Thursday, December 24, 2009

Coldest major cities?

A biking book I was reading claimed Minneapolis (meaning St Paul) was the coldest major city on earth. That might be true of the US if you exclude cities with metro areas under 1 million ...

... The coldest major city in the USA is Minneapolis, which has an annual average temperature of 45.2 F. However, several other smaller cities are much colder, including Fairbanks, Alaska (26.7 F), Anchorage (36.2 F), International Falls, Minn. (37.4 F), Duluth, Minn., (39.1 F), and Caribou, Maine (39.2 F)...
There's no way it's true of the world however. Edmonton is insanely colder, and their metro population is now over 1 million very tough people. Montreal is slightly warmer than us -- though the weather there is far more miserable (gloomy, slushy, thaw, freeze - yech). Winnipeg is colder than Minneapolis, but it doesn't make the 1 million cut (they claim to the coldest western hemisphere city over 600,000 people).

Google has only one list and it omits Edmonton (but includes Minneapolis) ...
harbin: -13 C/ 8 F (the 10th largest city in China with 9.8 million residents)
qiqihar: -13 C/9 F
urumqi: -8 C/18 F
changchun: -10 C/14 F
minneapolis: -6 C/22 F
montreal: -6 C/22 F
moscow: -6 C/22 F
shenyang: -6 C/22 F
So even on this list, we tie for 5th place with 3 others -- and this informal list omits Edmonton. I suspect if we use St Paul's post global warming temperatures (1990 on) we might fall out of the top 10.

We're definitely not the coldest "major" city on earth -- though we might make the top 3 of coldest wealthy city.

Incidentally, Harbin once had a Jewish population of 20,000 - in the 1920s.

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