Minnesota Vs Seattle: Which City Has Better Weather?

The weather is often a deciding factor when choosing where to live. If you’re trying to decide between chilly Minnesota and rainy Seattle, weather could make all the difference.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Minnesota generally has colder winters with more snow, while Seattle has more overcast days and rain.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare everything from average temperatures, precipitation, sunlight hours, and seasonal extremes between these two northern cities. You’ll learn which city truly has the better weather after weighing factors like winter cold, gray skies, outdoor activities, and more.

By the end, you’ll have all the details you need to determine which city’s climate you’d prefer to live in.

Average Temperatures

Winter Cold

When it comes to winter temperatures, both Minnesota and Seattle experience chilly weather. However, Minnesota tends to be significantly colder than Seattle. In Minnesota, temperatures can drop well below freezing, with average winter temperatures ranging from 5°F to 25°F (-15°C to -4°C).

On the other hand, Seattle experiences milder winters, with average temperatures ranging from 40°F to 50°F (4°C to 10°C). So, if you prefer milder winters, Seattle might be the better choice for you.

Summertime Heat

When it comes to summertime heat, Seattle and Minnesota have different experiences. Minnesota enjoys warm summers with average temperatures ranging from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C). Seattle, on the other hand, experiences relatively cooler summers with average temperatures ranging from 70°F to 75°F (21°C to 24°C).

So, if you prefer slightly cooler summers, Seattle might be more suitable for you.

Spring and Fall Comfort

Both Minnesota and Seattle offer pleasant weather during spring and fall. In Minnesota, spring temperatures range from 40°F to 60°F (4°C to 16°C), while fall temperatures range from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C).

In Seattle, spring temperatures range from 50°F to 65°F (10°C to 18°C), and fall temperatures range from 55°F to 70°F (13°C to 21°C). So, whether you enjoy the slightly cooler temperatures of Minnesota or the milder climate of Seattle, both cities provide comfortable spring and fall weather.

When comparing the average temperatures between Minnesota and Seattle, it’s important to consider your personal preferences. If you enjoy colder winters and warmer summers, Minnesota might be the better choice.

On the other hand, if you prefer milder winters and slightly cooler summers, Seattle could be the perfect fit. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your individual tolerance for extreme temperatures and your desired climate.


Precipitation is an important factor to consider when comparing the weather in Minnesota and Seattle. Both cities experience a fair amount of rainfall and snowfall throughout the year, but there are some notable differences.


Seattle is famously known as the “Rainy City,” and for good reason. The city receives an average of 38 inches of rainfall per year, making it one of the rainiest cities in the United States. This consistent rainfall contributes to the lush greenery and beautiful landscapes that Seattle is known for.

On the other hand, Minnesota receives an average of 31 inches of rainfall per year, which is slightly lower than Seattle. However, it is important to note that rainfall in Minnesota is spread out more evenly throughout the year, with no specific “rainy season” like Seattle.


When it comes to snowfall, Minnesota has the upper hand. The state experiences much colder winters compared to Seattle, resulting in heavier snowfall. Cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul receive an average of 54 inches of snowfall per year.

On the other hand, Seattle only receives an average of 6 inches of snowfall per year. This stark contrast in snowfall can be attributed to the geographical location and proximity to the ocean.

It’s important to keep in mind that weather patterns can vary from year to year, and these averages are just a general representation. To get the most up-to-date and accurate weather information, it is always recommended to check reliable sources such as The Weather Channel or the National Weather Service.

Sunshine and Cloudiness

When it comes to sunshine and cloudiness, both Minnesota and Seattle have unique weather patterns. Minnesota experiences all four seasons with hot summers and cold winters. The state is known for its clear and sunny days, especially during the summer months.

On average, Minnesota receives around 200 sunny days per year, making it a great destination for outdoor activities and enjoying the sunshine.

On the other hand, Seattle’s weather is heavily influenced by its location in the Pacific Northwest. The city is known for its cloudy and rainy reputation, with overcast skies being a common occurrence throughout the year.

Seattle receives an average of 152 cloudy days per year, which is significantly higher compared to Minnesota. However, it’s important to note that while Seattle may have more cloudy days, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gloomy all the time.

The city experiences mild temperatures and has its fair share of sunny days as well.


  • Average of 200 sunny days per year
  • Distinct four seasons
  • Hot summers and cold winters


  • Average of 152 cloudy days per year
  • Mild temperatures throughout the year
  • Overcast skies and occasional rain

It’s important to consider personal preferences when comparing the weather in Minnesota and Seattle. Some individuals may enjoy the sunny and clear days in Minnesota, while others may appreciate the mild temperatures and occasional rain in Seattle.

Ultimately, the choice between the two cities comes down to personal preference and what type of weather one prefers.

To learn more about Minnesota’s weather, you can visit the official website of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/index.html. For information on Seattle’s weather, you can visit the website of the National Weather Service Seattle: https://www.weather.gov/sew/.

Seasonal Weather Extremes

Record Hot and Cold

Both Minnesota and Seattle experience extreme temperatures throughout the year, but they differ in terms of their record-breaking highs and lows. Minnesota, being located in the Midwest, is known for its bitterly cold winters.

The state’s lowest recorded temperature was a bone-chilling -60°F (-51°C) in Tower, Minnesota in 1996. On the other hand, Seattle, being situated in the Pacific Northwest, has milder winters but experiences occasional cold snaps. The city’s lowest recorded temperature was 0°F (-18°C) in 1950.

While both cities have experienced frigid temperatures, Minnesota takes the win when it comes to extreme cold.

When it comes to record-breaking heat, Seattle has the upper hand. The city holds the record for its hottest temperature of 103°F (39°C) in 2009. Minnesota, on the other hand, has seen its highest temperature reach 114°F (45.6°C) in 1936.

While both cities have experienced scorching temperatures, Seattle takes the crown for extreme heat.

Severe Storms

Minnesota and Seattle both experience their fair share of severe storms, but they differ in the types of storms they encounter. Minnesota, being located in the central part of the United States, is prone to tornadoes during the spring and summer months.

The state experiences an average of 37 tornadoes per year, with some of them being strong and destructive. The most notable tornado outbreak in Minnesota occurred in 2010 when a total of 48 tornadoes touched down in a single day.

Seattle, being situated on the coast, is more susceptible to powerful windstorms and heavy rainfall. The area is known for its winter storms, which can bring strong gusts of wind and cause power outages.

The most notable windstorm in Seattle’s history occurred in 2006, when winds reached speeds of up to 69 mph (111 km/h), causing widespread damage and leaving thousands without power.

Both cities have their own unique weather challenges, from tornadoes to windstorms. It ultimately comes down to personal preference when deciding which city’s severe weather you would rather endure.

Outdoor Activities Weather

Both Minnesota and Seattle offer a wide range of outdoor activities throughout the year, thanks to their diverse climates. Whether you enjoy winter sports or prefer warm weather fun, both cities have something to offer.

Winter Sports

Minnesota is famous for its cold winters, making it a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. With an average snowfall of 50-60 inches per year, the state offers excellent conditions for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Popular destinations such as Lutsen Mountains and Giants Ridge provide thrilling slopes and well-groomed trails for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. The picturesque landscapes covered in snow create a magical winter wonderland that is perfect for enjoying these activities.

On the other hand, while Seattle doesn’t experience heavy snowfall like Minnesota, it still offers a variety of winter sports opportunities. The nearby Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain ski resorts provide ample snowy slopes for skiing and snowboarding.

Additionally, the Cascade Mountains offer excellent backcountry skiing and snowshoeing options for those seeking a more adventurous experience.

Warm Weather Fun

Minnesota truly comes alive during the warmer months, offering a plethora of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. The state boasts more than 10,000 lakes, making it a paradise for water sports enthusiasts.

From boating and fishing to swimming and paddleboarding, there is no shortage of fun to be had on the water. Popular lakes such as Lake Minnetonka and Lake Calhoun are perfect for these activities.

Seattle, with its mild and pleasant weather, also offers a range of outdoor activities during the warmer months. The city is surrounded by beautiful mountains, making it an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking.

The Discovery Park and the Rattlesnake Ledge trail are popular choices among locals and tourists alike. Additionally, Seattle’s proximity to the coast provides opportunities for beach activities such as swimming, beach volleyball, and picnicking.


To summarize, Minnesota’s weather features brutally cold winters with plenty of snow, very warm summers, and comfortable spring and fall. Seattle sees milder winters with less snow, cool summers, and a lot of clouds and rain year-round.

For those who love winter activities like skiing, ice skating, and snowmobiling, Minnesota is tough to beat. But if you prefer more mild temperatures, outdoor hiking without heavy winter gear, and don’t mind gray skies, Seattle’s climate may be more favorable.

Considering factors like average temperatures, precipitation patterns, seasonal extremes, and impact on lifestyle, choosing between Minnesota vs Seattle weather largely depends on your preferences for winter cold, summer heat, and types of outdoor activities.

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