Discover the Coldest Place in Massachusetts

Long Pond, Lakeville Massachusetts
© John Phelan / Creative Commons

Written by Colby Maxwell

Updated: February 4, 2023

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New England is well-known for its cold and blustery winters, and Massachusetts is no exception! Today, we are going to be taking a look at the coldest place in Massachusetts, as well as learning what this chilly state has to offer. Let’s get started!

The town of Worthington is the coldest place in the state of Massachusetts.

The Coldest Place in Massachusetts

The small town of Worthington, located in the Berkshires in the western part of Massachusetts, is the coldest place in the state. It starts getting cold in December, with a daily average low of 21°F, with temperatures dropping to 16°F in January and 18°F in February. During the winter months, Worthington residents bundle up and enjoy outdoor activities such as sledding and skiing. Because Worthington has an average of 77 inches of snow per year, living and having fun in the powder is an important part of life here! Interestingly, the summers are fairly warm. Worthington averages a daily high in June of 76°F, 82°F in July, and 80°F in August; quite a big swing between the two seasons!

Massachusetts winter

Because Worthington has an average of 77 inches of snow per year, living and having fun in the powder is an important part of life here!

©Coleong/Shutterstock.com

Worthington is home to a few notable industries, including the manufacturing of maple syrup. There are three sugar houses open nearly year-round, which allow locals and visitors to learn about and experience the process of transforming sap into syrup. Throughout the winter, visitors can tour the sugar houses and sample maple syrup, as well as purchase locally-made products.

The Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in Massachusetts

fog and snow

The coldest temperature in Massachusetts was a record-breaking -40°F!

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There have been two readings on the coldest temperature ever recorded in the state, with both having their own sources as evidence. The lowest official temperature ever recorded in Massachusetts was -35 degrees Fahrenheit at Chester on January 12, 1981. This was confirmed by two other readings at two other locations. Chester also recorded -40°F on January 22, 1984. This was verified in the book “New England Weather and Climate,” which is generally regarded as an authoritative source.

Whether it’s -35 or -40, the point is that it was really cold! The town of Chester may hold the title for the coldest city in the state periodically, but Worthington generally has the coldest average temperatures when broken down by month.

The Biggest Blizzard in Massachusetts History

Boston, Massachusetts covered in snow

The biggest blizzard in Massachusetts was in 2015.

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Winter Storm Juno lasted from January 26-27, 2015, and was the biggest blizzard Massachusetts has ever seen. This storm was named after the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth, Juno. Worcester received an unbelievable 31.9 inches of snow on January 27th, 2015, making it the highest single-day snowfall total for Massachusetts on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Massachusetts experienced its most intense blizzard ever, leading to travel bans and the closure of a 300-mile stretch of Interstate 95 from northern New Jersey to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border. The snowstorm had an effect on six states, prompting emergency declarations.

The aftermath of the storm resulted in flooding in Scituate, which necessitated the deployment of National Guard troops to aid those in danger. Marshfield suffered massive destruction, with eighty feet of seawall washed away, and some homes declared unlivable. The storm also caused a complete interruption of utility services on Nantucket and Provincetown on Cape Cod.

How Much Snow Does Massachusetts Get?

Cape Cod, Massachusetts blizzard

Snowscapes with heavy winter storms are common in Massachusetts. The state averages 51 inches of snow per year.

©iStock.com/Sanghwan Kim

Massachusetts is one of the snowiest states in the entire US! With 51.05 average inches of snow per year, the Bay State sits at number eight on the overall list:

  • Vermont – 89.25 inches
  • Maine – 77.28 inches
  • New Hampshire – 71.44 inches
  • Colorado – 67.3 inches
  • Alaska – 64.3 inches
  • Michigan – 60.66 inches
  • New York – 55.32 inches
  • Massachusetts – 51.05 inches
  • Wyoming – 51 inches
  • Wisconsin – 45.79 inches

The Cold-Hardy Wildlife of Massachusetts

Moose tracks

Moose are well adapted to the freezing cold temperatures of Massachusetts.

©Bree Reza/Shutterstock.com

Massachusetts is home to a variety of animals that are adapted to living in cold temperatures. Let’s look at some of the most well-known cold-tolerant animals and plants native to the state.

One animal that is ideally adapted to living in cold temperatures is the moose. These majestic animals are known for their large size, long legs, and distinctive set of antlers. They have thick, insulating fur coats that help them stay warm in the winter and can be found throughout the state, particularly in the northern and central parts.

Another animal that is well-suited to freezing temperatures is the black bear. These omnivorous animals are common in the western and central parts of the state and have thick fur coats that help them to stay warm in the winter. When fall comes around, they prepare for the winter by eating as much food as they can. When temperatures drop, they enter into a state of hibernation until spring.

In addition to cold-tolerant animals, Massachusetts is also home to a variety of cold-tolerant plants. One such plant is the white pine. This evergreen tree is native to the state and is well-adapted to living in cold temperatures. It has a tall, slender stature and long, needle-like leaves that help it to retain moisture and stay hydrated in the winter. The white pine is also an important source of food for a variety of animals, including deer and birds.

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About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

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