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Extreme Conditions: Rating of the Coldest Countries in the World

Climate is the most important geographic concept. Depending on a country's location on the globe, temperature, humidity, and air circulation change. The closer to the equator, the hotter it is, and at the poles, the colder it is in winter and summer.

Let's study this question in more detail and find out which country has the coldest climate. Of great importance in this question is the belonging of the territory to a particular climatic zone.

Extreme climatic conditions

Depending on the location of the globe and the circulation of the atmosphere, there are seven types of climate zones:

  1. Equatorial (isolated zones on the equator);
  2. subequatorial (circling the planet along the equator);
  3. tropical;
  4. subtropical;
  5. moderate;
  6. subarctic and subantarctic;
  7. polar.

The boundaries of the zones are not clear, they do not coincide with the geographical parallels. In the last three belts, winters can be very cold.


Climatic zones are distributed unevenly across the globe

In addition to the position of the Earth relative to the Sun, the temperature regime is influenced by:

  • surface topography;
  • amount of precipitation;
  • presence of seas, large bodies of water.

In high-altitude areas, solid precipitation falls but does not have time to melt, so glaciers form. One example is Greenland, the largest island on the planet, 81% of which is covered by ice.

Let's consider zones where temperatures drop to extreme levels every year. The official name is "cold poles". Territorially, they can be northern and southern. The latter is located near the Russian Antarctic research station "Vostok". The minimum temperature recorded with a thermometer was -89.2°C (1983). The coldest month is August, the average temperature for 40 years of research - 67.8°C.


Polar station "Vostok" - the southern "pole of cold

The Northern "pole of cold" is not officially established. Two Russian settlements are fighting for the right to be called that:

  • the city of Verkhoyansk;
  • Tomor near Oymyakon.

Both settlements are located in Yakutia. In Verkhoyansk in 1885 the thermometer fell to -67.8°C. The official record of Oymyakon is -67.7°C. In SNIP "Building Climatology" for both settlements minimum was taken as -68 degrees.

In order to determine the 10 coldest countries in the world, you should consider the measurements taken with a thermometer in the localities where people live.

A number of Western sources consider the Canadian Mount Logan as the northern "cold pole", but its height is close to 6 kilometers, which makes measurements doubtful.

Top 10 coldest countries

There are states on our planet whose climate is considered inhospitable to human life. The desert areas of the Sahara in Africa are almost not inhabited by humans. The hottest place here is the Libyan city of El-Azizia, whose temperature record is +57.8°C.

Global Warming

Scientists say that global warming will soon affect the entire planet, but residents of the northern regions have not yet felt the change

The coldest area of the planet is the unpopulated Antarctic Desert. The highlands make this area uninhabitable for permanent life.

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In order to determine the top coldest countries, consider:

  • officially recorded temperature lows;
  • the average annual temperature;
  • cold regions of the country.

The coldest country - a rather abstract concept, since not all states are located compactly and homogeneously populated. In some cases, it is appropriate to consider the islands, peninsulas separately. We present the top harshest regions and countries where people live.


The weather in Russia is based on a number of factors:

  • The length is from west to east and from north to south;
  • the size of the territory;
  • variety of surface topography.

A large part of Russia's territory is unfavorable for living

Cold and warm seasons differ clearly in Russia, regardless of the region. If you look at the map of the Russian-German climatologist Vladimir Köppen, you can see a vast area with very cold winters located in the northern Far East.

Summer period is short, plus temperatures last 2-4 months, frosts in winter stay at 30-50°C. In depressions and hollows temperature in Yakutia reaches -70 degrees. Living here borders on survival, so in the largest subject of the Russian Federation the population is only 967,000 people.

Alaska (USA)

The northernmost U.S. state differs from the others not only in its remote location, but also in its size. The lowlands are adjacent to the mountain ranges. The northernmost part is called North Slope, it is the harshest area.


Alaska's coldest areas are sparsely populated with oil and gas production.

The proximity of the ocean mitigates Alaska's climatic conditions. Glaciers cover 40000 km2In summer, the temperature in the boro North Slope is around zero degrees Celsius.

Greenland (Denmark)

Greenland's population is not large and is about 60,000 inhabitants. On the west coast it is cold all year round with gusty winds. Greenland's harshest point is a place called Pituffik, where the U.S. air base Tule is located.


A river of meltwater in southern Greenland is a beautiful sight

The absolute minimum is 54 ° C. The average plus temperature in summer does not exceed 7 degrees. Vegetation is found only in places where there is no glacial cover. Since the island is uninhabitable, the main settlements are located in the south-west, where the climatic conditions are milder.


Despite its northern location, Finland's weather conditions are influenced by the warm currents of the Atlantic Ocean. If you compare the areas to the east in the same latitude, it turns out that the climate there is harsher.


Winters in Finland are snowy and cold. Pictured here is the Oulanka National Park.

It is moderately cold in winter, with an absolute low of -35.9°C.


The state stretches from south to north, which affects the distribution of temperature zones. Summers are cool, winters are frosty all over the country. In the far north, temperature records down to -50°C have been recorded. The coldest points of Canada inhabited by people are the cities of Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Regina.


One of the coldest places in Canada is the town of Whitehorse, Yukon.


Mongolia's climate is sharply continental and summers are colder than in Kazakhstan. The capital, Ulaanbaatar, which is located in a mountainous area, is famous for its long, frosty winters that last from October to April. Summers are cool, so the city is considered the coldest capital in the world.


A characteristic feature of the coldest capital in the world, Ulaanbaatar, are the few snowy winters.

Precipitation is rare throughout the country. In winter, the wind brings dust and fine snow.

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The name Iceland translates literally as "land of ice," but it is more poetic than literal. The state is not located in the Arctic climate zone, the weather here is influenced by cold and warm currents of the oceans.


Diamond Beach in Iceland - the unfrozen ocean and ice on the sand

The coldest months are January and February, when the frost reaches -15 degrees Celsius. In winter in the northern latitudes of Russia, the temperature drops by 5-10 degrees below. Strong gusty winds are typical for Iceland.


Kazakhstan is a large country in Asia with a sharply continental dry climate. In the south of the Republic stand out territories surrounded by mountains. Winters here are considered mild. Kazakhstan is in the list of cold countries because of the harsh climate in the central part and northern areas.


In the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, winter frosts reach -40-50 degrees Celsius.

The extremely cold point of the state is the city of Atbasar in Akmola region. Low temperatures during the winter months reach -50-57°C.


Estonia is included in the list of cold countries because of the prevailing low summer temperatures. The average temperature is 5 degrees. Winters are humid, not harsh. Residents tolerate the weather conditions well.

The coldest place in Estonia is the town of Jõgeva in the east, where in winter recorded - 43.5 ° C (1940).


A pillar of cold in the Estonian city of Jõgeva

Svalbard (Norway)

The archipelago of Europe Spitsbergen has mountainous terrain, more than half of the area is covered by a thick layer of ice. In the largest population center of Norway, Longyear, the air is warm 3 months a year. The rest of the time it is frosty.


Svalbard is not the coldest place on the planet, but visitors prefer to dress warmly

The warm Atlantic Current softens the weather, so the same latitudes in Canada and Russia have average temperatures 20°C lower.

Russia is the coldest country in the world

Studies by climatologists clearly show that Russia is the coldest country in the world. To prove this, let us present facts and interesting features.

  • Rivaling Russians for the title of frost-resistant inhabitants are Mongolians. They are used to living in harsh climates, but the average annual temperature in Mongolia is minus 0.9°C, while in Russia it is minus 5.5°C.
  • The northern "pole of cold" is located in Yakutia, below the recorded temperature on Earth falls only in Antarctica, which does not belong to any country.
  • Siberia is a vast area that is the most frosty in the world, most of it located in Russia. Winter in Siberia lasts 6-7 months of the year.
  • It turns out that two-thirds of the state's territory is considered unfit for normal human existence due to abnormal cold weather. Nevertheless, northern peoples live here.

Residents of Oymyakon are proud to live in extreme conditions

When asked what country has the coldest winter, Russia always comes to mind. Indeed, winter frosts can be frightening even in mid-latitudes. In Voronezh, a southern city located in a temperate climate zone, winter temperatures can drop to -20-25°C.

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Top 5 coldest cities in Russia

We present a rating of the most extreme settlements of the Russian Federation, whose residents are not afraid of thirty-degree frosts. In parentheses the absolute minimum temperature regime for the entire history of observations is indicated.


Verkhoyansk fights for the right to be called the coldest city in the world

Verkhoyansk (-67.8°)

Authorities in Yakutia have determined that according to official measurements the "pole of cold" is located in Verkhoyansk, the northernmost city of the federation. Summer is warm, dry and short, while winter lasts 7 months, with frosts usually reaching minus 50°, which is not a problem for residents.

Oymyakon (-67.7°)

Oymyakon village is located in circumpolar latitudes. The temperature drop is influenced by the location of the village 740 meters above sea level. The average temperature regime is 1-2 degrees warmer than in Verkhoyansk. The average annual mark is minus 15.5°.

Norilsk (-64.7°)

Let's move west, to the world's most populous northern city. Winter period is 8 months, spring and fall are one month each. Summers are warm, up to +18°. The problem of Norilsk is the gusty wind.


Aurora Borealis over Norilsk

Yakutsk (-64.4°)

The average annual observation in Yakutsk, the capital of the Sakha Republic, is minus 8.8°. There is little precipitation, so summers are dry and warm. Precipitation in the form of snow is possible in summer. Paradoxically, the heat in Yakutsk reaches +30-40° in summer.

Dudinka (-61°)

On average, it is colder in Dudinka than in Yakutsk. The polar day is limited to 68 days, the heating season here lasts 300 days. The thermometer rises above zero only four months of the year, sometimes even in September it is already frosty.


Tundra near Dudinka settlement


  1. Extremely harsh areas are as close to the poles as possible. Unless the climate is influenced by warm currents or mountainous terrain, the thermometer column falls below 65 degrees in open land areas.
  2. The coldest areas are officially recognized as Mongolia, Spitsbergen, Finland, and Alaska. Estonia has a moderately cold climate.
  3. Russia is the coldest country, with cities that have extremely harsh winters.
  4. The five most frosty settlements are Dudinka, Norilsk, Oymyakon, Yakutsk, and Verkhoyansk.
Comments: 2

What about Sakha

AN I''elA

In Salekhard, it is also very cold. Winter frosts as low as -50°C, there are many activations for grades 1-4, but nothing for 5-11????

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