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Looking Back on the Coldest Temperatures on Record Around the World

3 months ago
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If you dread the onset of cold weather, you may be thrilled that you will unlikely experience the most frigid weather ever seen on Earth. The coldest temperature recorded as of November 2023 in the Contiguous United States was –69.7 degrees Fahrenheit at Rogers Pass, Montana, on January 20, 1954.

While that would make you put on your warmest coat, it is far from the coldest temperature recorded on Earth. Here are the coldest temperatures recorded on each continent.

North America

Meteorologists at Snag Airport in Yukon, Canada, on February 3, 1947, recorded the temperature as –81.4 degrees Fahrenheit. It was so cold that the thermometer failed to record the temperature, and it had to be sent to Toronto, Canada, for experts to determine its official reading.

Meteorologist Will Blezard, one of four meteorologists at the site, remembers throwing water into the air and watching it freeze before it hit the ground. One of the reasons this site can get so cold is its location. It is in the White River Basin, between the Wrangell and St. Elias Mountains.

The lowest temperature recorded directly on Earth was –128.6 degrees Fahrenheit at the then-Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica on July 21, 1983.


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