7 States with the Worst February Weather

Although February is usually the coldest month of the year, it also heralds the arrival of spring and a slight increase in temperature. Our ranking of the seven states with the worst February weather includes Midwesterner states that border Canada and the Great Lakes. These states must share extreme temperatures, lengthy and severe winters, and resilient citizens who can withstand these conditions in order to be eligible for this distinction. Continue reading to learn more about these states’ qualifications for the list as well as other fascinating details about them!

South Dakota

South Dakota has severe winters; January and February are the coldest months. Due to its mid-continental location, the state experiences extremely high temperatures due to the combined effects of warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and cold air from Canada. February typically sees a high temperature of 39°F and a low temperature of 14°F. The month’s rainfall averages roughly four days, yielding six to seven inches.

With an average of 12 snow days in February, the eastern portion of the state experiences extreme cold. The residents love outdoor activities like ice fishing, skiing, and snowmobiling despite the cold weather. Here, chokecherry, bur oak, and black walnut are among the native plants. Additionally, animals including ring-necked pheasants, prairie dogs, coyotes, merlins, and common loons are enduring the winter.


This Midwesterner state, which lies immediately below South Dakota, has a very cold February. Throughout the month, the average temperature ranges from a high of 38°F to a low of 19°F. Approximately 7 inches of rain fall over the course of 3 to 8 days on average, with an expected 8 snow days. During this winter, the lakes freeze over and provide fun ice rinks for the locals to use.

Despite the cold, resilient Nebraskans go outside and engage in a range of winter sports. For instance, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and sledding are popular pastimes among the residents. Likewise, river otters, jackrabbits, quick foxes, coyotes, and white-tailed deer are among the hardy inhabitants that brave the elements. Wintertime birds of prey include great horned owls, junco, chickadees, rough-legged hawks, and bald eagles.


This state borders Canada to the west, north, and east, as well as four of the Great Lakes, hence it is susceptible to severe snowfall. The rise in winds may make freezing temperatures feel even colder. February’s average temperature ranges from a high of 34°F to a low of 20°F, with − 34°F being the lowest recorded temperature. The coldest city in the state is Marquette, which is found in the upper peninsula. Temperatures can drop to as low as 14°F and rise to as high as 27°F for local residents.

The month has roughly ten days of rain on average, with 1.5 inches of rain predicted and 74 percent humidity. Nevertheless, Michiganders are not deterred by this weather. Sledding, ice golfing, fat tyre riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are examples of winter sports. The fauna in this area also includes red-tailed hawks, mallard ducks, chickadees, cardinals, snowshoe hares, cottontail rabbits, groundhogs, and white-breasted nuthatch.


Its northeastern closeness to Lake Superior has an impact on the region’s extremely harsh and protracted winters. The continental climate of Minnesota brings with it extremes of temperature. A natural phenomena known as the “lake snow effect” is brought on by cold air carrying moisture across the Great Lakes. Snow is created as clouds form as the air rises. The typical temperature in February ranges from 9°F to 34°F. Approximately 59% of the month is cloudy or overcast. There is an average of 0.1 to 0.4 inches of precipitation and 3.3 to 7.6 inches of snowfall.

In the northern area, extreme weather events resulting in up to 170 inches of snow are possible. Situated in the state’s “snowbelt,” Duluth is one of the coldest cities in the union. When it dropped to 60° F below zero in 1996, it was the lowest temperature on record. These Nordic-bred locals take pleasure in winter festivals, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. They live in harmony with hardy animals including short-tailed weasels, moose, white-tailed deer, snowshoe hares, and bald eagles.


The state of Hawkeye has a typical continental climate of the midwest, with a chilly and rainy February. The month-long average temperature ranges from 17 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Throughout the month, there are typically five days with rain, yielding an inch of precipitation. Six inches of snowfall falls on average. Iowans get the chance to enjoy outdoor activities like ice skating, skiing, and sledding throughout the winter months. Red cedar, snowdrops, witch hazel, Christmas roses, and winterberries are examples of winter flora. The fauna in this area also includes brown creeper, red-and white-breasted nuthatch, common goldeneye, common merganser, foxes, coyotes, deer, weasels, and hawks.


The Great Lakes, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, which border the state on two sides, have an impact on the climate here and cause lengthy, cold winters. February weather typically ranges from 19 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall usually lasts for three to eight days, with an average of twelve inches of snowfall. Residents occasionally encounter extreme weather, as demonstrated by the record-breaking 53.7 inches of snow that fell on Eau Claire in February 2019. Sledding, snowboarding, ice skating, and skiing are among the most popular winter sports. Prairie bead grass, red-osier dogwood, and beautyberry plants are examples of winter foliage. Crossbills, sparrows, barred owls, grosbeaks, waxwings, geese, grouse, chickadees, titmice, redpolls, nuthatches, and woodpeckers are some of the other wintertime fauna.

North Dakota

North Dakota leads the state in terms of the worst February weather. The largely level terrain is swept by strong arctic winds that originate in the north, bringing with them bitterly cold winter temperatures and blizzards. The Alberta Clipper, a low-pressure system with Canadian origins, is one such contribution. Due to the state’s continental climate, there are erratic temperature fluctuations throughout the year, with an average of 50 days below zero in the winter.

Here, there is a large range in temperature. For instance, the city of Fargo experiences highs of 19°F and lows of 5°F on average in February. The north experiences highs of 2°F, while the south experiences highs of 17°F. In the city of Parshall, the lowest recorded temperature was below 60°F on February 15, 1936. In fact, Grand Forks has experienced wind chills below 63°F. On January 22, 1936, North Dakota experienced a wind chill of minus 73°F, setting yet another record! Whitetail deer, bison, bighorn sheep, elk, prairie dogs, and ferrets are among the resilient animals that survive the bitter winters in this area.