Wintertime is a tough season for many of us, especially those of us who dread all things cold and snowy. Even in traditionally toasty states, temperatures tend to drop to lower-than-before numbers during this season of cold — places that might usually be 80 °F are suffering through 50 °F weather.
Oh, say it ain’t so.
But before you go bellyaching about the nasty winter weather in your area, here’s a little reality check. Thrillist ranked the states that experience the worst winters in the United States, officially giving them the right to whine and moan from December to February, no questions asked.
For the rest of us? We’ll have to check out the conditions in these ten states before we can complain about last night’s snow dusting. Hey, we might even change our tune about our local weather a little. (Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.)
A New England state was DEFINITELY going to be on this list, and here we are, starting things off. The weather in New England is infamously fickle, changing on a dime and often dragging winter along well into the spring.
Random April snow showers? They’re a thing and trust me, as a Massachusetts resident, they make you want to cry.
During a Massachusetts winter, you can basically have it one of two ways. You can live in Western or Central Mass and experience ALL OF THE SNOW with varying temperatures (yesterday it was in the 50’s in Central Mass, today it is 2 degrees outside) or you can live in Eastern Mass and get a little less snow but periods of serious deep freeze.
The options aren’t fun, but at least you have plenty on time to watch Celtics and Patriots games to your heart’s content.
Winters in Montana are definitely different depending on where you live in the state. See, there’s this little thing called the Continental Divide which is the mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas. This basically means that this divide of mountains prevents cold air masses from crossing over; this makes some parts of Montana glorious during the winter (50’s, generally speaking) and others a literal frozen tundra.
We’re talking ten below with wind chill and snow covering your car, kind of tundra.
However, when it comes to snow, all parts of Montana are potentially exposed to deep snowfalls, no matter the severity of their temperature. The average snowfall for most of Montana is 71 inches a season, which is double the average snowfall in other cities, 26 inches.
Similarly, winters in Idaho are all about where you live. Either way, you’re getting a heavy snowfall and some chilly temperatures, but living north or south can determine just how frozen you’ll be for four or so months.
The long, top most part of Idaho is called “the chimney.” If you look at a map of the United States and you take a good look at said chimney, you’ll see it’s practically part of Canada. Which means those Canadian winters don’t have to travel too far.
And no parts of the state feel the artic chill worse than the mountain towns of Idaho. For instance, the town of Stanley has an average of 292 days per year below freezing, and currently holds th U.S. record low of -54°F. Idahoians really aren’t afraid of the cold.
But if you live in the southern part of the state, your snow is more of a sport than anything. Sun Valley in Idaho provides some of the best skiing in the Western part of the country, and rich California patrons will usually flock the snowy hills each winter, staying far away from anything close to the state’s chimney portion.
The people of Wisconsin are infamously kind but tough. We think their intense winter weather might have something to do with that.
From December into March, Wisconsin temperatures are pretty darn cold. Again, they vary from which part of the state you live in, but the general consensus is: freezing cold. The average annual snowfall in Wisconsin can be as high as 167.5 inches, which just puts Idaho’s record to shame.
And still, despite the consistent below freezing temps that just knock the wind out of you and the literal feet of snow, people still put on a million layers to tailgate at Packers games. That is commitment.
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