Just south of the Great Lakes region, and just west enough to be considered a part of the Midwest, Indiana is home to nearly seven million people. Native Americans were the first to occupy the land that we today call Indiana. Indeed, the state was named after the vast numbers of people already living there. Today, Indianapolis is the largest city, with several other important urban areas dotted throughout the state. Indiana’s climate is generally classified as humid, with the northern half of the state being humid continental. The southern half, however, is considered humid subtropical. But, just where can you find the coldest place in Indiana?
Here, we’ll find out more about the frigid temperatures of Indiana winters, including the coldest temperature the state has ever seen. We’ll explore the coldest place in Indiana, and find out all about its history, ecology, and wildlife. Finally, we’ll take a look at what you can do in Indiana’s coldest place.
The Coldest Place in Indiana
Ranked by the lowest annual average temperature, Angola is the coldest place in Indiana. Angola has a low annual average of just 48 degrees Fahrenheit (F), making it, on average, the coldest place in the state. However, Angola is not the location of the coldest temperature ever recorded in Indiana—more on that later. The average annual temperature in Indiana is 51 degrees F; the climate is split between humid-continental in the north, and humid-subtropical in the south.
Summer (June, July, and August) temperatures hover in the mid 70s, while winter (December, January, and February) temperatures are generally around 30 degrees. Most of Indiana’s snowfall occurs in the northern part of the state, near Lake Michigan. Though not officially a part of Tornado Alley, Indiana is ranked in the top ten states in terms of tornado risk.
The Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in Indiana
Indiana has mild weather—most of the time. But, in 1994, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Indiana was a frigid -36 degrees F. This temperature was recorded at New Whiteland, a small town just south of Indianapolis. There have, of course, been other instances of severe cold snaps in this Midwestern state. A temperature of -18 degrees F was recorded in Indianapolis in 1936, and in 1985 the city recorded a temperature of -22 degrees F. In contrast, the warmest temperature ever recorded in Indiana is 116 degrees F, recorded in Collegeville in 1936.
History of Angola
The coldest place in Indiana, Angola, has a population of about 10,000 people. The town, which is the county seat of Steuben County, sits just minutes from the Michigan and Ohio borders. As with the rest of North America, Angola was originally occupied by various Native American tribes for thousands of years. The town itself was officially incorporated in 1838 by two men looking to take advantage of the fertile, farmable lands nearby. Many of the town’s initial settlers came from New York and Vermont.
Today, Angola is notably home to Trine University. With its location in the northeast of Indiana, Angola is placed between many popular lakes. It’s also close to Pokagon State Park, which provides the town with a huge influx of summer tourism.
The Wildlife of Angola
Angola is an idyllic, pastoral town surrounded by intermittent woods, farmed fields, and lakes. In town, you’re likely to see a variety of urban critters like raccoons, squirrels, and occasionally deer. Nearby fields, woods, and lakes play host to foxes, coyote, badgers, beaver, moles, and chipmunks, among others. There are always plenty of cottontail rabbits around, and even a few bobcats to prey on them. Visitors might even see river otters, bats, opossums, skunks, or woodchucks.
Northern Indiana, and the area surrounding Angola, are also home to a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians. Venomous snakes you might encounter include copperheads, timber rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and eastern massasauga rattlesnakes. There are also skinks, lizards, turtles, non-venomous snakes, and one species of cooter.
Things to Do in Angola
There are plenty of things to do in the coldest place in Indiana. Angola lies just south of the ever-popular Pokagon State Park, which offers fishing, camping, and hiking opportunities. Farther north, there’s also the Wild Winds Buffalo Preserves, which offers visitors tours of their buffalo herds. The Public Square, which features the Steuben County Soldiers Monument, is one of the most popular destinations in town. It’s surrounded by a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars.
Angola also has plenty of places to stay for those who don’t want to camp in the state park. For those looking for even more wildlife, check out the Marsh Lake Wetlands State Fish and Wildlife Area, just north of town. And, if you visit at the right time of year, you can even venture out to the Pokagon State Park Toboggan Run.
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- Cool Weather, Available here: https://coolweather.net/statetemperature/indiana_temperature.htm
- National Weather Service Indianapolis, Available here: https://www.weather.gov/media/ind/history/January_ThisDateinHistory.pdf
- Steuben County , Available here: https://www.co.steuben.in.us/about_us/index.php#:~:text=Angola%20was%20platted%20in%201838,Lake%2C%20Ray%20and%20Salem%20Center
- Indiana Wildlife, Available here: https://indianawildlife.org/education/native-animals/