Coldest Ever Winter Olympics? Maybe.

Some people have been calling PyeongChang the coldest ever Olympic Winter Games. Is it the city with the coldest February temperature to host a Winter Olympics?

Maybe. It really depends on whether you look at the daily mean (average) temperature, the daily mean low temperature, or the absolute (all-time) low temperature for February.

If you look at the absolute low-temperature for February, Calgary, Alberta, Canada wins hands down with a record low of -45° C. (-49° F.). And if you look at the daily average temperature, then Lillehammer, Norway and Lake Placid, New York, USA, are the coldest Winter Olympic cities, with mean temps of -9° C. (16° F.) and -8° C. (18° F.), respectively.

However, if you look at the daily mean low, PyeongChang is basically the same as Lillehammer and Calgary. All cities daily mean low temperature is -11° C.

We’ve never sat down and analyzed the daily announced temperatures during the Winter Olympics. The data was not listed in results until about the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics. While weatherbug.com, or other weather sites, likely has the data, it’s not something we have done and not aware of anyone else ever having done it.

Attached is a spreadsheet, Winter City Stats, with statistics about the Winter Olympic host cities, with population data, weather data, and geographic data.

One thought on “Coldest Ever Winter Olympics? Maybe.”

  1. According to your stats, Lake Placid has the lowest daily mean temp for February (-13C/9F).

    So however you slice it, Pyeongchang has no claim to being the coldest Winter Olympics city! I’m sure that’s cold comfort, as they say, for the fans….

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