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What Is the Coldest City in the World? (And Would You Live There?)

The 500 or so residents of Oymyakon, Russia, have earned a frigid reputation as the coldest place to live in the world. On an especially nippy day in 1924, the temperature dipped to -92.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-71.2 C), making it the coldest recorded temperature in history.

Living in a harsh environment takes plenty of grit and generations of earned experience. You don't have to move to Oymyakon to test your mettle. Plan a trip to another one of these frosty frontiers first!

Three of the World's Coldest Cities 

One (very) cold day might set a record but living in a place with consistently cold temperatures for weeks and months on end is another challenge altogether. Interestingly, some of the coldest cities on earth have large populations and even serve as their nation's capital city.

We took a look at three cities that could all make a case for being the coldest place to live.

  1. Nur-Sultan Kazakhstan 

Kazakhstan is a dry, windblown country in Central Asia with long frigid winters. Its capital, formerly known as Astana, was renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019 and became the country's capital after the government moved there from Almaty in 1997. The heads of state there picked the country’s coldest place to live and work!

In January, the Nur-Sultan average temperature is just 6 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures have fallen as low as -16 degrees and the weather gets wintry cold in October—by November, the city's Ishim River is often frozen solid.

  1. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 

Another city on the Central Asian steppes, Ulaanbaatar (Oo-lahn-bah-tar) narrowly edges out Nur-Sultan to earn the title of the coldest capital city in the world. The average temperature in Ulaanbaatar in January is -44 degrees. Winters are exceptionally cold in Mongolia, and so long that sustained low temperatures give the city an annual average temperature that’s below freezing!

  1. Yakutsk, Russia 

If the small population of Oymyakon (Oim-Yah-Kon) doesn't count as a city in your book, then the 336,000 people who call Yakutsk (ya-kut-sk) home might fit the bill. Many believe that Yakutsk, one of just three cities built on permafrost in Russia's Siberian expanse, is the coldest city on earth. The average temperature in January is -41 degrees. Surprisingly, the city attracts many tourists, even if for visits during the relatively balmy 67-degree summer months.

Related: What is the Hottest City in the US?

What Is the Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in the USA? 

In 1954, Rogers Pass, Montana, recorded a temperature of -70 degrees. The record was later revised to -69.7 degrees, but the mark still stands as the coldest temperature ever recorded in United States history. The northern latitude and elevation make Montana a hotbed of cold temperatures; combined with its neighbor Wyoming, these Rocky Mountain states have recorded temperatures below -60 degrees in 10 of the 17 such instances in the US.

Surprisingly Cold Temperatures in Normally Warm States 

Even traditionally balmy states like Florida and Texas have experienced a cold snap or two, experiencing freakishly cold temperatures that are often made worse by locals and municipalities being unprepared for ice and snow.

The Coldest Temperature in Florida History 

Florida is the second-warmest state in the United States, with an average annual temperature of 70.3 degrees. Still, some of its cities have experienced single-digit low temperatures. Pensacola saw a record low of 5 degrees to edge out the previous mark of 6 degrees set in Tallahassee.

The Coldest Temperature in Texas History 

The coldest night in Texas occurred in February of 1899. It was an infamously cold month and several cities' lowest temperatures date back to that historic cold snap. Tulia set the official mark at -23 degrees on February 12, though nearby settlements claimed to have hit -30. Three decades later, the city of Seminole matched Tulia's record.

Keep Your Home Cozy and Steer Clear of Siberia 

If the cold isn't for you, we've got you covered. Nothing makes a winter afternoon complete like coming inside to a comfortable home and a mug of hot cocoa. Trust the experienced and friendly technicians from your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to make winter comfortable. Request an appointment or call (800) 893-3523 today.

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