Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Winter

How Cold Does it Get in Minnesota? Average Monthly Temps

Minnesota is one of the states in the United States that is characterized by cold weather. If you plan to visit, live, or work in Minnesota, it is important to understand what weather conditions to expect and how to prepare.

In this article, we will explore the average temperature month to month in Minnesota, including the coldest months, what clothing is appropriate, and how the weather varies across the state.

What is the Average Temperature in Minnesota?

The average temperature in Minnesota varies depending on the time of year. Beginning in April, Minnesota becomes progressively warmer, with summer months characterized by warm to hot temperatures and high humidity.

The state experiences long and cold winters with frigid temperatures in the northern part of the state. On average, temperatures range from 0 °F to 70 °F throughout the year. Minnesota’s average annual temperature is around 39.7 °F.

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Month by Month Overview

The average temperature in Minnesota typically hovers around freezing (32°F) during the winter months, making it one of the coldest places in the US.

January and February are the coldest months, with typical temperature ranges between -20°F and 10°F.

April marks the beginning of spring, with temperatures typically ranging from 30°F to 60°F. Summer begins in June, with temperatures averaging around 80°F in July.

By fall, temperatures cooler down, with November’s average high being around 39°F.

Typical Temperature Range in Winter and Summer

Winter in Minnesota is quite cold, with temperatures hovering around freezing or below freezing for several months.

Summer, on the other hand, is relatively warm, with occasional hot days. The average temperature in summer is around 70-80°F.

How Does Minnesota Compare to Other States in Terms of Temperature?

Minnesota is known as one of the coldest states in the US, tied with Maine and Montana for the title in 2023. Alaska, Wyoming, and Prospect Creek Alaska are colder, but they aren’t considered states.

With average temperatures around 39.7°F, Minnesota’s winters can be brutal, and even the summer months don’t get too hot compared to other states.

Winter Hiking

How Cold Does it Get in Minneapolis?

Minneapolis, the largest city in Minnesota, has a climate similar to that of the state in general. The city experiences long, cold winters and hot, humid summers.

Record low temperatures in Minneapolis have dropped to -41°F, while record highs have climbed up to 108°F. Therefore, it’s essential to pack plenty of warm clothing if you plan to spend the winter in Minneapolis.

What is the Record Low Temperatures in Minneapolis

Minneapolis has experienced record low temperatures in the past. In January 1888, temperatures dropped down to -41°F.
More recently, in February 1996, the temperature dipped down to -32°F. Be sure to take all necessary precautions to stay warm during winter months in Minneapolis.

What Clothing is Appropriate for Minneapolis’ Cold Temperatures?

If you plan to visit Minneapolis during winter, packing warm clothing is a good idea. A jacket, gloves, hat, and boots are all essential to keep you warm and comfortable.

It’s crucial to bring layers of clothing so that you can stay warm while spending time outdoors.

How Does Winter in Minneapolis Compare to Winter in Other Cities?

Many cities in the Northern US experience cold winters, but Minneapolis is ranked among the top 10 coldest major cities in the US, with an average temperature of 18.0°F in January.

Other cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Boston also have cold and snowy winters, but Minneapolis is known to be particularly windy and frigid during the winter.

What is the Climate Like in Minnesota?

The climate in Minnesota is influenced by the state’s topography and location. Minnesota has a humid continental climate, characterized by cold winters and hot summers. The state has an average of 30 inches of snowfall per year.

How Does Topography Affect the Climate in Minnesota?

Minnesota’s topography has a significant impact on the climate. The state’s elevation varies from about 600 feet above sea level in the south to over 2000 feet above sea level in the northeast, which influences temperature, precipitation, and wind patterns.

The state’s low-lying areas tend to experience more precipitation and humidity, while higher elevations tend to be cooler and drier.

Precipitation and Humidity in Minnesota

Minnesota has a modest annual average precipitation of around 27 inches, with slightly higher amounts in the southeast than in the northwest.

In summer, Minnesota has high humidity due to the warm and moist air mass from the Gulf of Mexico that moves up into the region.

What is the Average Snowfall in Minnesota?

Minnesota’s average snowfall ranges from 36 inches in the southern and eastern parts of the state to over 70 inches in the northeast near Lake Superior.

As a result, Minnesota has a reputation for having a lot of snow and snow-related activities such as hockey and skiing.

Vermillion Falls Frozen in Hastings MN

What Months are the Coldest in Minnesota?

January and February are the coldest months in Minnesota, with average temperatures around 5°F. The temperature can drop to well below zero degrees Fahrenheit, especially at night.

It’s essential to prepare for cold temperatures by wearing several layers and investing in a good pair of winter boots.

Typical Temperature Range in January and February

The temperature range in January and February can vary widely across the state. Temperatures in northern Minnesota typically range from -20°F to 10°F, while temperatures in the southern part of the state tend to be milder, ranging from 0°F to 20°F.

How Cold Does it Get at Night in Minnesota?

Nighttime temperatures in Minnesota are typically colder than daytime temperatures.

January can be particularly frigid, with nighttime temperatures dropping below -10°F in many parts of the state.

Warm clothing and insulation are essential to stay warm in these conditions.

What is the Average High Temperature in November?

In November, the average high temperature in Minnesota is around 39°F. By this time of the year, winter is starting to set in, and it’s essential to begin preparing for colder temperatures ahead.

Winter in Minnesota

Make the most of your time in Minnesota. Check out the fun things to do while in town.

How Does the Weather in Minnesota Vary Across the State?

Minnesota’s weather can vary significantly across the state, despite its small size. Regional differences in weather patterns are largely the result of differences in temperature, precipitation, and topography.

Regional Differences in Weather Patterns

In general, northern Minnesota experiences colder temperatures, more snowfall, and more extreme weather than the southern part of the state. The southeast region receives more precipitation than any other part of the state, and the southwest region receives the least precipitation.

North Dakota vs. Minnesota: Weather Comparison

Minnesota and North Dakota share many similarities in terms of weather. Both states have long, cold winters and brief, warm summers. However, North Dakota tends to be slightly cooler than Minnesota in winter, with a broader range of temperatures and more frequent blizzards.

Surprising Weather Facts About Minnesota

Despite being known for its cold weather, Minnesota has experienced some surprisingly warm temperatures. In 1936, the town of Moorhead recorded a temperature of 114°F, the highest temperature ever recorded in the state. The lowest temperature ever recorded in the state was -60°F in Tower in February 1996.

Winter Vines at Sovereign Estates


Minnesota is a state characterized by cold weather, especially during the winter months. Visitors and residents of the state should ensure that they prepare adequately for the cold temperatures by bringing suitable clothing and gear.

By understanding the state’s average temperatures month by month, what clothing is appropriate for cold temperatures, and how the weather varies across the state, people can be better prepared to navigate the weather in Minnesota.

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