syracuse, New York. End of

By TheCuseRules

Syracuse, New York.
End of Discussion.

120 Inches of Snow.. in an AVERAGE Year...
200 is the Record...

Toronto or Buffalo doesnt

By Razzy71

Toronto or Buffalo doesnt makes it wow...E

Duluth, MN.

By Howie Loso

Duluth, MN.

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