Politics and Elections

Lowest temperatures – list of records for every European country

Author: Vibor Cipan Published on: February 21, 2018, and filed under Climate and weather
  • russia (EU part) holds the record low temperature at -58.1 °C.
  • Malta is the only country with the record low temperature above zero at +1.4 °C
  • Other countries with lows below -50 °C are Sweden, Finland, and Norway
Map of lowest (coldest) temperatures recorded in every European country. Lowest temperature records Map of lowest (coldest) temperatures recorded in every European country. Lowest temperature records

As the cold outbreak creeps in on Europe, it is excellent opportunity to visualize historically lowest temperatures recorded for every European country.

Since at the moment, Europe is preparing for probably the strongest cold outbreak this winter (February 2018). Weather models consistently predict lows reaching -30 °C or even lower in some parts of the continent. With strong winds in some parts, the wind chill index will make the cold even more unpleasant. While some all-time coldest temperature records will probably stay intact, it is an excellent opportunity to visualize every European country’s historically lowest temperature records.

Map of lowest (coldest) temperatures recorded in every European country. Lowest temperature records
Map of lowest (coldest) temperatures recorded in every European country. Lowest temperature records

Lowest temperature records in Europe

The winner is, of course, russia, at least its European part, with -58.1 °C. Norway, Sweden, and Finland are other “-50 °C or lower club”  members.

The Atlantic Ocean makes for milder cold records

While Iceland is even further north, its Atlantic ocean-driven climate leaves the record at -37.9 °C. Therefore ranking it lower than other countries on the same or similar geographic latitudes. Similar effects are the reasons why Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, the UK, Ireland, and Portugal have, as a result, relatively high minimum recorded temperatures.

Alpine region

France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland are pretty cold – all below -40 °C, with Italy dropping down to -49.6 °C. The reason? Temperatures are fairly low due to the Alps, of course. Spain holds a record of -32 °C degrees measured in the Pyrenees mountain range.

Central Europe

Central and Eastern European countries and the Baltics are typically around -40 °C degrees. Open plains of northern Europe come with little to no mountains. As such, they are readily available for cold outbreaks from Russia. Also, maritime influences are negligible, and continental climate characteristics dominate the area.

Slovenia and Croatia have very similar lowest temperature records. Slovenia comes at -34.5 °C, while Croatia is just 1/10th of a degree colder, with -34.6 °C measured in Gračac, on January 13th, 2003.

Close-up: Balkan countries + Greece

Balkan countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria) look towards Bosnia and Herzegovina and its temperature record of -42.5 °C, measured on mountain Igman near Sarajevo. Serbia comes second with -39.5 °C.

Map of lowest (coldest) temperatures recorded in Balkan countries. Lowest temperature records in Balkan countries.
Map of lowest (coldest) temperatures recorded in Balkan countries. Lowest temperature records in Balkan countries.

The Balkans is also the only region with an additional map created for better legibility. Due to a fairly large number of countries in a small and limited geographic space  – data visualization is especially challenging.

Further down to the south, Greece recorded -27.8 °C. The island nation of Cyprus recorded -16 °C as its lowest temperature. Location? Mount Olympus. How fitting!

Malta, the misfit

The only European country with the lowest recorded temperature above 0 °C is Malta, with mild +1.4 °C degrees. That’s almost 60 degrees (59.5 °C) difference between the Russian and Maltese records.

The complete list of lowest temperatures and countries

Russia (European part)-58.1 °C
Sweden-52.6 °C
Finland-51.5 °C
Norway-51.4 °C
Italy-49.6 °C
Austria-47.1 °C
Germany-45.9 °C
Estonia-43.5 °C
Latvia-43.2 °C
Lithuania-42.9 °C
Bosnia and Herzegovina-42.5 °C
Belarus-42.2 °C
Ukraine-41.9 °C
Switzerland-41.8 °C
France-41.2 °C
Poland-41.0 °C
Slovakia-41.0 °C
Serbia-39.5 °C
Romania-38.5 °C
Bulgaria-38.3 °C
Iceland-37.9 °C
Moldova-35.5 °C
Hungary-35.0 °C
Croatia-34.6 °C
Slovenia-34.5 °C
Montenegro-32.0 °C
Spain-32.0 °C
North Macedonia-31.5 °C
Denmark-31.2 °C
Belgium-30.1 °C
Greece-27.8 °C
The Netherlands-27.4 °C
UK (Scotland)-27.2 °C
Ireland-19.1 °C
Portugal-16.0 °C
Cyprus-16.0 °C
Malta+1.4 °C
Czechia-42.2 °C
Ukraine-41.9 °C

The lowest temperature records of smaller European countries (Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Holy See, Monaco) are not shown since they are fairly small geographically. While the best effort was made to check the data and temperature values, there might be some errors. However, if you notice an error, feel free to reach out and let me know, and shout at me on Twitter – I am happy to update the maps.

In conclusion, keep in mind that only official or confirmed records are used. There have been many locally measured lower temperatures from those shown on the map. However, only a common WMO (World Meteorological Organization) standard was used for making this visualization; with that in mind, only the data conforming to WMO standards is shown.

Author avatar


Vibor Cipan

With over 15 years of professional work in technology, Vibor Cipan is a recognized leader in this field. His contributions at Microsoft, where he earned the prestigious MVP title, set the stage for his roles as CEO and Co-Founder of UX Passion, and later on, Point Jupiter, a data-informed agency. There, he led teams that shaped services for over 400 million users globally. His work spans UX design and software development, driving significant contributions in both fields.

Currently immersed in the generative AI sector, Cipan is taking part in projects revolutionizing software development and user engagement. His expertise extends into data viz, analytics and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), where he actively develops proofs of concept and explores AI's role in shaping societal dynamics and national security.

An accomplished author and speaker, Vibor continues to share his insights at international venues, advocating for innovation and a richer understanding of technology's impact on society.

You can follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter/X as @viborc.

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