Williston Among Nation’s Coldest Cities


It should come as no surprise that North Dakota is cold.

But just how cold?

“Definitely, there’s days where I just want to stay inside,” says Amanda McLaughlin, who relocated to Williston five months ago.

“We got here and then that blizzard hit. That was a lot of fun seeing as how I had never driven in snow before and then I was expected to drive in a blizzard,” says Williston resident Noelle Martin.

“I’ve come a long ways from last year to this year with the cold weather and dealing with it,” says Williston resident Thomas Ice.

Website 24/7 Wall Street, using data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), found these to be the five coldest cities in the country-

Fairbanks, AK

Grand Forks, ND

Williston, ND

Fargo, ND

Duluth, MN

That’s right. Three North Dakota cities made the top of five.

Williston comes in at number three, with a low temperature of -50.

So cold some remember the day well.


Judie and Dean Hammer
Longtime Williston Residents
“Very cold. It was hard to put on enough clothes on to be out in it. But then you stay home,” says longtime Williston resident Judie Hammer.

And while the temperature hasn’t dropped that low this year, Williston is still considered one of the coldest places in the nation.

“According to my Dad, he said that Williston’s been colder than a lot of the cities in Alaska even right now,” says Ice.

Well, Dad might be right. And here’s why.

“Alaska is surrounded by ocean. If you look at any continent, anything on the interior of the continent is always going to have more extremes than the outsides closer to the water,” says KX Storm Team meteorologist, Amber Wheeler.

Being located in a cold climate presents in challenges.

“Being the coldest, it can be a challenge to forecast. Challenging to tell people. That’s for sure. It’s going to be really cold today,” says Wheeler.

Well, good thing not everyone considers it to be all that cold.

“It’s nice weather today,” says Ice.

“We haven’t had any cold weather yet,” says longtime Williston resident Dean Hammer.

So just how cold does it feel in Williston?
Well, that might just depend on who you ask.

In case you were wondering, Bismarck grabbed the eighth spot.

Only cities with at least 10,000 residents were ranked. We reached out to NOAA, which compiled the data that was used by 24/7 Wall Street to make the list. A NOAA spokesperson told us that while they have not reviewed the findings for accuracy, they think it sounds about right.

The spokesperson also noted that using a different method to calculate the results may lead to different findings.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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