Kansas is one of the 10 Great Plains states in the U.S., known for its many rivers, rolling hills, and ample natural beauty. In North America winters can be harsh, and the cold temperatures vary. Factors like elevation, latitude, and landscape affect how cold a region gets. Of all the places in the region, here you will learn about the coldest place in Kansas.
The summers in Kansas can get warm, and the winters are mild. While it is not one of the coldest states in America, temperatures easily get to freezing. With an area of 82,278 square miles, there is a lot to see in Kansas. Let’s take a look at the coldest place and temperatures you can find in the state.
The Coldest Place in Kansas
The city of Colby is the coldest place in Kansas and has an average low temperature of 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and an average high of 67 degrees °F. Colby is located in the northwestern region of the state. Western Kansas is slightly colder than other regions. Lows across Kansas typically range between 37 to 46 degrees °F. The mean of low temperatures collected across different areas of Kansas is 43 degrees °F.
Colby may be the coldest place in Kansas, but other places in western Kansas like Goodland, the Kirwin Reservoir Dam, and the Webster Reservoir Dam reach very cold temperatures as well. Like other states in America in winter, Kansas gets to freezing temps, with an annual of 19 inches of snowfall. Colby gets an average of 26 inches of snow per year, which is 2 inches less than the national average.
McDonald is considered the snowiest city in the state, getting around 37 inches of snow yearly. Temperatures and snowfall have been recorded in the area since the late 1800s. The coldest temperature ever in the state was measured at -40 degrees °F, which occurred in Lebanon in 1905. As the weather gets more extreme new snow, and cold records may be set.
The coldest place in Kansas, Colby city is located in Thomas County and is a small city in the far northwestern region. The population of the area was estimated to be 5,570 as of the 2020 census. Colby has a size of 3.51 square miles and is the 61st largest city in the state. It has a population density of around 1,600 people per square mile.
Colby may be the coldest place in Kansas, but in the summer temperature can get hot. Its hottest months range from 85 to 91 degrees °F, and the record high reached a scorching 113°F. The city of Colby has a deep history, and even though it is not the largest there is still a ton to do.
1882 is when the first post office was established around the Center of Thomas county. The cold climate made it harsh for the settlers nearby, and a town was needed to help supply goods for the locals. Colby gets its name from its founder J.R. Colby, a local preacher and land assessor. He obtained a patent in the year 1884 and acquired land about 3 miles north of the post office. The Kansas governor gave Colby a county seat in 1885, and by the next year, it was officially incorporated.
The first buildings in the area were sod homes, but as more settlers came the city began to flourish. Additions like a hospital, railroads, and highways are what made it into the city it is today.
Today Colby is filled with fun attractions like the Prairie Museum of Art and History. It is also home to the largest barn in Kansas, Cooper Barn. While giving off a small town vibe it seems there is plenty to experience in Colby. Whether visiting some of the town’s attractions like its restaurants or parks it is worth a stop if in the area.
Colby, like other regions in the Great Plains of North America, is filled with a variety of animals in the wilderness. The most common animals that live nearby are mammals like deer, raccoons, beavers, and rodents. Historically wolves once lived in the state but were extirpated from the area. A wolf was recently discovered in northwestern Kansas, but it is believed there are no populations.
Bobcats, deers, skunks, and coyotes are some of the other animals in the state. Ample amounts of species of all types fill Kansas. There are around 98 species of reptiles and amphibians along with different mammals. Even in Colby, the coldest place in Kansas there is a vast amount of animals, and beautiful scenes to see. In winter’s peak, many animals begin to hibernate and rest until the spring.
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- City of Colby site, Available here: https://www.cityofcolby.com/
- Colby Kansas wiki, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colby,_Kansas
- Colby weather records , Available here: https://www.extremeweatherwatch.com/cities/colby#:~:text=The%20lowest%20temperature%20ever%20recorded,occurred%20on%20December%2022%2C%201989.
- Kansas climate record, Available here: https://www.weather.gov/ict/ksrecords