Environment

The Coldest Countries On Earth

Here are five countries that rank high, or extremely low, when it comes to yearly temperatures and have a low yearly average temperature. 

To compile a list of the coldest countries on Earth is a hard task, because some of the countries on this planet stretch across many climate zones, making it challenging to find the middle ground values. However, here are some five countries that rank high, or extremely low when it comes to temperatures during a year and have a low yearly average temperature. 

Russia

Monastery on the shore of Lake Nero in Rostov Veliky in winter.

This country is one of the largest in the world, as it stretches from eastern parts of Europe to the far east end of Asia. Most of the Russian regions are very low in temperature, and even summer temperatures can dive below zero degrees celsius (32°F). Siberia, an area that is spread across the whole northern part of Russia, is practically always covered in snow, with temperatures in January averaging around −25 °C (−13 °F). The infamous prisons of Gulag were located in this region, during the regime of the Soviet Union. 

Russia is the coldest place on Earth when it comes to the lowest temperature ever registered. In the Sakha region, cities of Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon saw their meters drop down to freezing levels of −67.8 °C (−90.0 °F).

Greenland (Grønland)

Little red sailboat cruising among floating icebergs in Disko Bay glacier during midnight sun season of polar summer. Ilulissat, Greenland.

The world’s largest island, a part of the Denmark kingdom, is definitely cold thanks to its geographical location. It is located at the very northern top of our planet, between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. The summer season here is also known for temperatures below zero, and the whole thing gets even more extreme during the winter periods when there can be only 3 hours of daylight. In the summertime, another extreme happens, and the people of Greenland have to live with a sun that will spread light for 22 hours.

The difference between summer and winter season is significant because temperatures can go all the way up to 30.1 °C (86.2 °F), and down to −66.1 °C (−87.0 °F). 

Canada

Near Peyto Lake, Banff, Canada.

Occupying the top north of the North American continent, Canada, very much like Greenland, also has relatively high temperatures during the summer, but the extreme values appear during the winter periods. 

The lowest temperature ever was recorded in Snag, Yukon, where it dropped down to −63.0 °C (−81.4 °F). Bassano Dam, located in Alberta, is not too far behind with (-61.1 °C / -78.0 °F). One thing that helps make the winters more bearable is the relatively moist air. 

United States of America

Train in Alaskan Mountains.

The United States of America spread across the whole North American continent, and it is definitely hard to judge it only by the average temperature. The middle and southern parts of the US are way warmer than the northern regions, where temperatures can drop down to freezing-cold levels. 

In Prospect Creek, Alaska, the lowest temperature ever was recorded, and the thermometer showed −62.2 °C (−80 °F). Some other states, like Montana, Utah, or Colorado also had temperatures drop between −52 °C(−61°F ) and −62°C(−80°F). The US ranks high on both coldest and hottest temperatures ever to be recorded in history. 

Mongolia

Golden eagle festival during the winter in Ulgi Mongolia local men riding on horses around the mountains covered with snow.

This country, located in the central part of Asia, is another example similar to the US temperature span, where it gets really hot during the summer and freezing during winter periods. This country is known for strong cold winds that come from Siberia, bringing snow and dropping temperatures. 

The winters in Mongolia are long and really harsh, which forces people to a standstill in camps for extended periods. There is not much you can do around Uvs Province and the city of Züüngovi where temperatures are known to drop all the way down to – 45°C (−80°F). 

About the Author

Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.

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