National Weather Service data published in USA Today are used to analyze daily hottest and coldest places in the lower 48 states. The dataset of national weather stations is restricted by population and elevation. Between 1995 and 2005, 264 places in the lower 48 states got the daily hottest record, while 364 places got the coldest record. Death Valley, California, had the highest number of hottest days (803). Stanley, Idaho, had the highest number of coldest days (398). The top coldest and hottest places were then climatically compared to other extreme weather stations in the conterminous United States using data compiled by the Midwest Regional Climate Center. The locations of hot and cold places vary considerably depending on what climate measure is used to determine mean temperatures. Death Valley has the highest mean July maximum temperature in the nation. If mean yearly maximum temperature is used, Death Valley ties with Lake Havasu City, Arizona, for being the hottest place. Key West, Florida, has the highest mean yearly temperature. For the coldest place in the conterminous United States, Darwin Ranch, Wyoming, gets the title if mean yearly minimum temperature is used. Tower, Minnesota, has the lowest mean January minimum temperature. Mount Washington, New Hampshire, has the lowest mean yearly temperature in the conterminous United States. The results of this study show that there is no single place in the conterminous United States that can claim to be the hottest or the coldest.


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pp. 101-114
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