Natural History

Top 10 Most Extreme Places in North America

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Snag in Canada's Yukon Territory, the coldest place in North America.
Theo Allofs/Corbis

North America's Coldest Place

The remote settlement of Snag in Canada's Yukon Territory holds the title for the coldest officially-recorded spot in North America. On February 3, 1947, a government weather station at a small landing field recorded a temperature of -81.4? Fahrenheit (-63? Celsius) in dry, still conditions.

The weather observers at Snag that day reported that their breath froze and fell to the ground as a white powder. The staff could only venture out for 3 to 4 minutes without risking frozen noses, lungs and ears. Snag remains one of the coldest spots north of the equator and the only measurements outside the continent to beat this 1947 record come from Antarctic research stations.

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