Discover the Coldest Place in Delaware

Written by Megan Martin
Updated: August 27, 2023
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America’s first state, Delaware, is a small mid-Atlantic state in the northeastern United States. It is the second smallest state in the entire country, with only three counties and a population of 1,003,384 as of 2021. But what is the coldest place in this tiny state? Even Delaware residents may not know the answer.

This complete guide discusses everything from the average climate in Delaware to the coldest areas!

Average Climate in Delaware

Delaware is a part of the Atlantic coastal plain. This means that the Atlantic Ocean plays a large role in the climate of Delaware, from its temperature to its humidity and precipitation. It has a humid subtropical climate, which can be rare in other places in the United States. This type of climate is known for its mild winters and hot summers.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Overall, Delaware is a fairly moderate state when it comes to weather.

©ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

Overall, Delaware is a fairly moderate state when it comes to weather. Despite the state’s small size, there are some variations in weather between the northernmost areas and the southern areas.

The climate in the northern third of the state is able to support Northeastern coastal forests and oak forests. These are common in the cooler areas of the United States, such as the northern region of the mid-Atlantic states. The southern two-thirds of Delaware is able to support a warmer ecosystem, such as Middle Atlantic coastal forests.

Delaware is also home to Trap Pond State Park, which features a surviving wetland home to mighty bald cypress trees. 

Newark and Milford are the Coldest Places in Delaware
The towns of Milford and Newark are tied for coldest place in Delaware.

What Is the Coldest Place in Delaware?

When it comes to the coldest place in Delaware, you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s actually a tie between two different places! These two cities share the same average low of 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Wondering exactly what these two cities are? Look no further than Newark and Milford. 

About Newark, Delaware

Newark is a small city located in New Castle County, the most northbound of the three counties in this state. Along the border, this city sits towards the northwest of the county and state. The home of the University of Delaware, Newark, has a population of 31,454 according to the 2010 census. 

First founded by Scots, Irish, and Welsh settlers in 1694, Newark wasn’t officially established until 1758, after receiving a charter from George II of Great Britain. Academics are an important part of Newark’s history. In 1765, a grammar school moved from Pennsylvania to Newark. This later became the Newark Academy, the Alma Mater of George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith. You may recognize their names from their signatures on the Declaration of Independence!

Newark has a humid subtropical climate. This means that its winters can be anywhere from moderate to cold, but the summers are hot and often dotted with afternoon thunderstorms. The lowest temperature recorded in this city was -12 degrees Fahrenheit. 

About Milford, Delaware

Milford lies directly on the border of Kent County and Sussex County, with around half of the city’s population in one county and the other half in the other county. As of the 2020 census, Milford had a population of 11,190 people. 

The Kent side of Milford is older, having been founded in around 1680. Around two dozen locations in Milford are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include places ranging from the Mispillion Lighthouse and Beacon Tower to the South Milford Historic District Walnut Farm. The Mispillion River runs through the city. 

Like Newark, the average annual low in Milford is around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Its record low is -11 degrees, one degree warmer than Newark’s record. 

Coldest Temperature Recorded in Delaware

Now that you know about the coldest place in Delaware, you may think that either Newark or Milford is home to the coldest temperature on record. However, neither of these two locations claims the coldest temperature in Delaware.

So, who takes this prize? We now look to Millsboro.

Millsboro is a small town in Sussex County. It is one of many parts of the Salisbury metropolitan area. As of 2020, its population was 6,863. Today, it is considered the home of the coldest temperature ever recorded in Delaware. 

On January 17, 1893, Millsboro hit an all-time low temperature of -17 degrees Fahrenheit. This is around 5 degrees colder than Newark’s coldest temperature and 6 degrees colder than Milford’s. 

Millsboro isn’t just home to the lowest temperature, however. It’s also home to the warmest temperature on record in Delaware! On July 21, 1930, Millsboro hit a record high of 110 degrees Fahrenheit, only 37 years after setting the record for the coldest temperature. 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tessaluna/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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