In case you missed it, it's hot out there. The northeastern United States is trapped in a scorching summer heat wave. To make things worse, forecasters predict no relief. Instead, they call for stagnant, sticky air and no wind.

"Plain and simple, this week may feel the worst of any week for this summer in the Northeast," said Accuweather.com meteorologist Alex Sosnowski told Reuters. "The I-95 region will be a virtual sauna bath," he said.

If you can't literally escape the heat, you can at least do so in your mind (we put in the icy, snowy pictures to help.). Using data from the NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, we've compiled a list of some of the coldest cities in America.

To keep this list from being dominated by one or two states, we simply picked the coldest locations in several states across the county.

So mentally strap on your parka and journey with us to some of the cooler cities in America.


(Jessica Robertson / USGS)

1. Barrow , Alaska

Average temperature: 10.4 °F

Average low in Jan: -20°F

Average high in July: 47°F

Barrow is the northernmost city in the United States and the ninth northernmost city in the world. Here polar bears hunt in the Arctic Ocean along Barrow's icy coast.  While New York City bakes Wednesday at 103 degrees, it's a cool 45°F.

Snow Fun

Troy Turner, Milford , Maine, and his daughter Kmoi set to work retrieving their ice fishing traps on a cold but sunny day at Pickerel Pond, Milford, Saturday, January 10, 2009. (AP)

2. Caribou, Maine

Average temperature: 39.2 °F

Average low in Jan: 0°F

Average high in July: 76°F

During the winter there's plenty to do in Caribou that doesn't involved huddling around a wood stove. The city has over a dozen cross-country ski trails and is part of the Northeast Snowmobile Trail (NEST), and International Snowmobile Trail System, which runs through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Province of Quebec. And in the summer with temperatures at in the 60s and 70s it's cool enough to take a bike ride without melting.



3. Bismarck, North Dakota

Average temperature: 42.3 °F

Average low in Jan: -1°F

Average high in July: 85°F

With temperatures currently at almost 80°F, it may feel like a heat wave to the locals of North Dakota's capital city, situated in the middle of the Great Plains.  But compared to many parts of the U.S., it's downright pleasant. If you're in the mood to take a dip, regardless of the city's cooler temperatures, be sure to visit the Super Slide Amusement Park.



4. Laramie, Wyoming

Average temperature: 39.8 °F

Average low in Jan: 8°F

Average high in July: 79°F

This chilly city is full of history. Twenty-one sites in Laramie, including the Wyoming Territorial Prison, are included on the National Register of Historic Places. At its current temperatures of  72°F you might just want to venture out and take a look.



5. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Average temperature: 45.1 °F

Average low in Jan: 3°F

Average high in July: 86°F

At 85°F Sioux Falls is experiencing above-normal temperatures, but it's still much cooler than its neighbors to the east and beyond. Named for a waterfall along the Big Sioux River, just north of the city's center. Known for it's natural beauty, Sioux Falls maintains a network of more than 70 parks and greenways.



6. Wasilla, Alaska

Average temperature: 36.8 °F

Average low in Jan: 7°F

Average high in July: 70°F

Currently a cool 60°F, Wasilla, a suburb of Anchorage, was a supply base for gold mines, but was not incorporated as a city until 1974. Fun Fact: Sarah Palin served as Wasilla's mayor before her election as Governor of Alaska.



7. Des Moines, Iowa

Average temperature: 50.0 °F

Average low in Jan: 12°F

Average high in July: 86°F

With highs between 85 and 90 degrees, the temperatures in this Iowa city are not nearly as hot as last year or what many states are experiencing, according the The National Weather Service. But, home to the Iowa caucuses, Des Moines experiences heat waves of the political kind. Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have been the first major electoral event in the nomination process for President of the United States.