Quick: Which U.S. state has the most extreme temperatures?
It's not Wisconsin or Minnesota, or Arizona or Vermont (I just picked those states randomly, by the way). Those states rank #13, #8, #14, and #23, respectively, according to The Weather Channel.
You might be surprised to know that the #1, #2, and #3 top U.S. swing temperature states are Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota, in that order. So if you live in one of those states, congratulations! Your state has the most extreme ranges of recorded temperatures.
To find out where your state ranks, check the list here: Swing States: America's Most Extreme Temperature Ranges. These are listed in Fahrenheit. If you live in other countries, what are your temperature ranges?
Of course, the "extremes" only tell part of the story. There's dry heat, and then there's humidity. And anyone who has experienced 108F in Phoenix, Ariz., vs. 108F in Branson, Mo., knows Branson feels worse (although persperation is a healthy thing, I guess).
On the other end of the spectrum, once you get below about -10F, it's too cold for humans and other creatures to spend time outside without the shelter of a warm bush, a snow-covered overhang, or a toasty warm house! And windchills add even more danger to the situation.
For those of you who aren't aware, much of the U.S. is experiencing an arctic blast, with freezing temperatures stretching far into the deep south. In my area, the forecasted high for Monday is -13F, with the low down to -20F, and a windchill in the -50sF. We haven't seen temperatures that cold for at least a decade.
But it's always colder and hotter somewhere else. As brutal as it is today, it's only temporary. On the weekend, we'll be back up above freezing (32F). That will feel like springtime! Maybe I'll even venture outside with my camera!
If it's cold, or snowy, or hot, or dangerous where you live, stay safe! And do, please, share your brutal weather stories in the comments.
*Added 1.6.14: Check out this link for Incredible Temperature Swings in One Day.