The Best States to Build a Snowman


If you remember from our post on the best weather to build a snowman, ideal snowman weather is at least 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Which US states get those kinds of blustery cold temps regularly?

The following states are the best to build a snowman:

  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Arkansas
  • Minnesota
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan
  • Vermont 
  • Maine

Ahead, we’ll share the average winter temperatures for the above 14 states as well as some of the coldest parts of these already-chilly places. If you live in or visit one of these states, you’ll be building snowmen galore! 

14 Cold-Weather States Perfect for Building a Snowman

Oregon

Oregon is the first on the list, as get you several months of potential snowman-building weather here. In December, when winter officially begins, the temperatures are between 35 and 55 degrees, which is still a bit warm for your purposes. However, it’s not unheard of for temps to dip closer to 11 degrees over that month. Brrr!

In January, the average daily low temps are 11 to 42 degrees and the highs are 34 to 55 degrees. If you get some chillier days on the forecast, you can for sure expect snow. The state averages up to three inches of the stuff over the winter!

In February, temps are between 35 and 55 degrees, so on a slightly colder day, you’re right on the money for building a snowman. The cold temps even linger into March in Oregon, where the average is anywhere from 19 to 57 degrees.

According to news publication The Blue Mountain Eagle, Seneca is the coldest part of Oregon. In 1933, temps reached -54 degrees! 

Utah

Not so far off the map from Oregon is Utah. You’ll need your thick winter coat in December, where temps are frequently in that perfect 30-degree range up to 53 degrees. In the colder parts of the region, temps can decrease even further, with averages of 10 to 30 degrees. 

You’ll want to wait for January to build a snowman in Utah, as days that are 30 degrees or under are common. If you’re in the eastern or northern areas in the state, you could regularly experience temps under 0 degrees! That’s too cold for even snowmen, so stay indoors with some hot chocolate. 

Salt Lake City gets covered in snow in the winter, about 54 inches every year. Yet Peter Sinks is the coldest part of the state. Located in Cache County’s Bear River Range, the temperatures here can make even Alaska seem warm! 

Idaho

The weather in Idaho is already looking promising for building a snowman as early as November. In Boise, the days are mild with temps of 32 to 48 degrees, and in Coeur d’Alene, the temperatures are around 32 degrees as well. 

By December, the daily temperatures in Idaho are around 27 degrees as a low and 42 degrees as a high, and those are the days that are considered milder. The cold days are -2 to 28 degrees. January is when things get really cold, with the high temps 26 to 43 degrees. In Stanley, a central area of Idaho, the highs linger at around 26 degrees, and in Boise, about 25 to 38 degrees.

February tends to get icier than snowier, but with temperatures often around 33 degrees, you could still find a few good days to build a snowman. Before the gripping fingers of spring take hold in March, it’s not unheard of for Idaho to experience temperatures around 10 degrees, sometimes with only 37 degrees as the high.

Idaho receives about 39 inches of snow a year, giving you a lot to work with! Stanley, Idaho is where you’ll want to make a beeline towards, which is about 130 miles from Boise if you head east. From 1995 to 2005, Stanley had the coldest days in the state.  

Wyoming

Wyoming is a good state to visit for making a snowman too. As early as November, you might get a few days that are below freezing, with temps anywhere from 15 to 25 degrees. By December, the high is 24 to 41 degrees, so those colder days are very snowman-friendly. The northwest areas of Wyoming, including Moose, start to log a lot of snow in December, anywhere from 10 inches to 44 inches, which is practically record-breaking.

You won’t find a colder month in this state than January, which brings with it temps of 1 to 32 degrees on average in the southwest and central parts of the state. The southern and eastern areas experience milder temps between 14 and 36 degrees, aka perfect weather for winter fun. January is also the time of year for the most snow in Wyoming.

Since temps start to get a little milder by February, you’ll want to plan to visit Kemmerer early in the winter. The recorded temperature here at one point was 22 degrees, which is quite cold for this state! 

Colorado

December is where the wintry fun really starts in Colorado, as the highs are between 27 and 45 degrees. In Fort Collins, the high is around 41 degrees, which is still good snowman weather, and in Crested Butte, the average is 27 degrees. Add to that the amount of snow that Colorado tends to receive in December, around 29.2 inches in Vail, and you’re ready to get out and get rolling snowballs!

Like many of the other US states we’ve discussed, it gets coldest in Colorado when January arrives. The highs are only 25 to 49 degrees while the bitter lows sometimes reach 0 degrees or under. In Alamosa, a western part of the state, the temperature range is -2 to 34 degrees. Crested Butte records about 40 inches of snowfall on average in January.

By February, you still have some days around 30 degrees, but temps start to soar into the 50s, even as high as 55 degrees on some days. In the eastern plains, the snow keeps right on falling, about five inches over the month. With little sun, the snow you do have on the ground shouldn’t melt that quickly. 

If you want to visit the coldest place in Colorado, that’s none other than Fraser, which has an average mean temperature of 32.5 degrees. You’ll have lots of great opportunities to make snowmen here! 

Kansas

The holidays in Kansas are quite cold as temperatures are between 39 and 47 degrees in December. The lows are 15 to 25 degrees, so you’ll certainly need a thick winter coat and gloves when you’re out rolling snow. In Garden City towards the west, temps might average around 18 degrees, and in central Great Bend, 23 degrees. 

It gets even colder in January, with the lows 15 to 22 degrees and the highs 37 to 48 degrees. Kansas gets some snow in January, but without much moisture in the air, the accumulation isn’t earth-shattering. The annual snowfall average here is 19 inches though, which is not too shabby! 

Colby is one part of Kansas more conducive to building a snowman, as the temperatures stay a steady 37 degrees. 

Nebraska

Nebraska is another acclaimed state for snowmen, with cold daytime temperatures in December and little sun. In Falls City, the temperatures are between 20 and 38 degrees, an ideal range for you. Over in Enders Reservoir, the temps are even colder, 12 to 40 degrees. If you’re in the northwest, you could get as much as six to eight inches of snow in December alone.

January will add about another six inches of snow with temps as low as 10 degrees and as high as 33 degrees on average. In Lincoln, it’s not unheard of for the temps to reach 0 degrees or even negative temperatures. Make sure you stay warm!

By February, the weather is described as “bone-chilling.” Daily, temps might be as low as 13 degrees and as high as 45 degrees. Omaha has slightly more mild temperatures, 18 to 38 degrees, while in Chadron, temps don’t get much higher than 42 degrees. That makes sense considering this is the coldest city in the state! 

The snow continues into February in the great state of Nebraska, at least to an extent. You might see about an inch of snow, with Lincoln temps between 28 and 52 degrees. In Kimball in the west, temps are more snowman-appropriate at 23 to 49 degrees.

Arkansas

With four to five inches of snow in December, Arkansas knows how to kick off the start of the official winter season the right way. The northern parts of the state get more snow than elsewhere, but throughout, low temperature averages are 26 to 36 degrees. In Fayetteville, the average low is around 29 degrees and the average high is around 48 degrees. 

In January, the typical temperature range is 24 to 34 degrees. You can’t ask for better snowman-building weather than this. Add to that that you may get two to four inches of snow in the northern areas of the state and up to four inches in other areas and now we’re in business! With about six hours of daily sunshine, it stays cold for your snowman. 

Enjoy it while you can, as the rains that come in February tend to wash things away, as do the warmer temps. At least in Pond, an Arkansas historical community, temps have been known to dip below -29 degrees. 

Minnesota

We’d put Minnesota high on the list of states to visit or live in if you’re a true-blue snowman lover, as few states ever get as much snow. The snow starts as early as November, with six to 10 inches the norm across the state. That’s accompanied by highs of 35 to 42 degrees by day and 18 to 29 degrees by night. In the southern part of Minnesota, such as Pipestone, the more common average is 21 to 41 degrees. In Grand Rapids, temps are 20 to 37 degrees.

December keeps right up with the cold, as Minnesota gets maybe three hours of daylight at most. That leaves the daytime temperatures between 19 and 30 degrees as a high. Lots of snow will come through, about eight inches over more than a week in December. Polar air masses are common too.

In January, the snow increases even more, but the temperatures don’t. Sometimes temperatures are in the negatives, anywhere from -10 to -30 degrees, which is too cold to build a snowman. Wait until February, where the temperature range is 21 to 28 degrees and you might get upwards of eight inches of snow.

You can even enjoy snow into March in Minnesota, as the state averages eight to 10 inches of the fluffy white stuff. The temperatures may rise between 34 and 45 degrees and won’t get moderately warm until April.  

Illinois

The winter weather in Illinois begins in November, with recorded temperatures of 28 to 51 degrees. Urbana experiences temps of 32 to 51 degrees and Chicago 35 to 51 degrees this time of year. This would be decent weather to build a snowman if Illinois had a lot of snow to its name in November. 

That starts in December, with an average state snowfall of up to three inches. The temperatures also dip down to around 32 degrees as a low, which is what you’re looking for. The highs may be up to 46 degrees. 

The real winter weather comes in January, when 34 degrees is considered a high. The only exception is if you head south, where temperatures are way milder than 40-something degrees. The Lake Michigan area gets plentiful snow this time of year too. 

If you want the most snow, that happens in February, where as much as 10 inches of snow might pelt the central and northern areas of the state. Springfield in the central part of Illinois has temperatures between 23 and 40 degrees this month, while in other areas, the range is 15 to 48 degrees. 

Freeport and Dixon have a running tie for the coldest Illinois state, but the temps linger under 38 degrees in both. 

Wisconsin

November in Wisconsin can be snowy depending on where you are. In Bayfield, its proximity to Lake Superior delivers up to 14.3 inches of snow, and in the north, Drummond gets about five inches. It’s cold enough for precipitation, with 37 to 46 degrees on average as a high. 

The temps dip ever so slightly lower in December, now 23 to 34 degrees as a high. In some parts of the state, zero-degree temperatures happen, mostly where snow sweeps through. Bayfield gets 27 inches of snow in December and the rest of the state around 10 inches. You’ll have no shortage of to make your snowman, but do bundle up. 

Skip visiting Wisconsin in January, as no one wants to be out in temperatures that are frequently in the -10-degree range. By February, things start to thaw out a bit, with temperatures about 26 to 35 degrees, which is good for making a snowman. Accompanying the somewhat milder weather is about 10 inches of snow across the state, except in the west and north, which gets more. 

Michigan 

Michigan rivals Wisconsin in snowfall tallies. By November, with only about three hours of sunlight, snow can brew, and it often does. You may see 22 inches of snow in the Upper Peninsula near Iron Mountain and Houghton. The temperatures are anywhere from 36 to 50 degrees, so things are chilly but comfortable.

In December, the weather get chillier, with average highs between 24 and 37 degrees. Rain will come, but snow does more steadily, accumulating anywhere from 30 to 50 inches if you’re near the Upper Peninsula. Think of how many snowmen you can make with that much snow!

In January, temperatures can reach the low negatives, such as -20 degrees, so again, put off the outdoor activities until February. The temperature range is 26 to 35 degrees as a high during that month, and with up to 30 inches of snow, your wintry fun can continue. 

If you want things really cold, try heading to Pellston. Nicknamed the Icebox of the Nation, in 1933, Pellston experienced lows of -53 degrees.

Vermont

In the northernmost part of the state, Vermont turns snowy in December, with temperatures of 14 to 36 degrees and more snow than rain. The statewide snowfall might be as much as 20 inches, unless you’re near Mount Mansfield. Then you could experience 42 inches of snow! It’s no wonder you’ll see the most skiers then.

In January, if you can bear temperatures of 2 to 31 degrees, you’ll have up to 20 inches of snow to play with all month long. The mountain region gets blanketed in about 50 inches of snow in January alone.

February gets too icy and cold for building a snowman, but don’t write off March. The early parts of the month experience temps of 30 to 40 degrees and about 17 inches of snow. In Sutton, it’s colder than other parts of Vermont, with temps of around 32 degrees on average. 

Maine 

In Maine, temperatures reach 22 to 25 degrees as early as November, with the highs between 40 and 48 degrees. Accompanying the comfortable winter weather is up to nine inches of snowfall and even more in the mountains and the highlands. 

In December, 25 degrees is the high, and with four hours of sun a day, you will feel the chill down to your bones. The snow is upwards of 20 inches, but if you’re scheduling a winter vacation to Maine, you might be better off waiting until January.

This month has daytime averages of 30 degrees and lows of 13 degrees at night, unless you’re near Chesuncook Lake or Moosehead Lake, where temps regularly reach the negatives. Most parts of the state can accumulate 20 inches of snow, and with humidity around 70 percent, this snow might be wet enough for making a snowman.

February is another solid wintry month, with temperature averages of 15 to 32 degrees and snow up to 15 inches. You do get about two inches of rain and nearly six inches of snow, so take advantage of the cold when you have it to make some awesome snowmen! 

Final Thoughts 

If you’re wondering where in the country gets the most snow and the temperatures conducive to building a snowman, the 14 states on this list are what you’re looking for. From November until sometimes March, it’s cold and snowy enough to build a snowman and keep him sticking around until spring. Now you have some great new places to add to your winter vacation itinerary. 

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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