Want to know the coldest countries in the world? Many people prefer to spend their vacations in warm temperatures, but it is possible to find great scenery in the coldest places. So, let’s discover the countries with the lowest temperatures on Earth.
Frozen places have a characteristic beauty that should not be overlooked, neither because of their location, nor because of their history. Countries that are located at or near either pole experience much colder weather than countries that are further away. In these areas, the temperature starts from a minimum of -1 degree and sometimes can drop to -69.
There are two ways to classify the coldest countries on the planet. These can be ordered by the coldest temperature that has been recorded over the course of the year, or by using the mean annual temperature. This time of high temperatures is the best time to examine which places on the planet are the coldest.
In this article, we take a look at the top 10 coldest countries in the world, ranked based on both the lowest temperature on record and the average annual temperature.
Which Countries Are The Coldest?
Before listing the coldest countries, let’s start with some basics. The Koppen climate classification system lists five primary climates: tropical, dry, temperate, continental, and polar. Climates are colder in parts of the world that are closer to the poles. In these regions, temperatures are consistently cooler than in places further away from points on the Earth traversed by the axis of rotation.
In dry, temperate, and continental climates, summers are pleasant to warm, while winters are mild to freezing. However, in the rest of the climates low temperatures dominate: subarctic continental climates have extremely cold winters and mild summers, these climates are found mainly in the northern hemisphere.
Arctic climates can be divided into two distinct classes: ice cap climates and tundra climates. Throughout the year, both the arctic and alpine climates experience incredibly cold temperatures that rarely exceed 10 degrees.
The tundra climate is characterized by long and extremely cold winters, with temperatures below freezing for more than six months of the year.
The northern side of the Arctic Circle knows no sun in these months of extreme weather. By comparison, the ice cap’s climate is a bit more moderate, but it still doesn’t have a month with a temperature above 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
The tundra is an extremely difficult environment in which to live. Its climate is extremely harsh and very little vegetation or fauna can thrive. Ice cap climate, as its name suggests, is characterized by the presence of ice caps. It must be added that in recent years, climate change has caused significant changes in all climates on the planet; with some especially dramatic and worrying consequences for the coldest areas. Now yes, let’s see the list of the 10 coldest countries on the planet and their icy temperatures.
The driest, windiest, and last-to-discover continent is also the coldest. As a curiosity, Antarctica is a condominium, this means that it is governed by the laws of the Antarctic Treaty System, no country is exclusive sovereign of Antarctica; instead, it is owned by all nations participating in the treaty system.
Topping the list of the coldest countries in the world, the region is not habitable for humans, and was the last land discovered by man in 1820, after the discovery of the continent, it took explorers almost 100 years to reach the pole. Temperatures in Antarctica drop below -80 degrees Celsius, making it impossible to live there. The frozen continent is known for being a place of scientific exploration: between 1,000 and 5,000 people live in research stations throughout the year.
2. United States
The United States is the third largest country in terms of territory. Its vast and varied geography presents all kinds of climates. Some northern regions have extreme climates; For example, Alaska’s climate is considered polar or subpolar. The temperatures of this region bought from the Russians reach extremely low temperatures during the winter months.
A city near Fairbanks, a region of interior Alaska, holds the temperature record with -51 degrees Celsius on record. When visiting this vast region, a canoe tour on Mendenhall Lake is a must to see the majestic Mendenhall Glacier. Not just Alaska, other US states also experience significant snowfall and frost on a regular basis. Places like Crested Butte in Colorado and Stanley in Idaho are famous for their frigid landscapes.
Russia has three time zones, this gives us an idea of its vastness. Located in central Europe, it is the largest country in the world, and also one of the coldest. Its wide open spaces make it especially windy. This wind is the main responsible for low temperatures being common in most regions of the country. In fact, in winter, it is so cold in some parts of Russia that all local water supplies freeze over for the winter; and running water has to be supplied from other parts of the country.
Oymyakon is a rural town (selo) in the Oymyakonsky district of the Sakha Republic, it is the coldest inhabited place on earth. Its average minimum temperature during December and February is -50 degrees Celsius . During the winter months, from mid-October to mid-March, this town does not register temperatures above zero.
Norway has a population of just over 5 million people, and is one of the favorite destinations for snow lovers. The unofficial lowest temperature in Norway was recorded in January 1999. In the north-eastern region of Karasjok, temperatures dropped to -51.2 °C. The North Atlantic Current has a positive effect on Norway’s climate; it makes it more temperate. Due to the current, the west coast of Spitsbergen is much more moderate than the nearby arctic regions.
Mongolia is situated between China and Russia; it is known for its horses and extensive pastures. However, the ‘Land of Eternal Blue Sky’ suffers from a weather condition called ‘zud’ and temperatures can drop to -30 degrees Celsius. This term, which is only used in Mongolia, refers to exceptionally harsh winter weather caused by cold air flowing in from Siberia. During the ‘zud’ season, much of the country’s livestock experiences frostbite or starvation, which dramatically affects its economy.
Canada has a large extension of land and is no doubt one of the coldest countries in the world, it occupies a large part of the North American continent. This means that there are significant temperature differences between its different corners. The rule is simple, the further north, the colder; In the most extreme parts of the country, temperatures of up to -40 degrees Celsius have been recorded. A considerable part of the Canadian Arctic is covered by permafrost and ice.
Finland is the northernmost country in the entire European continent and the least populated; It is located in the boreal zone, an area characterized by cold winters and moderate summers. During the winter months, it is almost every day covered in snow.
The temperatures drop, especially, in two specific months: January and February. Finland has an average of 100 days of winter , but in Lapland, located in the north, winters can extend for more than 6 months: from mid-October to early May.
This island country of Northern Europe is, even in summer, a very cold country. Obviously, the temperatures are minimum in winter, and oscillate between -20 °C and -30 °C. During the hardest months, daily life is not easy, but unique corners such as glaciers, waterfalls and volcanoes make it worth it. This country is undeniably beautiful, despite the fact that it is very cold.
Although Estonia is located in Northern Europe, it has a much more pleasant climate than the other countries on this list. However, it is still subject to drastic temperature changes due to irregular rainfall throughout the year.
The monsoon winds make the region very cold, resulting in freezing temperatures during winter. The lowest temperature ever recorded during winter was -43.5 °C. Also, February is the month with the lowest average temperature; which is -5.7 °C . It is recommended to visit the Russian border during winter to enjoy beautiful scenery.
Greenland is the largest island in the world; and its name “green land” is somewhat ironic. More than three-quarters of the island is permanently covered in ice, making the land significantly whiter than green.
The average daily temperature in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, changes throughout the year and ranges from -8°C in February to 7°C in July, making it the most populated region on the island. In some parts of Greenland, the temperature can drop as low as -50°C during winter and the lowest temperature recorded was -65°C which is why it is among the coldest countries in the world.