Does Massachusetts Have the Most Miserable Winter in the U.S?
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 it the worst? Factoring in snowfall, freezing temperatures, howling winds, which state really does live through the nastiest winters?
The fine folks over at Thrilllist decide to rank each of the 50 states, from the most palatable winter to the worst. Where Massachusetts ended up might surprise you. Hawaii landed at number 50, as it should. Some might think it's hard living on a volcano in the middle of the ocean, but you don't know hard until you've sub zero temperatures without the windchill.
I figure we can just skip 49-11 because, honestly, who cares.
Here's the top ten, quoted from Thrillist.
- 10 - HERE WE ARE! Yes, Massachusetts comes in at the 10th worst winters in the county.
When it comes to Massachusetts winters, you pick your poison: would you prefer slightly warmer winters on the coast with heavier snowfall? Or brutally harsh Tom Brunansky-bat-to-your-ears cold in Western and Central Mass with slightly less snow? Either way, the state tends to do a good job keeping the Pike clear of snow so you can get to the closest Newbury Comics and buy extra copies of old Dropkick Murphys albums for your grandchildren, plus the Bruins and Celtics win enough that you can just lie in the hammock in your partially finished basement drinking Ocean Spray Cran-Grape juice and Bully Boy vodkas and watch your bootleg tape of good Shawn Thornton fights until all the nor’easters are over.
So this begs the question, who has it worse than we do? Glad you asked.
9. Montana��- Did you know that the Continental Divide can create distinct differences in sunlight, wind, precipitation, and temperature, depending on whether you’re in the eastern or western part of the state?
8. Idaho - If you happen to live up at the top of Idaho’s chimney, up Route 2 by Bonners Ferry or beyond even, wow. You basically live in Canada, and as such, are in no way protected by those lovely chinook winds we keep talking about, but might have an in on getting cheaper prescription drugs, so it balances out.
7. Wisconsin - There’s a level of persistently grey, soul-squeezing frigidness here that can only be combatted with liberal doses of brandy Old Fashioneds and Spotted Cow along with various forms of fried dairy products.
6. South Dakota - Your average high temperature during the winter months is four degrees higher than North Dakota's. You are the champion of the Dakotas.
5. Maine - More than 80% of Maine’s land is forests. There are entire huge thousand-mile swaths of land that are uninhabited or barely habited, and that is because northern Maine has winters that are only really spoken about in Game of Thrones -- brutal and never-ending and likely on par with The Long Night
4. North Dakota - In Downtown Owl, Chuck Klosterman writes of a sleepy North Dakota town in which the happenings are fairly mundane until a massive, unforgiving blizzard sweeps through and (spoiler alert) kills all three of the protagonists in different horribly depressing ways. The book is a work of fiction. OR IS IT?
3. Alaska - Look, if you’re taking things from a purely “how bad can things actually get, weather wise” standpoint, Alaska is obviously the number one choice here. No other state has vast geographical stretches that can say stuff like “man, I haven’t seen the sun in months” and have it be literal rather than figurative. Any data you want to pull on snow, wind, or cold will trump that of any other state handily
2. Michigan - Winter in Michigan begins well before Thanksgiving and stretches far past Easter, which makes for four-to-six wearisome months of always-gray, always-cold, always-drizzly, but-rarely-snowy-in-a-good-way misery. Some other states may see colder temps or more snow, but Michigan winters are unrivaled for their utter lack of sunshine.
1. Minnesota - Parts of northern Minnesota see up to 170in of snow in a winter. One hundred seventy inches! That’s like two and a half times the height of Kent Hrbek!! It can get down to -60 degrees, a temperature at which frostbite can occur in fewer than five minutes. There are no chinook winds or moderating oceans to temper things outside of a small area by Lake Superior. Your sports teams never win championships. All of your good high school hockey players end up starring for NHL teams in other cities. Ice fishing can’t be that cool, really.
So maybe we don't have it that bad in good ol' Massachusetts?