All 50 States Ranked By How Severe The Winter Is

Not looking forward to a miserable winter? You might live in Minnesota or Michigan.

Those two states top the latest list of the states with the worst winters in the country.

Of course, most of the states are in the far north – Alaska, North Dakota, and Maine also top the list, and the states with the best summers are in the South and the Southwest.

The state with the best winters is the state that almost doesn’t even really have a winter. The average July temperature in Honolulu is 82 degrees and the average temperature in January is 79. The same goes for the average low temperatures: 75 in July and 68 in January. That’s only sweater weather if you’re extremely hot-blooded.

On the continental U.S., my home state of Arizona is listed as the best state for winters – and for the most populous parts of the state, it’s true.

While we’re suffering through stifling heat in the summer (in Phoenix, the low is in the 90s routinely, I’m not kidding), once fall comes we desert dwellers have about seven months where the weather couldn’t be more perfect.

While the Midwest is suffering through feet of snow, Phoenicians and Tucsonans are hiking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors.

It can be a little misleading, though, as the folks at Thrillist point out:

Occasionally, retired Kroger business executives from Ohio and their Pilates-instructor second wives will accidentally move to Flagstaff and get very sad and angry when they realize the average winter temperature is somewhere in the 20s. But most of Arizona offers up that dry desert day heat (it was 88 in Phoenix last week) that is good for arthritis and any lingering guilt about leaving their first wives to deal with their delinquent teenage kids back in Indian Hill.

It’s true: The northern and eastern portions of the state get real winters. The elevation is higher than Denver (Flagstaff is above 7,000 feet) and mountains of snow are common.

Rounding out the list of the best places to spend your summer are California (also misleading, as the state is the size of Italy and weather in Tahoe is quite different than San Diego. But that said, where most people live, the weather is unmatched (if you can put up with the politics).

Colorado is the fourth best place to spend the winter, but for different reasons. It’s sunny, cold, and the winter sports are the top priority. Also – if it’s your thing – Thrillist points out that marijuana is legal there … so there’s that.

Florida is fifth. Beautiful weather, if you can stand the humidity.

Rounding out the top ten best states to live in for the winter are New Mexico, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

The worst states to live in, in order of just awfulness, are Minnesota, Michigan, Alaska, North Dakota, Maine, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana, and Massachusetts.

Here’s the full list, from best winters to the worst:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Arizona
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Florida
  6. New Mexico
  7. Louisiana
  8. Texas
  9. Georgia
  10. Alabama
  11. South Carolina
  12. Mississippi
  13. North Carolina
  14. Nevada
  15. Tennessee
  16. Utah
  17. Arkansas
  18. Oklahoma
  19. Virginia
  20. Maryland
  21. Kentucky
  22. West Virginia
  23. Missouri
  24. Kansas
  25. Delaware
  26. Nebraska
  27. New Jersey
  28. Pennsylvania
  29. Vermont
  30. Rhode Island
  31. New York
  32. Connecticut
  33. Washington
  34. Oregon
  35. Indiana
  36. New Hampshire
  37. Ohio
  38. Illinois
  39. Wyoming
  40. Iowa
  41. Massachusetts
  42. Montana
  43. Idaho
  44. Wisconsin
  45. South Dakota
  46. Maine
  47. North Dakota
  48. Alaska
  49. Michigan
  50. Minnesota

What do you think of the list? Where does your state rank? Looking forward to the winter? Stand up and defend yourselves, maniacs! Sound off below!