Maine Town Drops Below Freezing Before 'The Icebox of the Nation'

September 14, 2019

At least one spot in Maine dropped below freezing on Friday while International Falls, Minnesota, known as the "Icebox of the Nation," and Utqiagvik, Alaska, the country's northernmost town, both wait for their first freeze.

Houlton, Maine dropped to 31 degrees Fahrenheit on Sept. 13 while International Falls remained a balmy 47 F overnight.

But Houlton isn't the first spot in the country to dip below freezing this season.

In fact, it can freeze at just about any time of the year in the higher elevations of the Rockies, Cascades, Sierra Nevada or in Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains.

Houlton was just 1 degree shy of tying a record low temperature and typically has its first freeze of the season around mid-October.

Of the three cities, only Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, is running warmer than average, so far. Up to this point, Utqiagvik has only dropped down to 35 F this cold season while International Falls has dropped to 39 F.

What about the rest of the country?

Much of the northern tier will see its first freezes by Halloween while parts of the mid-South, Atlantic and West Coast usually see their first freezes in November or later.

And if this talk of first freezes wasn't enough to get you thinking about winter, parts of Siberia have picked up their first snows of the season this week too. While we typically think of Siberia as a cold place, this snow was earlier than usual.


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