Winter weather advisories aren’t the norm for southern states like Florida and Georgia, especially when those advisories warn residents of a bomb cyclone. Wild winter weather never fails to wreak havoc on travel plans, school days, and making it to the office on time. But more importantly, the loss of power, impassable roads, and subzero temps is a recipe for disaster.
Events like the bomb cyclone and Winter Storm Inga may conjure up a serious case of the winter blues, especially for those places unused to serious winter weather. But these eight cities around the U.S. experience the fury and wrath of fierce winter storms every single year. In one city, residents deal with an average of 7 feet of snow every year. In another, temps once hit a bone-chilling -41 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Billings, Montana
- Average annual snowfall: 55.3 inches
Montana sees some of the gnarliest winter weather patterns in the country, and the state’s Great Plains locale keeps things interesting. The Continental Divide lends to the extreme temperatures that manage to get trapped in the eastern part of the state near Billings. The 20 below temps and over four feet of snowfall each year make living conditions quite treacherous for Montanans. As for record breakers, the city experienced a record low of -49 back in 1899.
7. Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
- Average annual snowfall: 55.5 inches
If you’re living in the Twin Cities during the winter, chances are you’re pretty hearty. The cities experience a fair amount of snowfall each year, but it’s the temperatures that really sets it apart. After all, the average low in January is four degrees, and the average high is 22 degrees. Not to mention the record low back in 1888 was -41 degrees Fahrenheit. Yikes.
6. Provo, Utah
- Average annual snowfall: 57.3 inches
Provo, Utah, and the surrounding area, is accustomed to lots of snow and cold temperatures in the winter. When it comes to navigating freeways, the likelihood of the snowplow beating you to the punch is pretty high. While the average temperatures are moderate, the city felt -20 degrees Fahrenheit back in 1989. And when the snow starts falling, residents typically make their way straight to the ski slopes.
5. South Bend, Indiana
- Average annual snowfall: 68 inches
South Bend, Indiana experiences much of the same winter conditions as other Midwestern cities like Grand Rapids and Cleveland (we’ll get to them in a minute). The early season lake-effect snow and high snowfall around January is a recipe for hot toddies, and winter nights by the fire. The coldest temperature on record was -22 degrees in 1943.
4. Cleveland, Ohio
- Average annual snowfall: 68.5 inches
Cleveland, Ohio, knows how to make the best of some pretty legitimate winters. Furthermore, because of the city’s geographical location on the banks of Lake Erie, every year it experiences the lake-effect snow phenomenon in the late fall and early winter. While the coldest temperature on record was -20 degrees back in 1994, the city typically feels lows of 19 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months.
3. Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Average annual snowfall: 75.3 inches
Grand Rapids typically sees the majority of its snowfall between December and February, with January packing the most punch. And since the city is nestled just east of Lake Michigan, the winds manage to reach some pretty impressive knots. As for temperatures, the lows are usually in the teens and highs in the upper 20s to 30s. Needless to say, Grand Rapids experiences long winters.
2. Anchorage, Alaska
- Average annual snowfall: 75.6 inches
While Anchorage as a winter storm mecca doesn’t come as a surprise, the lack of sunshine changes the game. The city gets around five hours of sunlight around the winter solstice, making the daily grind a little tougher. And when it comes to temperatures, the average lows during the winter months ranges anywhere from nine to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. As for record lows, the city has seen it drop down to -38 degrees Fahrenheit in February.
1. Boulder, Colorado
- Average annual snowfall: 87.6 inches
Boulder and the majority of Colorado cities and towns have grown greatly accustomed to winter storms. The average snowfall in this town on the edge of the Rockies is over 7 feet. And even though the average low for Boulder is around 20 degrees, it’s not uncommon for residents to experience below zero temperatures during the winter months. Even wilder, when the rest of the country is pulling out flip flops, Boulder residents can experience snow and frigid temperatures well into May.