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The coldest places on Earth: From Vostok Station to Iroquois Falls, Ontario

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Michael Carter
Meteorologist

Saturday, February 14, 2015, 9:16 AM - Mention the coldest places on Earth and it will evoke visions of the vast, frozen tundra, where most people dare not visit, let alone live. While this may be true, there exist several places on the planet - some even bordering populated cities and towns - that annually succumb to winter’s blast to qualify as some of the coldest places ever recorded.

In the list below, The Weather Network meteorologist Michael Carter identifies 10 of these locales, including some that may surprise you.

Iroquois Falls, Ontario | Map It

A town of about 5,000 people on the banks of the Abitibi River in northern Ontario, Iroquois Falls holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in Ontario, and the fifth lowest ever recorded in Canada of -58.3°C on January 23, 1935.

Dras, India | Map It

The coldest place in India, even though it is on the same latitude as Los Angeles, California. Dras`s cold temperatures are due to its altitude of over 3,000m. The official temperature record is -33.9°C on March 22, 1911, but temperatures reportedly have reached as low as -45°C.

Kittilä, Finland | Map It

Located in Finland north of the Arctic Circle, Kittilä is a ski resort and gold mining town. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Europe (outside of Russia) was -51.5°C on January 28 of 1999.

Ifrane, Morocco | Map It

A popular ski resort located in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Ifrane is the coldest place in Africa. The all-time low temperature of -24.3°C was recorded on February 11, 1935.

San Juan Province, Argentina | Map It

The coldest temperature ever recorded in South America was -39°C at Valle de los Platos Superior in the San Juan Province of Argentina. The San Juan Province contains the frigid 6000m peaks of the Andes Mountains as well as arid plains which frequently experience hot, dry downslope winds similar to a Chinook, but there knows as Zonda.

Rogers Pass, Montana, United States | Map It

The coldest place in the US (outside of Alaska) is Rogers Pass, Montana, a high mountain pass on the Continental Divide located at an elevation of 1710m. The temperature fell to -57°C on January 20, 1954.

Snag, Yukon | Map It

The coldest place in Canada is Snag, Yukon, where the temperature fell to -63.9°C on February 3, 1947. At the time the record was set, the Toronto Globe and Mail noted that "The only reason the men didn't celebrate was that all the alcohol at the station was in the thermometer and that was nearly frozen."

North Ice, Greenland | Map It

A remote research station operated in northern Greenland by the British North Greenland Expedition recorded the all-time lowest temperature in North America of -66.1°C on January 9, 1954.

Oymyakon, Russia | Map It

The coldest regularly inhabited place on earth, is Oymyakon, Russia, where the temperature reached -67.7°C on February 6, 1933. Only Antarctica has ever recorded colder temperatures. The average temperature for the months of December, January, and February is regularly below -50°C, and there has never been a recorded temperature above 0°C between October 25 and March 17.

Vostok Station, Antarctica: The coldest place on earth | Map It

Vostok is a Russian research station in Antarctica. The lowest temperature recorded there is also the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth: -89.2°C on July 21, 1983. This is well below the freezing point of the carbon dioxide in the air itself. Vostok also recorded a wind chill of -124°C on August 4, 2005. (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

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