If you live in Massachusetts, you’re no stranger to the trials and tribulations of what the winter months can bring, but do we have the worst? Factoring in snowfall, freezing temperatures, and howling winds, which state really experiences the harshest winters?
The good folks at Thrilllist decide to rank each of the 50 states, from nicest winter to worst. The Massachusetts destination might surprise you. Hawaii landed at number 50, as it should. Some might think it’s hard to live on a volcano in the middle of the ocean, but you don’t know if you have sub-zero temperatures without the wind chill.
I think we can just jump 49-11 because, honestly, it doesn’t matter.
Here are the top ten, quoted by Thrillist.
- 10 – WE ARE HERE! Yes, Massachusetts is coming into the county’s 10th worst winter.
When it comes to Massachusetts winters, you choose your poison: do you prefer slightly warmer winters on the coast with heavier snowfall? Or brutally hard Tom Brunansky-bat-to-your-ears cold in the western and central mass with slightly less snow? Either way, the state tends to do a good job of keeping pike out of the snow so you can head to the nearest Newbury Comics and buy extra copies of older Dropkick albums. Murphys for your grandkids, and the Bruins and Celtics earn enough that you can just lay in the hammock in your partially finished basement drinking Ocean Spray Cran-Grape juice and Bully Boy vodkas and Watch your Shawn Thornton Good Fights Counterfeit Tape until all Northeasts are done.
So that begs the question, who has it worse than us? Glad you asked.
9. Montana��- Did you know that the continental divide can create distinct differences in sunshine, wind, precipitation, and temperature depending on whether you are in the eastern or western part of the state?
8. Idaho- If you happen to live at the top of the Idaho Chimney, on Route 2 by Bonners Ferry or even beyond, wow. You basically live in Canada and as such you’re in no way protected from those beautiful Chinook winds we keep talking about, but you might have an advantage in getting cheaper prescription drugs, so that’s ok. balance.
7.Wisconsin- There is a lingering and overwhelming level of gray frigidity here that can only be combated with generous doses of Old Fashioneds and Spotted Cow brandy as well as various forms of fried dairy products.
6. South Dakota – Your average high temperature during the winter months is four degrees higher than North Dakota. You are the Dakotas champion.
5. Maine – Over 80% of Maine’s land is forested. There are whole swathes of huge, thousand-mile land that are uninhabited or barely inhabited, and that’s because northern Maine has winters that we only really talk about in Game of Thrones – brutal and endless and probably tied with The Long Night
4. North Dakota – In Downtown Owl, Chuck Klosterman is about a sleepy town in North Dakota in which events are fairly mundane until a massive, unforgiving blizzard rolls in and (spoiler alert) kills all three protagonists in horribly depressingly different ways. The book is a work of fiction. WHERE IS IT?
3.Alaska – Look, if you take it from a purely “how bad can things really get, weather-wise” standpoint, Alaska is obviously the number one choice here. No other state has large swaths of geography that can say things like “man, I haven’t seen the sun in months” and let it be literally rather than figuratively. Any data you want to extract on snow, wind or cold will easily outweigh any other condition
2.Michigan – Winter in Michigan begins well before Thanksgiving and extends well after Easter, making for a tiring four to six months of always gray, always cold, always rainy misery, but rarely snowy in a good way. Some other states may see colder temperatures or more snow, but Michigan winters are unrivaled for their complete lack of sunshine.
1. Minnesota – Parts of northern Minnesota see up to 170 inches of snow in the winter. One hundred and seventy inches! It’s like two and a half times the height of Kent Hrbek!! It can drop to -60 degrees, a temperature at which frostbite can occur in less than five minutes. There are no chinook winds or moderating oceans to temper things outside of a small area at the edge of Lake Superior. Your sports teams never win championships. All your good high school hockey players end up playing for NHL teams in other cities. Ice fishing can’t be so cool, really.
So maybe we don’t have it so bad in good old Massachusetts?