how cold is minnesota

Minnesota is known for its beautiful lakes, friendly people, and iconic landmarks, but what about its notorious winter weather?

For those who have never experienced a Minnesota winter, the subzero temperatures, icy roads, and snowdrifts may seem unimaginable. But for us Minnesotans, it’s a way of life. In this blog, we’ll explore just how cold Minnesota can get and what it’s really like to brave the frozen tundra of the Land of 10,000 Lakes. So…how cold is Minnesota? Well, you’re about to find out! Hehe.

Do you ever find yourself wondering…is Minnesota a good place to live? Read our pros and cons post from a local and find out now:

How cold is Minnesota?

How cold is Minnesota? Well, in Minnesota, it gets so cold…you can eat soft serve ice cream directly from the udder. That was a bad joke, but keep reading because things are about to get…cold…very, very cold.

You know this year us Minnesotans are very, very excited. You see, there’s a rumor going around that summer may fall on a weekend this year.

The point is, Minnesota is known for its cold winters, with average temperatures ranging from below freezing to the low 20s Fahrenheit (-6 to -1 degrees Celsius) in December, January, and February. In some parts of the state, temperatures can drop even lower, with occasional sub-zero temperatures (-18 degrees Celsius or colder) during extreme cold snaps. This past year was especially cold and snowy. 

Scroll to the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE to watch our travel video “How Cold is Minnesota?!”

The Land of 10,000 Lakes: Where Winter Never Ends

There are several locations within the state that are particularly known for their extreme cold temperatures. Here are a few of the coldest places in Minnesota:

1. Tower

This small town in northern Minnesota is known for being one of the coldest places in the state. During the winter months, temperatures can easily drop to -40°F (-40°C) or lower.

2. Embarrass

This town in northeastern Minnesota is known for being the coldest inhabited place in the state. In 1996, the temperature in Embarrass dropped to -64°F (-53°C), setting a new record low for the state. My old bluegrass band played a summer music festival there in July…and it was cold in the evening!

3. International Falls

Located on the Canadian border, International Falls is known as the “Icebox of the Nation” and is famous for its cold temperatures. During the winter months, temperatures can often dip below -30°F (-34°C).

4. Babbitt

Another town in northeastern Minnesota, Babbitt is known for its frigid winter weather. The town has recorded temperatures as low as -55°F (-48°C).

Overall, the northern parts of Minnesota tend to experience the coldest temperatures in the state due to their proximity to the Arctic air masses.

Wanna Look Like a Real Minnesotan?

Wanna fit in and look like a true Minnesotan? We recommend any of these hats…wear one and you’ll be saying “you bethca” and craving hot-dish in no time! Hehe…

The “Warmest” (LOL) Places in Minnesota

While Minnesota is known for its cold winters, there are still some places within the state that are relatively warmer compared to others during the winter months. Here are a few of the warmest places in Minnesota during winter:

1. Rochester

Located in southeastern Minnesota, Rochester tends to be one of the warmer places in the state during the winter months, with average temperatures ranging from around 10°F to 25°F (-12°C to -4°C).

2. St. Cloud

This city in central Minnesota typically has slightly warmer winter temperatures than many other parts of the state, with average temperatures ranging from around 5°F to 20°F (-15°C to -6°C).

3. Minneapolis/St. Paul

While the Twin Cities area can still get quite cold during the winter months, it is generally slightly warmer than some other parts of the state. Average temperatures range from around 10°F to 25°F (-12°C to -4°C).

4. Winona

Hey, that’s where we live! See, we’re not as foolish as we look. Well, maybe we are. I mean average temperatures ranging from around 10°F to 30°F (-12°C to -1°C) in the winter. Thanks to being located in southeastern Minnesota, Winona does tend to have milder winter temperatures compared to some other parts of the state, so come visit us and find out why they call Winona the “Miami of Minnesota”. Hehe.

Overall, southeastern Minnesota tends to have slightly warmer temperatures during the winter months compared to northern parts of the state due to its lower latitude and proximity to warmer air masses.

Make the most of your time in Minnesota! Click here for a FREE COPY of our new eBook, or you can support us by purchasing it on Amazon.


We don’t mean to scare you away from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Remember, Minnesota’s climate varies by region and season. During the summer months (June to August), temperatures can range from the 70s to the 90s Fahrenheit (21 to 32 degrees Celsius) in many parts of the state, with occasional heat waves pushing temperatures higher. So overall, while Minnesota is known for its cold winters, it experiences a full range of temperatures throughout the year.

I guess for your first visit to Minnesota, we’d suggest the summer months…fall in love with us in July and maybe you’ll put up with us in January.

Is it cold where you live? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading. Have a super day!

Want a short video to see more of Minnesota? Just watch this!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more travel tips, hidden gems and more. We typically make a lot of content about fun and quirky spots to visit in Minnesota and the upper Midwest…you betcha!

Travel Gear we love and recommend…

Small Backpack:
Amazon –
TSA Approved Luggage Lock:
Amazon –

Our travel videos are filmed using the following equipment…

Amazon –
Amazon –
Amazon –
Amazon –
Amazon –

About the Authors
Jack and Kitty Norton are Emmy Award winning travel experts. They have spent a lifetime on the road: as traveling musicians, documentary filmmakers and television producers. They now focus on writing for their travel blog ( and making fun videos for their YouTube channel. Jack and Kitty offer travelers fun and quirky things to do in Minnesota, the Midwest and beyond. High school sweethearts turned married soulmates, the couple lives in the small college town of Winona, Minnesota and would love to have you over for some hotdish.

Let's Chat! Leave a Friendly Comment or Thought :)