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Old 06-07-2011, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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The "rate the climate" thread regarding Nuuk, Greenland got me thinking -- what the coldest major cities are is often a topic for discussion, with a focus on how cold winter is.

Much discussion centers around long, chilly winters and how few people live in/thinly populated the extreme subarctic/boreral/continental zone is.

But on the other hand a great deal of these places often at least have at least something which you might call a summer, or a season that feels like summer to some people (you can go out without a jacket in the day). If you consider highs in the 70s F at some part of the year, even a few to a couple of months as summer that is.

I was thinking -- you could probably name off the top of your head lots of cities in the world whose winters lows average around -10C (14F), -15C (5F), even -20C (-4F), but most of these would fall into the category of having at least some kind of recognizable summer.

But perhaps even more rare seem to be the populated places in the world, whether they be towns or cities, with really cool summers, such as where summer highs don't average above 18C (65F), 15C (60F) or even down to 10C (50F) -- now for that last one, other than Nuuk whose stats I just saw today, I can't think of.

There are lots of maritime climates that are cool in that way but they don't really jump out or come to mind as easily (they may be towns and cities in more sparsely populated areas of well-known countries though, such as the highland and northern UK and Ireland, other parts of northern Europe, Canada and the US including Alaska and northbound of the PNW, the Falkland, Faroe and assorted even less known islands etc.).

I don't think I could name as many of those ones that are really large like Ottawa, Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Fairbanks, Edmonton, Whitehorse even Ulanbaatar or even a few Russian and Chinese cities whose names I've seen in passing and probably can't pronounce.

Reykjavik comes to mind as the most prominent/well-known large city that has a really cool summer.

Would you agree that maritime subarctic climates are even less populated than continental subarctic climes*?

What are the largest and well-known cities with extreme cool summers? For instance, can you think of a well known city whose summer max is under 60F on average?



* To be fair, summers can't get that much cooler in most climates. And realistically, the areas that get cool summers vs. cold winters is very different in area, with the latter often big empty continental spaces while the former is restricted to sometimes remote islands and northward margins or continents so it's not a fair comparison.

But it also really goes to show what a big difference in variability in the world "summer" is compared to winter.

You may call a 65F summer average high rather cool and a 90-100 summer average high rather hot, but in terms of winter, the difference between what some would call a mild winter and an extremely cold one may be 100 degrees F apart.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:40 PM
 
Location: In transition
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As you mentioned, Reykjavik would be a good one. Some other large cities over 100,000 people that have cool summers are Murmansk, Russia (55.6F average in warmest month), Norilsk, Russia (57.2F in warmest month) and Punta Arenas, Chile (51.1F average in warmest month)
Some smaller cities (under 100,000) that have quite cool summers include Tromsø, Norway (53.6F in warmest month) and Ushuaia, Argentina (50.7F in warmest month).
If you want to include alpine climates, then La Paz, Bolivia is an interesting case. Depending on where you are in the city, it can have a tundra climate. The airport in El Alto doesn't average higher than 50F in any month but further down in elevation in some neighborhoods are warmer and average over 50F. The difference between the highest and lowest part of the city is around 500 metres (3500 metres-4000 metres).
Bogotá, Columbia and Quito, Ecuador are also quite cool year round averaging 58-59F in almost every month.

Last edited by deneb78; 06-07-2011 at 07:50 PM..
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:45 PM
 
Location: The Brightest City On Earth
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San Fransisco. Don't know the average but feels downright cold there in the summer to me!
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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These are major cities in the world with very cool summers(Reykjavik, La Paz, Murmansk, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Anchorage)

1. Reykjavik, Iceland: Capital of the country of Iceland and biggest city in Iceland. Population 120,000.

Warmest months in Reykjavik has average highs of only the mid 50s and lows in the upper 40s.
Record lows around 32 degrees freezing.


2. La Paz, Bolivia:A big city in the country of Bolivia Population 900,000.

Warmest months in La Paz has average highs of only the mid to uppr 50s with lows in the mid 40s.
Record lows around 32 degrees freezing.


3. Murmansk Russia:A city in Russia with 300,000 people.

Warmest month July has average highs in the low 60s and average lows in the upper 40s.
June and August has average highs in the mid to upper 50s and average lows in the mid 40s.
September average highs only the upper 40s with average lows upper 30s.
Record lows around 32 degrees.

4. Edinburgh, Scotland: A city in Scotland. Capital City and second largest city in Scotland. 500,000 people.

Warmest months June to September has average highs in the low 60s around 63 to 65 and average lows in the upper 40s and low 50s.


5. Copenhagen, Denmark: Capital City of Denmark and largest city in Denmark. Population 1.2 million.

Average highs in the mid to upper 60s and average lows in the low to mid 50s. Copenhagen get up to 66 to 68 for the average high in the warmest months.


6. Anchorage, USA: Largest city in the state of Alaska in USA. Population 300,000.

Average highs in the warmest months get up to 62 to 65 degrees in the low to mid 60s. Average lows upper 40s to low 50s.
Record lows around 32 degrees freezing.

Last edited by Thepastpresentandfuture; 06-07-2011 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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La Paz is an interesting case. It has around a million people in the city and 2.5 million in the metro. Its daily maximums vary from 12 to 14 C (below 65 F) every single month of the year. Very constantly cool.

Aberdeen in northern Scotland, and Bergen and Stavanger in western Norway have average maximums in July of around 17 C (maybe 66 F). All three are in the 200-250,000 range of population.

Looking for some ideas, I found it interesting that July maximums in two of Canada's northern territorial cities (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and Whitehorse, Yukon) were 21 C (about 71 F), which is the same as Canada's so-called warmest city, Vancouver, way down in the south of the country. (Although Vancouver is known for mild winters, not hot summers.)

Both Yellowknife and Whitehorse are in the boreal forest, an area which covers a huge part of Canada. Cities in this region tend to have very cold winters but decently warm summers. But Whitehorse and Yellowknife are small: 20,000 people each. The other main northern ''city'' in Canada, Iqaluit, Nunavut is in an Arctic region and has summer maximums similar to those in Nuuk. But its winters are much colder than Nuuk's.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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Magadan, on the shores of the sea of Okhotsk (Russia), has an August average of 53 (11.7) degrees. It has gotten as high as 82 degrees but never higher since it was settled in 1929. Doesn't rain (or snow) hard but does so almost continuously averaging 220 days with some kind of precipitation per year. It has a population estimated to be 115000 as of 2008 but the recent economic tailspin gave it a terrible shot to the chin. It may be around 90000 people now; still a sizable city.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Very interesting thread.
Im highly surprised to find out the cold climate in Bolivia! Always want to go visit there and i had no idea it was that cold all year long!! (even in the summer). Specially considering its latitude.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:37 PM
 
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Major cities in Scandanavia that I can think of are Tromso, Sweden and Oslo, Norway. In the UK, I can think of Edinburgh, I'm sure there are many others. There are many smaller Scandinavian, Alaskan, and Canadian towns with low summer temperatures but I won't list since you are only asking for major cities. I love chilly summer!!!
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post

Would you agree that maritime subarctic climates are even less populated than continental subarctic climes*?
The only major maritime subartic climate cities that exist are Reykjavik Tromso and Anchorage. Both Reykjavik and Anchorage are the most populous cities in their respective states. I think you were trying to make a reference to Nuuk, which has a maritime polar climate. There aren't too many cities with maritime subartic climates.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaul View Post
Major cities in Scandanavia that I can think of are Tromso, Sweden and Oslo, Norway. In the UK, I can think of Edinburgh, I'm sure there are many others. There are many smaller Scandinavian, Alaskan, and Canadian towns with low summer temperatures but I won't list since you are only asking for major cities. I love chilly summer!!!
Oslo's average July maximum is something like 21 or 22 C. That's too warm - at least for what we are discussing here.

Now, people may say that the difference between 21 and 17 is only 4 C, but it does make a pretty big difference when you want to partake in summer activities, especially those involving water.

Also, an average is just an average. On a any given day in the summer the temperature is usually within around 5 C above or below the average. That means that on a warm summer day in Oslo it is probably 25 C, and on a cool day it is probably 18 or so.

A warm summer day in Bergen and places with averages of 17-18 C will be in the 21 C range, and a cool day around 14 C is totally possible and even common.

Can't speak for everyone but I personally wouldn't be too enchanted with a 15 C daily maximum for a mid-July day.
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