Coldest cities

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Randy
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby Randy » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:28 am

dam you guys are alot smarter then me, anywho where's Leadville? was there one winter day and it was colder then my oldgirlfriends heart. The coldest Ive ever been was on Mt.Washington (NH)-50 with a 60 mph wind (windchill?) nofn idea but you couldnt stop hiking or you got very cold very fast, I had plastic Koflachs on and could fell the cold creeping in the seems. :shock:
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ajkagy
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby ajkagy » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:45 pm

abqben56 wrote:
Anyone else find all these round numbers suspicious? Especially the old records?


I'm just going by this site, wonder where they get all the information?

http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/US/coldest.php
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Scott P
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby Scott P » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:47 pm

Anyone else find all these round numbers suspicious? Especially the old records?


At least some of them aren't as round as they may seem. :wink: For example, the record low at Prospect Creek AK was -79.8F and Rogers Pass MT was -69.7F, which just happens to round off to -80F and -70F. Although they may appear to be rounded to the nearest 10th, it is just coincidence.

I'm just going by this site, wonder where they get all the information?


Except for the -50F figure for Mt Washington (the official low at Mt Washington is actually -47F; I don't know where the -50F comes from or why it isn't official), those are all the official state records which you will find in many places, such as almanacs and the below (for example):

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wcstates.htm

WY is also an error, but it's repeated in most almanacs, websites (even official government websites), etc. Technically in 1933 (when the -66F was recorded), the Riverside Ranger Station was actually located just barely (less than 200 yards) in Montana. The lowest recorded temperature ever recorded in WY should really be -63F at Moran.

anywho where's Leadville?


Using the links in a previous post, you can compare Leadville with any other town/place. By annual temperature, it is one of the coldest cities in the lower 48 (due to its elevation of course).
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby sanchomurphy1 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:33 am

North Dakota represent! I'm going to be moving from #4 to #23 soon enough!
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caad4rep
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby caad4rep » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:29 am

I call #11 on the list home. It's a nice balmy -4 with a 15mph breeze this morning. I wish it was May....
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Mark A Steiner
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby Mark A Steiner » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:48 am

ajkagy wrote:
abqben56 wrote:
Anyone else find all these round numbers suspicious? Especially the old records?


I'm just going by this site, wonder where they get all the information?

http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/US/coldest.php


Before Internet, extreme records and averages for states and selected cities could be found in reference pubs, such as the World Almanac. The Almanac cited its data source as the National Weather Service. Typos can occur in data transcription; so can tall tales about weather extremes.

The NWS has instructions about where and how to construct an instrument shelter, including ventilation. What may not be certain is how many extremes mentioned in this thread were recorded in a shelter, or if even a shelter was needed to record such extremes. Try placing a shelter on Mount Sniktau and see how it takes the wind to topple it. Hand held instrumentation may produce representative data.

Speaking of which, an "unofficial" reading of -60F was recorded in Rice Lake, Wisconsin January 11, 1977. If true, a state record.

Minnesota has at least five "cold poles" that have recorded -59F or colder: Pokegama, Leech Lake, Tower, Embarrass and Thorhult.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content - Paul the Apostle.
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby ajkagy » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:59 am

Mark A Steiner wrote:Speaking of which, an "unofficial" reading of -60F was recorded in Rice Lake, Wisconsin January 11, 1977. If true, a state record.


I wouldn't be surprised, i've experienced -35F a few times up in northern wisconsin near the border of michigan.
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby Patinator » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:17 am

Scott P wrote:
So, why is this? The answer is actually pretty interesting (at least from a weather nerd point of view).


Scott, as a non-weather nerd, but one who appreciates good data analysis, this was very interesting. Thanks!
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby plantmandan » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:31 am

ajkagy wrote:
Mark A Steiner wrote:Speaking of which, an "unofficial" reading of -60F was recorded in Rice Lake, Wisconsin January 11, 1977. If true, a state record.


I wouldn't be surprised, i've experienced -35F a few times up in northern wisconsin near the border of michigan.


Yes, Northern Wisconsin is the coldest place on Earth IMO. Anything warmer than -35 is no big deal there. My wife grew up in Rice Lake and was there that day in 1977. Official or not, that day is forever etched into the memory of all who experienced it and still a hot topic among locals.

It's borderline unconsionable that Wisconsin was left entirely off this list.

Isn't the balmy weather here in Colorado great?!!!
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Scott P
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby Scott P » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:49 am

Speaking of which, an "unofficial" reading of -60F was recorded in Rice Lake, Wisconsin January 11, 1977. If true, a state record.


There are many such unofficial records in many states, but they are hard to verify.

In Colorado there have been unofficial readings of -70F at some of the ranches at Taylor Park. New Mexico has recorded a -57, but I don't recall where. In some of the sinks (more small valleys than typical sinkholes) of Utah, unofficial readings have been in the -70's (the official is -69.3F). Embarrass Minnesota recorded an unofficial -64F the same day the official record (-60F) was set at Tower. Supposedly during the same time period someone went out to a frozen swamp in Northern MN and recorded a -76F (which if true in incredible), but it wasn't taken under standard conditions. Rockford, South Dakota recorded a -60F on Dec 22 1989. Min gauge thermometers left on the summit or slopes of Denali have bottomed out at -95F and -100F.

SNOTEL sites record temperatures, but aren’t considered to be official weather stations when extremes are reported (many SNOTEL sites have been much colder than official summer lows in some states). In mountain basins, which trap cold air I’ve been able to best official state records as well (in summer).

Local example of unofficial records:

Even at Craig there have been unofficial readings down to and even below -60F recorded at CDOT where I work (BTW, I'm not working today, so no I'm not typing this from there). Craig, like other locations such as Taylor Park and Fraser, which have strong inversions, where you are in town makes a huge difference in night temperatures. In 1977, the Craig official weather station was moved to the Trapper Mine 7 miles away and up on a hill. It doesn’t get near as cold there (plus it seems to be plagued with missing information and errors as well). Since 1977, the Craig 4SW (at the Trapper Mine) has recorded “only” a -41F and isn’t especially cold (comparatively) on most nights. The station next to town, the Craig-Moffat (airport) has been reporting since 1982 and is much more representative of how cold it gets in the city (since it is right next to it). When it was officially -41F (February 1989) at the Trapper Mine, it was officially -51F at Craig-Moffat (the coldest official reading since the station started reporting in 1982) and downtown. CDOT, which is near and sits at about the same elevation as the Yampa River was supposedly at -60F (which was before I worked there). I usually record lower night temperatures than the Craig Moffat station, so it might be possible. Verifiable reports have the all time record pegged at -56F. Maybell, the next hamlet west of Craig holds the official low for Colorado at -61F.

Strangely, the Western Regional Climate Center/NWS only list Craig 4SW in their database/averages, but all current temperatures, NOAA and what you see in the newspapers, the weather forecast, sites, etc. always use Craig-Moffat.

Isn't the balmy weather here in Colorado great?!!!


It depends on which part of Colorado and which part of Wisconsin you are talking about. :wink: I live in Craig, CO and some of my family lives in Milwaukee, WI. Milwaukee is much balmier than Craig, so it depends on which part of each state you are looking at.

Here is a screen shot I took last February of our official weather summary from NOAA:

Image

It wasn’t that balmy. Especially when I ride my bike or walk to work every day and my wife stands outside in it as a crossing guard. :D
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby herdbull » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:11 pm

all this talk about coldest cities and coldest temps and not one mention of I'Falls MN?? There is no way some of these other cities mentioned are colder than I'Falls. How about we keep this thread going for about a month when real winter gets here and then check the temps?
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Re: Coldest cities

Postby Mark A Steiner » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:49 pm

herdbull wrote:all this talk about coldest cities and coldest temps and not one mention of I'Falls MN?? There is no way some of these other cities mentioned are colder than I'Falls. How about we keep this thread going for about a month when real winter gets here and then check the temps?


International Falls is sort of the Main Stream Media's "darling" of cold weather cities. Not only is it far enough north to qualify, it is a major crossing point into Canada to Fort Frances, Ont. A first-order weather station has been in IF for a long time. Many times it ranks as the nation's coldest first-order station in winter. The same day it was reportedly -60F in Rice Lake WI (January 1977, above), it was "only" -44F in International Falls. That same month Thorhult MN recorded the coldest reading in MN with -47F and later that month, Campbell MN recorded -46F, eclipsing International Falls. The Campbell reading occurred in the wake of a powerful Alberta Clipper that crossed the Red River and two days later buried Buffalo NY in the storied blizzard of 1977.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content - Paul the Apostle.
Like it or not, I am a slow driver. Putt ... putt ... putt ...
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